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Bomere Heath & District Parish Council

HAVE YOUR SAY in 2017!

Rainbow over Bomere Heath Cricket Club Rainbow over Bomere Heath Cricket Club

Bomere Heath and District  Community Led Plan

Completed Residents’ Survey Analysis Report 2017

Executive Summary

In October 2015 Bomere Heath Parish council agreed to carry out a Community Led Plan, (CLP) The PC applied and were awarded a start-up grant from Shropshire County Council of £1,500. This was used by the PC to fact find, engage with Shropshire Rural Community Council (SRCC) on how to form a community led plan and to put together the summer party in July 2016.

The summer party asked the question, what made you Mad, Sad & Glad? The results from this early engagement showed that the parish were;

Mad about - speeding, traffic and dog fouling

Sad about – Litter, lack of youth activities and the conditions of footpaths

Glad about – the community

The summer party also requested for volunteers to form the steering group that would then use the Mad/Sad/Glad information to create the CLP survey. This survey was sent to all 960 households in the parish in mid-January 2017 and the survey was returned online and by post by early Feb 2017.

To keep costs down the distribution was largely organised by the steering committee and their friends and family, with those households in outlying areas being posted. The survey was one per household, designed tp combine the views of all residents into a single response.

The committee decided to adopt 2 methods of gathering the survey information, an on-line response through a porthole on the Parish council’s website and a free post address to SRCC. All responses were entered into a free prize draw, 3 entries given with an on-line entry and 1 entry given if posted. This decision was made in an effort to minimise the committee’s freepost return expenses.

The prize draw money was generously donated by local business ‘RAC climate control’ based in Merrington.

The winners of the prize were;         1st & 2nd prize – won by Mr Stone – Dunnsheath

3rd prize – Mr & Mrs Huxley – Merrington

In total 274 survey responses were received, 189 posted to SRCC and 85 uploaded through the website of the 960 sent out. Information on how the data has been interpreted and presented has been detailed in the full report.

A synopsis of the key issues is as follows;

Survey Demographics

Housing and Building Development

Traffic

Sustainable resources

Business and Commercial

Community Spirit, Activities and Amenities

Local Environment

Youth Matters

Services

Household Utilities

Parish Council Activities

Survey Demographics

The percentage of the 243 respondents (response rate 89%) resided in the following areas / hamlets within the Parish: Bomere Heath 77%, Grafton & Forton Heath 7%: Mytton & Fitz, 7%; Walford Heath & Leaton 4%; Merrington & Old Woods 5%; Pim Hill 0.4%; Preston Gubbals 2.5%; Albrighton 2% Dunsheath Leaton Knolls and Berwick 6%

Responses were taken for each household with responses asked to include a breakdown of the age and sex of occupants (581 persons in total). With a broadly equitable split between male and female, and average of 14% were under the age of 16 yrs and 50% were aged between 46-75+ yrs. 

Housing and Building Development

Current Accommodation

From the responses across the parish a large percentage (80%) were existing homeowners, the majority of which were settled not intending to move out of the parish over the next 5 years. Of those which were likely to seek alternative accommodation within the parish Bomere Heath (92%) was seen as the most ideally suited, with the current accommodation unsuitable as either too large (42%), too small (30%) or in need of improvement / different tenure (34%)[1]. The drivers for seeking alternative property included downsizing, retirement, and family members moving out of family home.

In relation to future household needs within the parish, house purchase (60%) affordable housing to buy (32%) and rented accommodation (18%), where the main types of properties required included 1-2 bedrooms (49%) 3-4 bedrooms (46%) and bungalows (34%)

Development

In relation to where housing development should take place 42% of respondents believed more was required, ideally located in Bomere Heath (89%), followed by Albrighton (84%), Walford Heath & Leaton (78%) and Preston Gubbals (78%)[2]

There was a general agreement that affordable property to rent or buy should be available (91%) and with 76% of responses supporting the build of open market housing. There was a strong response not in favour of retirement villages (60%) or sites for gypsy/travelling communities (90%)

There was strong support for the size of properties to be 1-2 bedrooms (91%) 3-4 bedrooms (94%) with 66% of responses against 5+ bedrooms houses. 84% 0f responses were in favour of bungalows.

In relation to the size of developments options varied from none to developments up to 50 properties. The most favoured size of developments was 1-10 properties, with Bomere Heath being the principal site for larger developments. [3] The preference was for developments being on the periphery of existing built up areas or infill between existing properties. There was a strong opinion that the style of housing should be in keeping with existing properties (91%) with approx. 57% of respondents accepting contemporary/one of design properties.

Free text comments included the need for improved road and access infrastructure, services and amenities to accommodate growth in the communities. There were concerns in the loss of green belt, increase in traffic and associated issues and the loss of identity as a village. 

Traffic

When asked how many cars were In the household around 90% of respondents have at least one car and over half of this figure has more than one car per household.

The survey asked to identify traffic problems in the parish, the 3 main issues were identified as; Speeding, HGVs, and Parking.

When asked about “major issues” the questionnaire received 168 comments the recurring theme of these comments are as follows;

The level of car accidents in the parish particularly on Hufley Lane,

Parking problems particularly outside the Co-op in Bomere and near to Condover College in Grafton

HGV’s travelling on the narrow roads of the parish and associated congestion.

Overall the greatest numbers of comments were based around Speeding[4]; the areas mentioned were Huffley Lane, Through Bomere village, Baschurch Road & Walford Heath, Preston Gubbals road,

The survey asked respondents to state where they felt that they considered dangerous, there were a number of areas identified but Huffley Lane, Preston Gubbals Road and Baschurch Road were most commonly noted.

The survey enquired if the community would support pro-active traffic calming measures and a high proportion of respondents would. Q56 highlighted a number of recommendations where these could be deployed.

When asked for road safety measure that could be implemented the survey has 113 comments, the following recurred several times;

Traffic calming measures,

Speed limit reviews in the parish

HGV – Weight and time restrictions

In an effort to reduce traffic the question was asked if there would be people interested in drive to work/car share. 13 people would be willing to drive and 7 would be willing to be passengers, it would be worth these individuals having a mechanism to facilitate this and help bolster community spirit as well as reducing emissions and traffic from the parish.

Sustainable resources

The installation of solar or photovoltaic panels on new properties should be actively encouraged, together with the installation of small scale wind turbine generators on commercial properties but less so for domestic wind turbines.

Business and Commercial

The respondents suggest there is sufficient business, commercial &industrial developments within the Parish, feedback (56%) also shows there is room for some growth within the parish’s existing developments. The majority (82%) of respondents would not want to see a new business park created in the Parish.

Local Environment

Flora & Fauna

When asked about the local flora and fauna, respondents were overwhelmingly in favour of maintaining and increasing these within the community.

Over 98% felt keeping and maintaining hedgerows were Important or very important.

84% feel that planting more trees (including a designated fruit trees space) was important or very important.

Over 96% of responses were in support of clear footpath signage and maintenance of rights of way in the community and almost 75% stated that it is very important to protect and maintain hedgerows and green spaces.

Environmental issues

When asked what the community felt were issues, Dog fouling, Litter and fly tipping were all deemed to be a problem.

Many areas have been suggested as being particularly bad for each of the above topics, however;

-          Areas around Bomere Heath especially around the school have been identified for dog fouling

-          Litter areas including the Donkey Patch beside the Red Lion in BH and litter thrown from cars seems to be an issue, this will be harder to police as they may be passing through and not from the area.

-          It is worth noting; generally, noise wasn’t felt to be an issue but there were some comments relating to speeding cars and low flying Helicopters.

71% of respondents felt there should be additional dog waste bins, part of the question requested suggestions bin locations. Around Bomere Heath generally featured highly, Merrington Rd, Brook Road, and Shrewsbury Road were specifically identified, 1 person noted that Mytton had no dog waste bins.

Within these comments there were 20 comments stating that it should remain the owner’s responsibility to remove the waste and bins need to be maintained.

BHPC should investigate the cost of additional bins and their maintenance.

There seems to be adequate seating in the Parish and generally deemed to be in good order, In the comments box suggestions were made regarding where additional seating may be useful and there were several comments stating that they would be beneficial by bus stops. We suggest that this be reviewed and discussed by the BH PC.

Happily, people feel safe living in the community, in their spare time respondents stated that they like spending time with their friends and of the other pursuits, walking was the most popular response.

 

Youth Matters

The CLP survey asked what activities/facilities the younger members of the community would like see[5] the two most popular options were skate/bike ramps and Multi sports area. Other suggestions focussed on an outdoor football space.

There was a positive desire for an organised youth club/group in the village. Since the completion of the survey in February the PC has applied for and been awarded a start-up grant for a youth club, it is recommended that a suitable group investigate a youth club and apply to the PC for the start-up funds to begin.[6]

 Community spirit, Activities & Amenities

The Bomere Heath and Montford Bridge Parish News, Word of Mouth and notice boards appear to be the most used means of gleaning information about local events. It appears that from the responses received Social Media, the Parish website and Shropshire Life are currently used least. The parish may benefit from promoting and encouraging IT based communications in what would appear to be an older community. 13 Respondents specified other sources of information from where they can gain information.

Community Events

The question was asked about events that the respondents would like to see in the parish, 64 comments were received; the comments centred on community spirited activities that could be accommodated using some of the local meeting places. Children’s and youth activities were also supported. There is support for an Annual fun or charity event.

 

Social clubs and societies

The question was asked to establish the groups within the community and their popularity, it was noted that many are used and in the most part, those that used the groups listed rated them as important or very important. 2 comments were received that highlighted that the groups may not be currently used by the respondent but that they still felt that the group was important to the community and others within the community.

When asked if there were further clubs or activities it was noted that there was a request for youth activities and various exercise classes within the parish. The Parish council have secured funds[7] to start up a youth group within the parish, the PC need to promote this and see if there is uptake to start a group.

Services

It’s worth noting that the committee and the Parish Council would probably not be able to directly impact the outcome of what services are provided within the Parish, however, we would like to know the thoughts of the Parish to form the basis of, and develop future decision making.

67.8% felt that a Doctor was very important and over 80% rated a pharmacy as important whereas a Dentists, Chiropodist, Opticians and Alternative treatment were noted as unimportant.

The survey also enquired how accessible services were to residents within the parish. Generally, the responses suggested that the respondents didn’t have difficulty accessing services.

The main issue seemed to involve travel and transport to appointments and there was a difficulty in getting a local dentist.

 

Household Utilities

The survey showed that 61.3% felt the Postal Service was excellent, that 55.7% felt the Telephone Land Line was satisfactory and 56.5% rated good Broadband service as Satisfactory or excellent.

However, 65.8% felt that Mobile phone Signal in the parish was Unsatisfactory  

 

Public Community Services

Respondents were asked to rate how satisfied households were with public services; overall, all of the services listed were rated as satisfactory.

 

Parish Council Activities

There was a broad support for the Council in making reasonable donations to local and national charities in line with existing expenditure as a series of smaller sums rather than one larger sum to a designated beneficiary.

84% supported the idea of some form of annual summer party, 60% in favour of entering the ‘Best kept Village’ competitions and 60% willing to take up the opportunity of reduced ‘Smart Water’ property making.

There is support for the PC renting a local plot of land on the outskirts of Bomere Heath.

From the provided options there was support for Allotments, Outdoor exercise space, Cycle track, Ball game area, outdoor seating space and a location for a summer fayre. Of other suggestions from the comments the feedback was mainly aimed at a place for younger people and all elements for the community to use.

It is recommended that a committee investigate the options and the overall cost of the venture on the community be assessed and presented to the PC for review.  

 

Thanks to all those that participated during this process, the CLP steering committee hope that the information and feedback within the report will be able to enact a positive learning experience and add value to the community.

There are areas within this report that can now be progressed to the next level, it will require members of our community to volunteer and work together collaboratively to make this happen.

Should you wish to have any further information or like to find out how to get involved, please email the Bomere Heath Parish Council on bomereheath.parish@yahoo.co.uk or keep up to date on progress on the parish web site www.bomereheath.co.uk

 

[1] Three top reasons with all percentages rounded up

[2] Other hamlets within the parish varied between 75 – 61%

[3] Generally other hamlets within the parish were broadly similar with an average of 20% against any development and 50% in favor of 1-10 properties.

[4] Taken from the range of comments received and where speeding also appeared within other comments.

[5] 77 people responded to the youth questions, this is 28% of the total number of respondents

[6] Grant from Shropshire Council Youth Commissioning Funding Agreement of £2,875 applied for in March 2017, held by BHPH to be utilised by Jan 2018 in conjunction with the terms of the agreement.

[7] Shropshire Council Youth commissioning funding Agreement, valid for 2017/2018, start up grant awarded is £2,875, currently held by BHPC.

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