Wotton-under-Edge Town Council has been considering for some time the need to update the Town’s Community Plan. The plan was published in 2005. The Town Regeneration Partnership decided, at its September 2014 meeting, that a good way of starting the process would be to re-issue an updated community questionnaire. This was to be similar to the 2005 Plan which was sent to households across the Parish. A new questionnaire was issued to Wotton households in December 2014, with a return date of mid-January 2015. It contained 58 questions on which residents were asked to show their opinion. Comments were also invited. Around 270 questionnaires were returned, with around 170 containing additional comments.
It has not been straightforward to work out a priority order from the results. Several methods were tried. These included weighted scores, totals by priority and percentage scores.
The issues concerning the community most (after putting the results of the questionnaire scores and comments together) seemed to be :
- The need for proper road maintenance to deal with potholes, road condition and road marking;
- The poor condition of footpaths, pavements and verges;
- Traffic problems in the Town and problems caused by parked cars restricting traffic – although, based on the questionnaire returns, the enforcement of parking restrictions would not be welcome!
- The need for more parking in the town – although there was no appetite to pay for such a facility either through increasing the precept or introducing parking charges;
- Initiatives to encourage Tourism – although there were several comments about not wanting to waste money on such activities. There was a negative response to the suggestion that a coach park should be provided;
- A desire for the Town Council to continue its support for the Library, Swimming Pool, Synwell Playing Field, Citizens Advice Bureau and Youth services;
Other high priority items include:
- Charfield railway station, the need for better bus services, a good selection of shops, local employment opportunities, improved police presence, littering, dog fouling, improved public toilets, and affordable housing;
- The need for a new supermarket was identified as a low priority. However, the comments received showed an equal number for and against.
GRCC has recommended putting effort into actions to progress some of the identified priority items, those which are within the remit of the Town Council, rather than spending time refreshing the previous Community plan. Views from the public would be welcome. The Town Council Working Group is in favour of focusing on activities that would help to bring more people into the town. This would be to help local traders and maintain the vitality of the town, such as:
Appearance of the town / littering / pavements
The Town Council is currently looking into an initiative which would provide additional car and coach parking in the town and also has had discussions with the Heritage Centre about establishing a proactive town information point for tourists.
Community support to help with looking at priorities and actions will be vital. Please let the Town Clerk know if you would like to contribute in any way.
C/O Wotton-under-Edge Town Council
The Civic Centre, 2 Gloucester Street
Tel: 01453 843 210