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Sid Valley’s youngest generation unites in bid to shape future of community for the better

PUBLISHED: 16:11 03 October 2016

Students from Sidmouth College, Sidmouth Primary School and St John's School helped to compile a neighbourhood plan youth survey

Students from Sidmouth College, Sidmouth Primary School and St John's School helped to compile a neighbourhood plan youth survey

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Sidmouth’s own London Eye-inspired attraction among ideas from students

The Sid Valley’s youngest generation has united in a bid to shape the future of its community for the better.

Plans to construct Sidmouth’s own London Eye-inspired attraction above the clifftop, increase leisure facilities and build a water park were among the ideas put forward by members of a working group at Sidmouth College on Friday.

Students – aged from eight to 16 – from the college, St John’s School and Sidmouth Primary School were asked to help compile a survey to ensure young people have a voice in the future development of their home and community.

Slogan ideas included ‘Big mouth for Sidmouth’ and ‘Don’t dilly dally, help the Sid Valley’, while group members also considered design, layout and question styles to encourage their peers to get involved.

Louise Cole - town councillor and vice chairman of the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan steering group – said: “This is an opportunity for young people to say ‘we are a really important part of the community’.”

When completed, the youth survey will be rolled out across the Sid Valley to give everyone between the ages of five and 17 the chance to make their voices heard.

The results will feed into the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan, which, once adopted, will provide a statutory blueprint for development in Sidmouth, Sidford, Sidbury and Salcombe Regis for the next 20 years.

Sidmouth Primary School pupil Matilda Bentall, nine, said: “We want [the survey] to be appealing for young children so we don’t want too much writing on it, but we also want people to take it seriously.

“Our views are important too and adults do not think like children think. We want to make the Sid Valley better for children.”

Sidmouth College year 10 student Thomas West said: “We need to come together as a community to make our town the best it can be.”

Year 11 student Charlotte Hadfield said: “I think it’s a good idea to get lots of people involved in creating the neighbourhood plan surveys.”

She added that her group had been considering question styles and also different ways of responding that could include the option to draw answers or use an emoticon tick box system for younger respondents.

The youth survey will be drawn up and tested on students before it is distributed to all young people in the Sid Valley.

It is anticipated the questionnaire will be circulated in November.

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