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Youngsters have say on future of Sid Valley

PUBLISHED: 13:18 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 26 June 2017

Pupils at Sidmouth Primaruy School filling out the children and young people survey for the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan

Pupils at Sidmouth Primaruy School filling out the children and young people survey for the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan

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More than 1,000 children and young people have inputted into a blueprint that will shape the Sid Valley – calling for more wide-ranging jobs and facilities for their age groups.

A 'word cloud' indicating the key themes raised in the children and young people survey for the Sid Valley Neighbourhood PlanA 'word cloud' indicating the key themes raised in the children and young people survey for the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan

More than 1,000 children and young people have inputted into a blueprint that will shape the Sid Valley – calling for more wide-ranging jobs and facilities for their age groups.

Given their own dedicated Neighbourhood Plan survey, respondents also said they want more young people-friendly affordable shops, cafes and restaurants.

A skate park and water park featured repeatedly, as did a pier or jetty, and they said any development of Port Royal should consider the needs of teenagers and young adults for social engagement, and sports and leisure facilities.

Young people in the parish hope for interesting career opportunities, highlighting the need to create varied employment that goes beyond the valley’s dominant retail, care and hospitality sectors.

They also share concerns with the wider community about ‘too much change’ and the need to preserve the natural and built environment and the coastline.

Beth Hall, the head girl at Sidmouth College said: “I was delighted when I was asked to take part in the Neighbourhood Plan as I believe – despite the obvious growth of young people in the Sid Valley – our voice is often ignored.

“It was nice to be given the opportunity to share some of my own ideas of what can be done to help improve the lives of young people in the community.”

Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group vice chairman Louise Cole said: “We felt it was really important to seek the views of our young people and get them involved in a way that would not only give them a voice for their vision of our future, but would also educate them in the workings of local democracy in action.

“It is clear that incorporation of the views of young people will help to draw up a plan which contains appropriate policies which meet the needs of our whole community.

“By ensuring that future development takes account of children and young people, we will be better able to create and sustain a vibrant community that continues to enjoy and preserve our enviable location.”

The second household survey has been sent to all homes. The steering group particularly wants to hear from residents of working age to ensure balance.

The deadline for responses is June 30. Visit www.sidvalleyneighbourhoodplan.com to complete it and read the reports so far.

 

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