‘Your community needs you’ call over Neighbourhood Plan

Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 7217-08-08AW

Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 7217-08-08AW - Credit: Archant

A rallying call has been made to residents as the first steps in creating a community-led blueprint for the future of the Sid Valley are taken.

Sidmouth Town Council has chosen to put together a Neighbourhood Plan, which will enable local people to have a say on future development in the town, Sidford, Sidbury and Salcombe Regis.

It is looking to find a chairperson to lead the project and also hopes to attract people from within the community to form a steering group.

A public event for people to find out more about the plan will take place later this month.

“The aim is to work as a whole community to develop a plan which reflects the aspirations of us all for the future of Sidmouth,” said a town council spokesperson.

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“To do this and to do it well, the council is seeking a chairperson who has the skills, qualities and capacity to lead the project - as well as create a community steering group to deliver the project and report. In particular, the council is looking for a chairperson who is a collaborative leader and effective communicator with project management experience alongside willingness, enthusiasm and time to devote to the whole project.”

The steering group will consist of volunteers from a range of disciplines who will work together to bring skills in and experience of project management, town planning, community engagement and consultation and report writing to the process.

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Also required will be steering group volunteers with interests in tourism, environment, energy, history, education, health and well-being, community participation, design, architecture, law, culture/arts communication and information technology.

The council is asking people who wish to join the steering group to submit an expression of interest, indicating if they would like to be considered for the role of chairperson and/or member.

This should include a short résumé of their experience and what they would bring to the role of chairperson and/or to the steering group. Additional information about the roles, including a person specification and job description, is available on request.

Following the appointment of the chairperson, they, along with the town council’s Neighbourhood Plan group, will select the members of the steering committee. This is likely to be capped at 12 members and will include a small number of town councillors.

“We hope that the steering group will represent a cross-section of the community to form a strong Neighbourhood Plan team for Sidmouth,” said the spokesperson.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for those who wish to volunteer to help in addition to the work that will be undertaken by the new steering group, which will be announced on February 12.”

To help understand the process and to allow people to find out more, the council has organised a public event to be held on Tuesday, January 19, at St Teresa’s Church Hall, in Connaught Road, at 7pm.

During the event, the aims of the Neighbourhood Plan will be outlined and there will be opportunities to ask questions. All are welcome.

The closing date for expressions of interest in the roles of chairperson and steering group members is noon on Monday, February 8. This can be done either in writing to Sidmouth Town Council, Woolcombe House, Woolcombe Lane, Sidmouth, Devon, WX10 9BB or by email to enquiries@sidmouth.gov.uk

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