The Parish Plan and
 Parish Survey 2013/4

In the Summer of 2013, the Winsham Parish Council, under the chairmanship of John Chance, took the decision, for a variety of reasons, to proceed with the drafting of a Parish Plan. This would seek, after consultation with the residents of Winsham, to plot a course that would guide parish council thinking over the years ahead, and hopefully give the village some protection against speculative development, not considered to be in the best interests of the parish overall.

Although specialist organisations existed to undertake this type of project, it was felt that sufficient expertise existed within the parish council, and considerable amounts of money could be saved  by undertaking the work itself.

 The first step was to undertake a major survey of parish opinion. A small sub-committee, comprising Councillors  Nathan Mode, Trish Baxter and John Sullivan, was tasked at the July 2013 meeting with drawing up a draft questionnaire, devising  a secure system for distribution to every household within the parish, their collection after completion, and progression to the point where the information gathered could be considered by the parish council. Survey Pack

At the next meeting, in September 2013, the sub-committee's proposals were accepted, and in the two months that followed, the proposals were fully implemented.

Distribution of the questionnaires  by a group of volunteers commenced on the 7th October. Respondents were encouraged to complete the questionnaire on line, verifying their identity using their individual identification codes included in the pack that was delivered to their home. Residents who did not have Internet access could return competed copies of their questionnaire in a specially provided sealed envelope to the Winsham Shop.

The closing date for return of questionnaires was the end of October.

At that point, another team of volunteers digitalised the information  from the hard copies, for integration with the information entered on-line from the other respondents.

All information posted was kept secure, and individual responses would not be identified.

The level of response was 60%, at the top end of the projected response, which was considered by experts to be high for a voluntary response survey. The whole event was heavily publicised on  the Parish Web Site, and in the Joint Parish Magazine and the e-letter prior to and during the survey period.

The results of the survey were distributed to parish councillors in December,2013, and at the February meeting it was agreed that the sub-committee that had produced the survey, should progress with the drafting of the Parish Plan, under the leadership of Nathan Mode. As part of this interpretation of the data, it was proposed to hold focus groups to clarify certain issues relating to younger members of the community.

The resulting Parish Plan was unanimously approved at the parish council meeting held  on the 30th July 2014.  


The result of the survey can be seen by clicking HERE.(.pdf)

The approved Parish Plan can be read by clicking HERE.(.pdf)

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