Parish Plan 2005

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About the Parish Plan

Over 30 volunteers worked on the Audlem Parish Plan. The Plan proposed a range of ideas and projects that the people of Audlem want for the future. The draft plan was discussed at a Public Meeting in the Public Hall at 7.30pm on Thursday 22nd September 2005. Copies of the draft report were made available beforehand. The final version is also published on Audlem Online. The process has involved holding initial public meetings in January 2005 followed by a questionnaire which was distributed throughout the parish. A summary of the questionnaire responses is below.

Seven working groups were then formed to look at key issues: Traffic & the Environment; Community including Sport & Leisure; Local Businesses including Tourism; Health & Education; Youth; Planning and Communications. These groups finalised a list of Action Plans. At the 22nd September Public Meeting, the public's views were again taken into account. The final report was printed and distributed to all households in Audlem Parish in the first week of December 2005.

The action plans include short term projects that can be achieved now or in the near future — this website is just one example that has come of this process — through to major projects that may take 5-10 years to carry out. Teams are now working on bringing the projects in the Parish Plan to fruition. Regular reports are made to Audlem Parish Council. The following is a brief summary of the Questionnaire results from the Parish Plan.

What do we think of Audlem Questionnaires were sent to all households in February 2005 seeking residents' views on a range of issues. The questions were similar to an earlier village questionnaire from the 1976 Parish Plan so that we could see how much views had changed over thirty years.

Questionnaires were also distributed to senior school pupils and a shorter version given to junior school pupils. 162 adult responses, 15 senior school and 36 junior school responses were received, a slightly disappointing 20% response rate. Responses were analysed both quantitatively (yes/no percentages etc) and qualitatively (comments received).

We really like it here A number of clear points emerged from the Adult Survey. The vast majority (98%) like living in Audlem and most (94%) plan to stay in the area. Typical comments were 'friendly people', 'the community spirit', 'quality of life' and the 'rural village environment' with 'the canal' and 'walks' mentioned by many.

Except for the vandals and heavy traffic Two concerns dominated what people did not like about Audlem. Vandalism and Traffic. There were numerous comments about gangs of youths, anti-social behaviour and the lack of a police presence. Traffic, and in particular the impact of heavy goods vehicles on narrow roads, parking restrictions widely ignored and poor pavements, was a big issue for virtually everyone with 98% wanting heavy through traffic prohibited to the greatest possible extent. One lady's comment stood out — 'I know I'm not going to die in my bed but crossing Stafford Street.!'

Limited growth is what we want There was more divided opinion about the extent Audlem should be allowed to expand. 31% wanted no expansion but 66% were for limited expansion. Comments suggested expansion should be limited to infill with no expansion of the village limits. Concerns were expressed about how the village character could be lost with many referring negatively to recent developments in Nantwich and Crewe. Affordable housing was an issue for many with younger people having to leave the village.

The planned development in the village centre attracted much concern although many did want the old garage demolished. Concerns were also expressed about the Lord Combermere pub and many felt Audlem's eating out facilities were poor. Hardly surprisingly, most wanted the churches, the Buttermarket, the village centre and conservation area and the canalside preserved.

Yes to small industries and tourism The majority (88%) wanted small industries and crafts encouraged and 74% wanted tourism in Audlem developed. People said it would bring money and jobs into the village lthough concerns about traffic increases were raised. Better information about the village alongside the canal was raised by some and many felt improved pub, restaurant and tearoom facilities would be good for visitors and residents alike.

Educational facilities were seen as good by the vast majority although some wanted more adult classes and evening classes. Similarly, most were satisfied with the medical facilities although many would like an NHS dentist while concerns were expressed about weekend and out of hours medical cover.

We want more recreation Opinion was split almost evenly about sport and recreational facilities. 48% felt they were inadequate with many wanting more for the young; improved film and theatre facilities; a sports hall or sports centre and a pool. Changing facilities for football and a better pitch were also mentioned. The most popular sport pursuits were walking and cycling. There was, however, some concern about the state of some footpaths, particularly The Vale while cycling in the immediate vicinity of Audlem was seen as dangerous with many comments about the lack of cycleways.

While 68% felt facilities for senior citizens and the less able were adequate, many felt more social events or drop in facilities would be welcome. Most said they were happy or unconcerned about bus services but a significant number wanted more services, particularly to Market Drayton and Whitchurch and later in the evening.

Knowing what's going on On communications there was a clear demand (86% in favour) for a village website with 70% saying they used the Internet regularly. While the majority were happy with the present methods of communication, many wanted fewer but better noticeboards while some asked for more regular newsletters.

Could Audlem be better? Asked how life could be improved in Audlem, comments focused on improving the Public Hall; a police presence to cut anti-social behaviour and reducing the level of traffic.

The younger residents have their sayThe Senior and Junior pupils' surveys mirrored the Adult survey with the vast majority liking living in Audlem. Heavy traffic and vandalism were again seen as the main issues. A lack of recreational facilities was a problem for the majority but walking, jogging and cycling were the main sports. A pool, skateboard park and, for the junior pupils, a toyshop, would be warmly welcomed. And a big compliment to the schools — they were well regarded by the pupils.

Have views changed since 1976? A slightly higher proportion of residents today like living in Audlem and plan to stay here than in 1976. Today's residents are also more open to limited development of the village than in 1976 when a majority wanted no further development. People are far happier with educational facilities now than in 1976 but approval of recreational facilities has moved in the opposite direction with more now dissatisfied.

In 1976, as today, virtually everyone wanted heavy through traffic removed to the greatest possible extent. Views about developing small businesses and crafts are now more positive. There were no questions in 1976 about health service provision or the development of tourism.

Cheshire
2005 Parish Plan (full)
PDF file - added Thursday 30th Apr
Audlem
2005 Parish Plan Questionnaire Results
PDF file - added Monday 2nd Feb
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