Executive summary of 2014 village plan
In 2005, a Village Plan was produced (see www.oswaldkirk.org). The following were notable successes resulting from the Village Plan:
- The Village Plan was used many times when commenting on planning applications. In particular, it was used extensively when providing feedback on the Conservation Area Action Management Plan
- It was also instrumental in pursuing and getting a speed limit through the Village
- It contributed to the wealth of evidence that helped Oswaldkirk win Village of the Year in 2008
- As a result of issues raised the Oswaldkirk Village Information Booklet was produced
Whilst the Village Plan is not a legal document, local authorities and other planning bodies recognise them. They also provides a very important tool in highlighting the views of the Village. As the original plan was over 8 years old, it was agreed to revisit certain aspects, namely:
- Village Hall
- Mobile phone and broadband coverage
- Preferred means of communication
- Natural environment and sustainability
- Policing, emergency services and local health care
A questionnaire was produced and circulated around the Village in January/February 2014.
Key results are as follows:
Response rate – 105 questionnaires were distributed of which 45 were returned. This represents a response rate of approximately 43%.
Village Hall – The responses to the questionnaire give a clear indication that improvements are necessary, in particular to the kitchen, storage, tables and chairs and to the windows.
Playground – The responses indicated the need to consider the possibility of incorporating both adult and child play facilities into the current playground.
Footpaths – Various comments were passed regarding general maintenance and improving views from footpaths. There were many expressions of interest in developing a network of footpaths from Oswaldkirk to neighbouring villages. As a result, a small group will be formed to progress this issue.
Mobile phone and broadband – Oswaldkirk Parish Meeting should consider the comments passed (e.g. a willingness from some respondents to pay for an improved broadband connection) if/when any planning issues or proposal regarding improving mobile phone reception and/or broadband reception are received.
Preferred means of communication – The Parish Meeting should consider the development of a monthly on-line newsletter, archiving information on the website and focusing the website on day-today activity. It is also proposed that Oswaldkirk Parish Meeting communicate their role in decision-making.
Natural environment and sustainability – General themes coming out of the questionnaire were as follows:
- Concern regarding the management of Chestnut Bank
- Maintenance of the verge between Oswaldkirk and Ampleforth so that it could be used as a footpath
- Attractiveness of the entrances to the village
- Speeding traffic
- State of roads and drains
- Retention/removal of trees
- Maintenance/non-maintenance of hedgerows
Policing, emergency services and local health care – The results indicate excellent awareness of both the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and the First Responders Scheme. It is, therefore important that this awareness is maintained.
Village Plan Steering Committee – Pat Thompson, Roger Dexter-Smith, Eric Dunstone, David Goodman, Del Jenkins, Caroline O’Neill and Mark Clook