In 2003 Hambledon produced a Parish Plan to help shape its future. Since then the Parish Council has examined various other formal frameworks to ensure the village’s ambitions for the years ahead are taken into account by Waverley Borough Council and other authorities.
These have included producing a Village Design Statement and Neighbourhood Plan, a route which some villagers had asked the council to consider.
After seeking professional advice – and taking into account the cost and resources necessary for such measures – it was decided that there were insufficient benefits to justify the time and money involved.
Instead it considered producing a Community Plan, which is smaller in scope that a Neighbourhood Plan and arguably more relevant to a little rural village.
Whichever method the parish council adopted for drawing up a blueprint for the future, it would require financial assistance and community volunteers. In the event neither was forthcoming.
It was hoped that funding for a Community Plan would be awarded by the Big Lottery Fund and that sufficient villagers would volunteer to participate in its preparation.
However, The Big Lottery, which distributes National Lottery money for community causes, turned down the request. The application had been carefully prepared with professional help. But Big Lottery experts could not see why a Community Plan was required to address the needs and issues set out in the application. (This point had also been raised in previous advice given to the Parish Council, including from Waverley Borough Council.)
The second set back was that one month after an appeal for volunteers appeared in the Parish Magazine and on the village website only six responses had been received.
So it’s back to the drawing board.
Although there have been changes since Hambledon produced its Parish Plan in 2003, it would be difficult to improve on its objectives. The Parish Council has therefore decided to continue using it as a base document but to up-date it and re-issue it, either in its existing form or in a new format and perhaps with a more appropriate title.
Village organisations and individuals are therefore being asked what would make Hambledon a better place for them and their activities.
The responses will be incorporated in a discussion paper which will be made widely available early in April. The paper will then be discussed and questions arising from it addressed at the Parish Assembly on 16 April. Funds for printing the completed plan have been included in the 2016-17 budget. It will also be available on the village web site.
So, in thanking those who did volunteer to help with a Community Plan, the Parish Council now asks them and as many other villagers as possible to give some thought as to what they think would make Hambledon an even better place in which to live.
Examining the 2003 Parish Plan and its most recent up-date might be a good point from which to start. This can be found on this web site here: Parish Plan documents . Or you can ask the Clerk ( via email, or telephone 01428 684213) for a hard copy
Please make sure that comments are either posted by leaving a comment on this article, or sent to the Clerk by 15 March so that they can be included in the discussion document.