The Ten Projects – the main components of the new Community-led Plan

Introduction and Background:

When we completed the analysis of the responses to the February 2011 community consultation, and put the results of that analysis alongside the responses to the Volunteering Form that went out with the questionnaires, a number of potential areas for action and community aspirations became evident.

These ‘Ten Potential Projects’ – as we called them – reflected those areas, issues and aspirations that were most supported by respondents to the consultation, and also those that appeared to have the most potential community volunteers interested in delivering on them. At that stage, we had 80+ members of the community indicating an interest in volunteering. Previous experience suggested that, whilst it is possible to have lots of good ideas and plans to improve our local community, they can only become a reality if they have sufficient active support from the community. Whilst we had an encouragingly large number of potential volunteers, we needed to see how many went on to translate that initial interest into active participation. The next task was to develop what we felt to be practical – and practicable – areas for action, supported (at least potentially) by a sufficient number of community volunteers. As part of that process, we did exclude a few issues raised in the questionnaire that were clearly beyond our control and were rightly the business of others (including Calderdale Council and/or central government).

The Ten Potential Projects were:-

  • The Floral + Festive Light Displays Group
  • The Communications Group (including the Parish Newsletter + Heptonstall Website)
  • The Traffic, Parking + Road Safety Group
  • The Information Boards + Signage Group
  • The Good Neighbour Scheme (+ Voluntary Driver) Group
  • The Annual Parish Event Group
  • The (re) Cobbling Side Streets Group
  • The Clean-Up (Litter + Dog Fouling) Group
  • The Green Community Enterprise Group
  • The Children + Young People Group

We held an open public meeting on 17 July 2011 where we presented the main findings from the consultation and introduced the Ten Potential Projects. Actual attendance at that meeting was quite limited (a couple of dozen people) but we had a large number of apologies from ‘volunteers’ who could not attend but were still interested.

We took some initial ideas from those present as to how we might proceed with those projects and invited those that were prepared to do so to ‘sign-up’ for the specific potential projects in which they were particularly interested. We followed this up with a further – much smaller – meeting for some of those that hadn’t been able to attend and then went on to arrange 2 full days (on 16 October 2011 + 6 November 2011) where we scheduled a series of separate sub-meetings on each of the ten potential projects. Again, attendance was fairly limited and we had quite a lot of apologies.

Some projects were, and have continued to be, better supported than others and have ‘got off the ground’ quicker than others. Two projects were extensions to work that had been previously pursued (with varying degrees of success) by members of Heptonstall Forward (Traffic, Parking + Road Safety and Information Boards + Signage). One project, the Floral + Festive Light Displays Group, took off immediately – with a really enthusiastic and very practical approach to introducing additional Festive displays – with a Christmas Tree + lights on Weavers Square and new lights at Colden.

At the time of writing, in early March, we have a number of the Projects that are no longer “potential” but that are a very active and very productive reality. Those projects are:-

  • The Floral + Festive Light Displays Group
  • The Communications Group (including the Parish Newsletter + Heptonstall Website)
  • The Traffic, Parking + Road Safety Group
  • The Information Boards + Signage Group
  • The Good Neighbour Scheme (+ Voluntary Driver) Group

Other projects are still at an early stage and have, as yet, very limited volunteer/community support. They are yet to prove that they will be viable in the longer term but even with those there has been some progress. Those are:-

  • The Annual Parish Event Group
  • The (re) Cobbling Side Streets Group
  • The Clean-Up (Litter + Dog Fouling) Group

There is just one project that has not yet started, due to the competing commitments (on other local green + environmental projects) of the person who had offered to lead the development of the group/project. Whilst there is little doubt that this will be well supported and will happen, at this stage, there is no clear timescale for making a start. That group is:-

  • The Green + Environmental Group

It has been agreed that, given the very limited support and minimal number of interested volunteers:-

  • The Children + Young People Group – is not viable – at this stage. The potential project will be put ‘on hold’ until such time as there is more interest.

March 2012

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