What is a parish plan?
Parish planning is a comprehensive community-led process within which local issues, needs and aspirations are identified. It leads to a holistic document, supported by extensive consultation, covering a variety of issues that affect the well-being of a community. Themes addressed include highways and transport, housing needs and planning, the environment and climate change, access to information and services, provision for young people, crime and safety, education and training, and employment.
Within Leicestershire we have been very successful in supporting communities to produce parish plans and undertake other community consultation projects. 25% of parishes within the County have either developed a parish plan or village appraisal. This represents double the East Midlands average. In total, the Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland) (RCC) are currently working within over 60 rural communities across the two counties.
Click here to see a map showing coverage of parish plans and village appraisals in Leicestershire. (PDF Format)
Leicestershire County Council and parish plans
The County Council fully supports the parish plan process. It forms a vital input into improvements to our services. Through the Leicestershire Rural Partnership, the County Council provides financial support to the RCC’s Rural Action Team, whose officers work closely with parish plan groups to bring forward plans to publication and build the capacity of the local volunteers upon which the process is so dependent.
In order to ensure that the process is effective the responsibilities of parish plan groups, the RCC, the County Council and other service providers are detailed within the Parish Plan Protocol.
View the Parish Plan Protocol Document (PDF Format)
Once a new group has been established the County Council provides information about current and forthcoming projects within the parish, comments on draft questionnaires and other consultation methods adopted, attends launch events to provide an initial response, and finally, provides a full written response to each action for which the County Council has responsibility. We also provide the contact details for named officers to establish a direct link between groups and our departments.
There are a number of ways the County Council can respond to a parish plan. These include,
- Putting things immediately right that are drawn to our attention, such as obstructed footpaths
- Making changes to existing services to meet local needs, for example, by changing library opening times
- Adding new projects to existing programmes where a need has been identified within a community, and
- Making longer term changes to our overall service provision by considering the aggregate results from a number of parish plans
The County Council also hosts the RCC’s annual Rural Action Seminar for parish councillors, parish plan groups and community members who may be considering forming a new parish plan group. The aims of this event are to showcase the work undertaken by rural communities through a parish plan, provide an opportunity for groups at different stages of the process to share experiences, to encourage more communities to consider developing a plan, and to enable service providers to address how parish plans influence the delivery of services.
An Annual Report of parish plans in Leicestershire is published to coincide with the event. This document provides both a summary of the issues raised by parish plans published that year and information on actions delivered in response to earlier plans.
View the 2008 Annual Report of Parish Plans. (PDF Format)
In addition, the County Council has worked in partnership with district councils, Leicestershire Constabulary and the Leicestershire County and Rutland Primary Care Trust to establish 27 Community Forums within the County. These Forums have a role in ensuring that services provided in your area meet the needs of your local community. Through these you have an opportunity to raise issues affecting your community and for these to be reported direct to service providers through official reporting channels. Published parish plans and responses from service providers will be reported to Community Forums. Each Forum will take steps to ensure that action plans are acted upon – either in reference to individual plans or through the consideration of a number of plans within a Forum area. For more information on Community Forums please go to http://www.leicestershireforums.org
If you are thinking of establishing a parish plan group within Leicestershire please contact Diana Cook at the RCC (email@example.com, 0116 268 9706)
Recent parish plans published in Leicestershire
Below are some examples of parish plans which have recently been published.
- Enderby Parish Plan 2008 (PDF Format)
- Thrussington Parish Plan 2007 (PDF Format)
- Thurnby and Bushby Parish Plan 2007 (PDF Format)
Hinckley and Bosworth
- Barlestone Parish Plan 2006 (PDF Format)
North West Leicestershire
- Castle Donington Parish Plan 2008 (PDF Format)
- Long Whatton and Diseworth Parish Plan (PDF Format)
- Ravenstone with Snibston Parish Plan 2008 (PDF Format)
Rural Community Council (Leicestershire and Rutland) www.ruralcc.org.uk
Leicestershire Community Forums www.leicestershireforums.org
Leicestershire Parish Councils www.leicestershireparishcouncils.org
Leicestershire Villages www.leicestershirevillages.com
Leicestershire and Rutland Association of Local Councils www.lralc.org.uk
LSR Online www.lsr-online.org (recent parish plans are uploaded on this site)
Derk van der Wardt (Community Engagement Team Leader, Leicestershire County Council)
0116 305 7581
Page Last Updated: 5 December 2012