Strategic vision 2023-2027
Draft for consideration by Council 4th July 2023
This document sets out the broad vision and aspirations of Pickmere Parish Council
It lists the aims and objectives of the parish council and provides the policy framework within which the elected members take decisions and the clerk conduct their day-to-day work.
Working Together for Pickmere is a vision to make Pickmere Parish the best it can be for all the residents
Delivering our strategic vision
There are 7 general areas where the residents have indicated their concenrs. These would each supported by a separate action plan which sets out short, medium and long term projects to help achieve the strategic vision:
● Access, travel and transport
● Communication and community engagement
● Improving the environment
● Leisure, sport and well-being
● Parish council organisation, facilities and services
● Supporting and strengthening our community
● Working with neighbouring parishes and authorities for the benefit of residents
The Parish Council
Pickmere Parish Council is an elected body of 8 local people with a remit to represent residents of Pickmere.
It strives to provide a strong, local voice on decisions, services and issues which impact the everyday lives of people in our community.
The parish council has a range of powers including looking after The Village Hall, The Pavillion, The IROS, the children’s play area and the open space at the end of Clover Drive, being consulted on planning applications (but not deciding), making financial grants, providing and representing the views, on behalf of local residents, for improvements to local facilities.
Access, travel and transport
The council wishes to encourage well-connected communities and improve access to the services and facilities residents require.
The council should:
● Lobby for improvements to highways, road safety and congestion caused by inconsiderate parking within the parish particularly on sunny days
● Work to reduce speeding in the village especially at the entry points where the issues are most acute such as Pickmere and Frog Lane and consider strategies like “Twenty is Plenty” and average speed cameras.
● Work to improve the safety, condition and connectivity of pedestrian and cycle routes into and through the parish such as the road from millennium woods path to Farm Club.
● Lobby to ensure that new developments do not reduce our green space and incorporate adequate provision of parking, walking and cycling routes
● Work to sustain protect and improve community buildings and leisure areas and ensure appropriate parking. Consider if Village assets should be placed in Trust for future generations
● Protect our Bus Routes especially for the younger and older members of our community.[the council will have no powers to protect bus routes]
● Be proactive in encouraging residents to report issues, such as potholes, to the appropriate agency.
Communication and community engagement
The council needs to fulfil its role as the voice of its residents, and should encourage residents to participate more in the decision making process.
The council is committed to raising its profile and becoming the focus for making things happen.
The parish council should:
● Work to improve communications with residents, using both traditional and electronic methods to reach out to the broadest cross section of the Pickmere community which covers a large geographical area. This should include a review of the current channels used such as Facebook, notice boards and Pickmere Press.
● Work to raise its profile within the local community and empower residents to support village life by organising social events and fund-raising events to fund them.
● Increase awareness of the council’s responsibilities
● Consult with residents to determine what facilities they would like and then priorities the requirements and take action using the surplus cash in its bank accounts
● Raise awareness of the council’s existing facilities, make them easier to book, especially for community projects and make them self-funding.
● Provide opportunities for residents to meet with parish councillors in a positive environment and discuss issues
● Through the development of the Neighbourhood Plan, consult with the community on policies to guide future development.
● Encourage local business, who along with their employees and customers often benefit from being in a spectacular rural location, to support village events and projects.
Protecting and improving the environment
The council recognises that further housing development in the village has the potential to have a detrimental impact on the environment. The PPC should be cognisant that the parish’s countryside setting contributes to people’s quality of life, and a balance is required to meet the social, economic and environmental needs of residents.
The council should:
● Develop strategies to improve and protect the parish’s common areas and Village assets
● Work to improve and protect the parish’s rural character which is so important to the residents
● Develop a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the parish using the residents, to identify and protect valued features of the natural environment
● Work in an environmentally friendly way
● Continue to review and comment on local planning applications, as a statutory consultee
● Invest in the development of the natural environment through initiatives such as the Eden Project
● Initiate a project to reattain a best kept village award
● Maintain items in the village such as signs and benches.
● Develop a relationship with Manchester Airport to discuss issues which impact on Pickmere Residents.
Leisure, sport and health
PCC needs to recognises that engaging in sport and leisure is good for health and well-being. It has an important role to play in providing community spaces and facilities for residents, and needs to understand that this is one of the most important services that the parish currently provides. However, this needs to be balanced with protecting the wildlife we share the village with
The council should
● Seek to ensure that PPC has high quality facilities to improve residents QoL, fitness and mental heath.
● Focus on timely delivery of projects such as the upgrade to the Clover Drive play area [the rest of this paragraph was not strategy it is historic criticism]
● Encourage organisations that support residents’ health and wellbeing for example looking at projects like installing outdoor gym equipment at the IROS for villagers to use.
● Support and improve facilities at the village hall and Pavilion such as purchasing land next to the Village Hall
● Work with other agencies to limit the damage caused by Anti-social behaviour of visitors coming to the lake and using other village facilities.
Parish council facilities and services
The council should:
● Provide well-managed, value for money services to the parish
● Use local people, business and suppliers wherever possible
● Develop long-term business and financial plans to support the implementation of its strategic plan
● Consult residents on what facilities they would like then consider how these can be provided and feedback to the residents
● Endeavour to ensure that all its policies and actions are transparent
● Work to generate maximum income from Village assets to keep the burden of costs on residents to a minimum
● Ensure that both staff (clerk) and councillors are equipped with appropriate knowledge, equipment and skills
● Support community initiatives such as the warm space, establishing a youth club and other village events (Christmas Drive market, Fun day, Friday Socials, Cakes by the lake and other initiatives)
Supporting and strengthening our community
The PPC needs the parish to be an active, vibrant and cohesive community. There are challenges to make residents feel they are a part of the wider community.
The PPC has a role in helping deliver a thriving, integrated community.
The council should:
● Work to identify and implement solutions that address local issues (such as ASB, HS2 etc)
● Make funding for community organisations available through a Community Grant Scheme
● Work to facilitate and improve community participation and engagement
● Work to maintain a culture and ethos for the PPC with improving residents lives at its heart.
Working with neighbouring parishes and authorities
for the benefit of residents
The PPC council needs to explore how working with neighbouring parishes and local authorities can help protect the delivery of services valued by the local community
The council will:
● Endeavour to develop stronger links with neighbouring councils to identify common issues and ways of working together effectively to deliver Solutions [you may find your neighbours very insular and you cannot force them to work with you]
● Look to achieve cost savings and facility improvements through collaboration with residents and local business.
● Consider opportunities for joint funding of projects where this is in residents’ interests
● Consider providing services to neighbouring parishes as a means to generate additional revenue
We need to develop a welcoming and open strategy for PPC meetings so people will come and talk to us! We need to continue to film the meetings and make them available to increase transparency and engagement.
All full parish council meetings are open to the public. We will develop a more effective public question time at the start of each meeting.