Henley Town Council and Harpsden Parish Council are updating their Neighbourhood Plan. As part of the plan process, Community First Oxfordshire (CFO) has been asked to talk to residents about current and future issues facing the community. Due to the Covid-19 situation, it is not possible to hold the usual face to face activities or public meetings. CFO is looking for people to take part in online Focus groups, which will be held across the summer.
Neighbourhood planning gives communities direct power to develop a shared vision for their neighbourhood and shape the development and growth of the local area. Tom McCulloch from CFO says a Neighbourhood Plan is bottom-up, led by the community. It is the most useful community tool in the box to shape not only future development but also to identify other community issues that need to be addressed. These Focus Groups are an excellent opportunity for people to make their voices heard.
The Henley and Harpsden Neigbourhood Plan was adopted in 2016. The government recommends that Neighbourhood Plans are refreshed every five years in order to respond to changing circumstances.
The Mayor of Henley, Councillor Ken Arlett, says “These are challenging times in many ways. The new Neighbourhood Plan will help shape how we will collectively respond as a community. We would encourage people to sign-up to these Focus Groups, tell us what you think, and help shape the new Plan.”
The Focus Groups will bring together a cross-section of people to discuss what is likely to be a range of issues. These might include housing, global heating, local services and infrastructure and the needs of particular groups, such as children and young people, the isolated and vulnerable, and older people. There will be other opportunities to get involved as the Neighbourhood Plan process continues, ensuring that ideas and feedback are also received from those who don’t have access to digital platforms.
Community First Oxfordshire will hold the Focus Groups online using Zoom.
They will take a maximum of one and half hours. If you would like to take part, please click follow this link and complete a short form: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HenleyNP. This will take no more than a couple of minutes. Alternatively, contact Tom on 01865 883488/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone has a stake in the community. If you want to make your voice heard in the conversation about the future of Henley and Harspden then these Focus Groups offer an excellent opportunity to do so.