Newsletter June 2016
“To promote or improve the social, economic and environmental
well-being of the un-parished area of Horsham Town”
Many thanks to all of you who came to visit us at Imagine Horsham in April. Thanks too to Gill Buchanan and her staff for the use of the shop, and to all those who helped to put on the exhibition. We were over-whelmed by your responses. Particular thanks go to all those of you who wrote very detailed responses about what you would like to see for the future of the town. We have been processing all the comments and are now working on the next stage of producing a plan. All the analysis of the comments has given us key themes and topics which we are using to produce a progress report. This will show the ideas and opportunities that have been identified. In some cases, we already have possible policies and projects. We will let everyone know when this is issued so that you can all comment further and let us know if we are on the right track.
Alongside the progress report, we will also be producing a survey to ensure that everyone has had a chance to have their say about what should be in the Neighbourhood Plan.
Meanwhile, in April we put out a Call for Sites for development and are currently working with AECOM on assessment of the sites which have been submitted or which we have identified. We have also made more progress with identifying the green spaces that we wish to see protected. We are also continuing to develop projects and policies around the theme of “Marketplace of Ideas” which was one of the key ideas we presented at Imagine Horsham. There will be more news shortly about our next business events.
As a community group, we have very limited funding. It is costly for us to send out letters and leaflets, especially with the price of postage, so we have to use every other means possible to keep in touch with everyone. We are on Twitter @blueprintnf and this links to our Facebook page. Please follow us on either of those as we post regularly with your comments as well latest news from our area and the world of neighbourhood planning. In addition, we have updates in the Neighbourhood Council newsletters and we try to produce press releases as often as possible so that we reach a wider audience. It will help us greatly if you could talk about us with your friends and neighbours, especially those who are not on social media or the internet so that they know what we are doing.
Annual General Meeting
We hereby give notice that our Annual General Meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Monday 27th June 2016 at the Rehoboth Church, New Street. The papers, including the Resolutions, are on our website. All are welcome to attend. Anyone wishing to stand for the Steering Group should complete an application form and send it to us by Wednesday 22nd June. We would welcome some fresh energy and new faces!
A major request throughout all our consultation was for the Shelley Fountain (or Rising Universe) to be removed. We had a few requests for it to be repaired and brought back into use, but the majority wished to see it go. We therefore supported Horsham District Council’s decision to remove it. We had some great ideas for a replacement, including sculpture by local artists Hannah Stewart or Paul Day, a statue of Shelley, a Dalek in tribute to Ray Cusick who lived in Horsham, and an ordinary fountain. We have passed all of the ideas on to HDC. In the meanwhile, we understand that there will be temporary planting in the fountain basin.
Sculpture by Hannah Stewart in Horsham Park Maze
New Street Pocket Garden
Work is progressing well on this community project. It has been awarded funding from both the DCLG and Tesco’s Bags of Help. If you wish to be involved, there is a meeting at 10am on Saturday June 4th at the Rehoboth Church.
It’s fascinating seeing what other neighbourhoods do as part of their work. In Highgate they have been monitoring air quality. They explain how this will affect policies in the plan, as well as possible community actions and initiatives that they would support.
In St Albans, they have produced a design code. This might be something that we could do here, possibly drawing on the expertise of Horsham Society.
Many towns and cities are looking at improving their cycling facilities as more and more people wish to cycle or to have safe cycling lanes for their children to use. This has been a strong theme in our consultation and we will be looking at what we can do within our policies. Meanwhile, there is a useful report from Leicester about how they are improving cycling. Locally, West Sussex County Council are consulting on their Strategy to 2026. Submissions have to reach them by 22nd June.
Apart from our AGM, we will be at Sparks in the Park on 10th July, so you can catch us there if you want to chat about our plan. Meanwhile, watch out for details of our business events in the next few months.