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Final chance to have your say on a Whaley Bridge vision

A community volunteer-led group is making a final call for residents to have their say about the future of Whaley Bridge. 

The Vision4Whaley online questionnaire, designed to help shape future development of the town, was launched in June and has had over 700 responses.

The deadline for people to take part has been extended to Monday 17 August. 

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 in particularly are being encouraged to fill it out to ensure it's a broad response. 

Over the past two years, volunteers have carried out an initial fact-finding mission, attended half-a-dozen local events and have spoken to nearly 200 people.

In addition, 400 school children joined in by drawing their Vision for Whaley on a "postcard from the future".

The group say it has also held a mini-survey by distributing coasters printed with questions – in which over 200 people took part.

The Vision4Whaley group was putting the finishing touches to a questionnaire to send out to the community and planning more public consultations when the Covid-19 outbreak put plans on hold.

Based on these conversations and postcard visions, the team was working on a list of questions to find out how local people want their town to develop in the future.

They say the next step - to print out and deliver a questionnaire to around 3,000 households in the parish of Whaley Bridge - has not been possible due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Carol Cade, who is Chair of the Steering Group, explained: "Covid-19 is changing the way we do things, but the work will go on to ensure the whole community can have a say in our future.

"We’re not able to meet in person, so we’re holding our Steering Group meetings by Zoom. And we’ve put the questionnaire online instead of delivering it by hand. But to make sure no one misses out, we’re talking to volunteer groups and local traders that are open for business.

"The Post Office in Horwich End has come to the rescue. With their help, printed copies are available to take away and fill in, and drop off safely. There’s even a prize draw that anyone completing a questionnaire can enter, with a prize of a £50 voucher to spend at a local business.”

The steering group was set up by the Town Council and includes two councillors representing the Town Council: Cllr John Pritchard and Cllr Martin Thomas. Four working groups on the theme of commerce, countryside, housing and transport have researched issues from local green spaces to traffic pollution.

Councillor Rodney Gilmour, Chair of Whaley Bridge Town Council, said: "We are asking everyone to join in with the questionnaire so you can have your say in helping shape the future of our town. And though it won’t be possible to post a questionnaire through every door, we’re hoping that the community will help us out by encouraging everyone they know to get involved.”

The results of the questionnaire will form the basis of a Neighbourhood Plan, which the group say will ensure it is a community-led, shared vision for Whaley Bridge. It will give local residents the opportunity to have a say in shaping the future of housing, traffic, use of green space and leisure and tourism across Whaley Bridge, Furness Vale, Taxal and Fernilee. The Plan will be in place until at least 2032.

To find out more, sign up to the mailing list or get involved, visit https://www.vision4whaley.org.uk/ or find @vision4whaley on social media. 

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