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Volunteers appeal for help to create a vision for Whaley Bridge

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

The Vision4Whaley online questionnaire, which will help shape future development of the town, has now launched and will run for four weeks.

You can take part by clicking here. It will take around 30 minutes to complete. 

Paper copies are available from Horwich End Post Office and Furness Vale Community Centre. The group is also offering other ways of taking part, including a telephone service. Visit https://www.vision4whaley.org.uk/ to find out more. 

Over the past two years, volunteers have carried out an initial fact-finding mission, attended a series of 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 winning 'postcard from the future' design 

The group 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 coronavirus pandemic put everything on hold.

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

The next step - printing out and delivering a questionnaire to around 3,000 households in Whaley Bridge - hasn't been possible either due to the coronavirus restrictions.

Carol Cade, Chair of the Steering Group, said: "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 already come to the rescue. With their help, printed copies with be 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.

The group said: "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, you can visit https://www.vision4whaley.org.uk/ or search for @vision4whaley on social media. 


Main image:

A cyclist on the Peak Forest Canal towpath in Whaley Bridge. 


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