In its guidance to local areas, the Local Trust requested that during the period of “Getting People Involved 2″ (GPI2), a statement be prepared, reflecting the ambitions and aspirations of residents of the area.
In recent years, a number of soundings have been taken of local views and ambitions. These have included preparations for the publication of “Which Way for the Clay?”, the St Blaise Town Plan and (still underway) a revision of the Par and Tywardreath Parish Plan. These exercises have involved questionnaires and a number of consultation events of various types. We are unable now to be precise about the number of people who offered their views on these occasions, but it was certainly several hundred – if not a thousand or more. We have made full use of the results of these exercises, but have also undertaken ambitious soundings of our own. Conspicuous among these were the “Meet the Funders” event held in September 2011 (involving many organisations which spend money in the area and some 90 local residents) and the “Big Ideas Bus”, which toured Tywardreath, Par and St Blazey in October 2011 gathering 321 contributions from the local communities. Our emerging findings were tested by our presence at the Big Jubilee Lunch events held in Par and St Blazey in June 2012 attended by 500 and 120 people respectively, and by the participatory ‘Big Giveaway’ event at the end of July 2012, where £6000 was awarded to eight local ‘quick win’ projects in accordance with the votes cast by 50 attendees from eight community organisations and members of the local community.
These events have, from the start, achieved a good degree of local publicity, through the local newspapers, community newsletters such as PL24 and the St Blaise Town Council Newsletter, and posters, etc. The Par Community Association website has for many months had a page devoted to our activities.
All of this activity provides us with reassurance that, though there will inevitably be some whom we have still to work to reach, our ideas and activities have been broadcast to a substantial part of our community.
As a result of this work, we have felt confident in preparing the following statement of vision, which we believe enjoys widespread support from our local community. As with all exercises of this nature, it is unlikely that everyone would endorse it fully. But we are convinced that it represents the views and ambitions of a broad cross section of our community, and that virtually everyone will find in it at least some points with which they would agree.
As will become apparent, we have throughout been guided by the objectives set down by the Big Lottery Fund, that the money allocated for our area should result in a community that:
Is better able to identify local needs and take action in response to them.
Provides residents with increased skills and confidence so that they can continue to identify and respond to local needs in the future.
Results in communities that make a difference to the needs they prioritise.
Leaves our residents feeling that their area is an even better place to live.