With major developments planned right on our doorstep, it is important that all the residents of Girton consider how our village will be affected, and make our own plans for our future. A Village Plan is a good way of achieving this.
The Government introduced the idea to enable rural communities to "map and safeguard their most valued features and influence future development plans" (DEFRA White Paper at www.defra.gov.uk/rural/ruralwp/whitepaper/ten_ways.htm). The Plan should be drawn up by all organisations and individuals of the village working together. The Parish Council wants to facilitate this but not to control it. There is more information about Plans at the Cambridgeshire ACRE website.
In January 2008 the Parish Council called an open meeting to begin the Village Plan process here in Girton. The meeting was very well attended with over 50 people there, and others sending apologies and expressions of interest. From this meeting a group of volunteers was recruited to steer the formation of Girton's Village Plan.
Over the next three years the steering group worked hard, together with help from many groups and individuals from the village, to formulate the plan. The backbone of this was a village-wide survey in 2009 to discover the village's views and priorities. The questions and raw results of this can be seen at www.grantavista.org.uk/girton/.
The data from this survey then underwent analysis to highlight those actions that would meet the village's needs, and attempt to identify groups who could lead the implementation and sources of funding for these actions. The village plan is the output of this, and can be read here. A copy of the village plan was delivered to as many Girton houses as possible in 2011.
Although it is tempting to see this as the end of the process, it should be just the beginning. To realise the benefits of the plan the village now needs to take it forward and implement the actions. If you have ideas or would like to get involved, please get in touch with the parish council in the first instance.
The village plan would not have been possible without the generous help of: