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Every local authority is now required to produce a 'community strategy' which shows how the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the area will be improved over time. The community plan is not simply the plan of the local authority, whether District or County Council, but reflects the wishes and needs of the area as a whole. Many organisations and individuals need to be involved in developing the plan so that it tackles those issues which are of most concern to local people.
In Mid Devon, the community plan (490KB PDF), which covers the whole District area, was published in Autumn 2001.
How Does it Work?
The Mid Devon Community Planning Alliance is the Local Strategic Partnership for the District. It meets quarterly and comprises representatives from all sectors of the community. A first Community Plan was published in Autumn 2001 and will be reviewed regularly. A work programme for the LSP has been developed to reflect the priorities of the community strategy and is regularly updated.
The LSP is encouraging the formation of local community planning groups, within both market towns and villages in the District. Each of these is developing differently to tackle issues of local importance. In some cases these groups are also included in programmes such as Market and Coastal Towns and Vital Villages and are developing formal community action plans
Themes within the Community Plan
The purpose of the Mid Devon Community Plan is to make measurable improvements to the economic, environmental and social conditions in Mid Devon and to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Priorities and targets have been set under 8 themes:
Achieving a safer community
Managed by the Mid Devon Community Safety Partnership, the aim is to reduce crime and disorder in the area, not only by policing, but also by joint work to prevent crime. This has included work with licensees to reduce alcohol related disorder, support for CCTV, work to reduce drug misuse and improved security for homes and businesses.
The community safety partnership includes the police, local authorities, PCT, Youth Offender Team, Probation Service, Devon Fire and Rescue and representatives from schools and Social Services.
Please see the 3 Year Strategy or contact the community safety officer on 01884 232720
Improving travel choices and making roads safer
Much of the work under this theme is being carried out by the Mid Devon Transport Group which is a partnership whose principal aim is to develop community transport solutions and to encourage alternatives to car use.
For more information contact 01884 255553
In addition, the ongoing work of Devon County Council's Environment Directorate and the police are contributing to meeting safety targets.
Investing in children and young people
A multi-agency group of professional working with and for children and young people has been established to develop joint service planning. The plan specifies targets to improve educational standards, to improve access to services for young people and to support them to develop healthy lifestyles.
Achieving a healthy and caring community
The work of this theme is being followed up through the Health Improvement Programme, led by the Mid Devon Primary Care Trust. There are targets to reduce heart disease, strokes and cancer.
It is also important to keep people independent for as long as possible, so a great deal of work is going into developing services to enable older and disabled people to remain in their own homes. Services to support carers are also being developed
Working for increased prosperity
This theme is about developing economic activity within the area so that businesses can prosper and new businesses are encouraged to move here. The regeneration of town centres, and, in some cases, the employment of town centre managers helps to achieve the aims of the community plan.
Improving cultural activities and lifelong learning
The aims here are to promote participation in learning throughout life, especially to improve adult literacy and to improve the skills of people in work. It also covers the work of libraries and arts development in the widest sense.
Protecting and enhancing the environment
Mid Devon is rich in natural beauty, both natural and built. We have the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and 12 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The area is also challenged by climate change, with increasing risks of flooding. In addition, more waste is being produced, with problems of safe disposal.
Targets in the community plan include decreasing the amount of waste produced and increasing the rate of recycling. We are also working to reduce the risks to homes and businesses of flooding, to reduce overall energy use and to protect the landscape and enhance biodiversity.
Better information and consultation
One of the issues which we found from consultation was that it is very difficult for people to get the information they needed about services, at the point when they needed it. There was also found to be too much, uncoordinated consultation by public bodies. The Information and consultation subgroup is working to improve this situation.
Market & Coastal Town information
Community planning processes are being linked together at very local level too. One of the ways of doing this is through the Market and Coastal Town Initiative work in Cullompton and Crediton. Both towns together with their surrounding rural areas are working to develop what will, in effect, be their own community plans.
These local plans will result in action plans which the District wide Community Planning Alliance will take into account when assessing its activity and plans. The MCTI plans will enable town partnerships to access external funding to help them to carry out their action plans to improve their areas.