The Scrutiny Commission for Rural Communities has agreed in principle a draft Rural Vision and Parish Charter, subject to wider consultation with local Parish Councils.
A Rural Working Group was set up in 2006, made up of representatives from Peterborough's Parish Councils and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils. Together, with the support of the Greater Peterborough Partnership, they developed the Rural Vision and Strategy which was then aligned to the council's strategic priorities and measures within the Local Area Agreement 2007/2008.
In response to a request from the Scrutiny Committee for Rural Communities in November 2014, the Rural Vision has been refreshed by the current Parish Liaison Working Group in order to bring the document in line with current structures, activities and priorities.
The rural areas of Peterborough are fully parished and in recognition of this, the Scrutiny Commission also agreed to the development of a complementary Parish Charter to reflect the valuable role Parish Councils play in rural communities. As a document in its own right, this agreement is also a demonstration of the council’s strong commitment to improve the joint working relationship with all rural and urban Parish Councils so that services are delivered more effectively to meet the needs of the local community.
In support of this partnership agreement, the Scrutiny Commission for Rural Communities have also co-opted four members of the Parish Liaison Forum onto the Commission to enable an aligned, positive and meaningful working relationship between the two parties when addressing matters of common interest.
Additionally, in response to the Scrutiny Commission for Rural Communities request, a Cabinet member has been nominated to champion rural issues.
Key issues of note
Each Parish Council is unique for their area and operates autonomously. As part of the Parish Support Programme each area is encouraged by the council to have an action plan to highlight needs and priorities. Certain themes however inevitably emerge across the rural communities that are common for all and it is these common themes that are the focus of the Rural Vision.
All Parish Councils in Peterborough are invited to meet on a quarterly basis at the Parish Liaison Forum, hosted by Peterborough City Council, to discuss items of mutual interest. Agenda items are both informative and educational and provide an opportunity for Parish representatives to share views and concerns as well as work collaboratively on thematic issues. The Parish Liaison Forum also hold an annual conference.
The Rural Vision 2015 will be developed with the full participation of the rural parishes of Peterborough.
The Parish Charter 2015 will be developed with the full participation of the rural and urban Parish Councils of Peterborough
Both documents stand-alone but combined they demonstrate how the role of parish councils can enable the development and delivery of the shared vision.
The Rural Parish Council’s local strategies, Neighbourhood Plans and/or Forward Plans must be taken into consideration in the development of an overarching Rural Vision to ensure effective and joined up delivery of the agreed priorities.
Respond to the consultation
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