What is a parish plan?
A parish plan is an in-depth survey of a community undertaken by that community itself for its own benefit, to find out how it wants to see itself develop over a five to ten-year timescale. It includes an action plan to make sure that this actually happens. It provides an opportunity for people to take stock of their community and to decide which aspects of their community they like and wish to preserve and perhaps enhance and which aspects they do not like and want to change. There are three core principles that define parish planning and distinguish it from other methods of community engagement. These are:
Plans are owned, managed and led by your community. This is different from other consultations where people in your community are asked for their views by local authorities and other service providers, largely on pre determined projects or programmes. Parish planning provides your community with the opportunity to set its own agenda and bring about positive change without the need to wait for others to get things done.
Everyone in your community should have an opportunity to get involved and have their say. This will enable you to produce a high quality and robust plan that has the support of everyone locally and delivers actions that are based on a sound understanding of local needs and aspirations.
Actions are based on evidence and address a range of different issues important to your community. Parish planning can cover social, economic, environmental and cultural issues. You can produce a plan which covers anything you want, within reason!
(This extract was taken from the Cheshire Community Action website)