Norton Canes Neighbourhood Plan – share your views!

Have you shared your thoughts on issues affecting our village?

As we write our Neighbourhood Plan for Norton Canes, it’s really important you have your say and tell us what’s important to you! If you’re unclear on what the Neighbourhood Plan is and what it will mean for our village, please take a look at the Neighbourhood Plan page on our website.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s happening at the moment.

Transport and Highways - Can our transport links and road systems be improved?

Transport
Do we need a new kind of bus service?

Would you like an on-demand bus service in Norton Canes?
Around 100 people have completed our public transport survey so far. We’re taking the results to bus companies as evidence that we need better transport solutions. The deadline for completion is 20th March – click on the link here to complete our survey online or pick up a printed copy from the parish council office.

Youth - Are we providing enough facilities and activities for our young people?

Youth engagement
What do kids want?

Do our kids feel safe in the village? Do they find it difficult to get around? Are there meeting places or activities for them? What can we do to make things better?
We’re working with local schools to gather opinions from our younger residents. We’re also launching an exciting art competition for younger children to tap into their ideas! Encourage your 5-11 year olds to enter – you could win a family ticket to Drayton Manor Park and Zoo worth over £80! Click here for entry details.

Heritage - What are the important features in the village we want to preserve?

Heritage
What features deserve our protection?

How can we preserve our heritage?
What features, like the Grove Colliery site, do you want to see protected? We’re working to create a list of important features of Norton Canes that need to stay. Share your suggestions on our Facebook page!

Local Economy - How can we support businesses in Norton Canes to boost our local economy?

Businesses
Are we providing all you need to succeed?

We want local companies to thrive and are asking what support is needed to boost business? Do you run a business in Norton Canes? Let us know what you need via our business questionnaire.

Remember, if you have no voice, you have no choice in the future plans for your village! It’s your village, your voice, your plan.

For more information on how you can get involved:

Find us on Facebook

Email us your questions: nortoncanes.neighbourhoodplan@gmail.com.

Call the Parish Council office on 01543 276812.

Have your say in creating better business opportunities in Norton Canes

A survey gathering opinions on how businesses can best be supported in Norton Canes has been issued to local business owners, to help develop the area’s local economy.

A survey gathering opinions on how businesses can best be supported in Norton Canes has been issued to local business owners, to help develop the area’s local economy.

As part of the creation of a Neighbourhood Development Plan for the village, the parish council wants to ensure it has the facilities and infrastructure in place to help businesses thrive and increase employment opportunities for the community.

A working group has been tasked with gathering opinions and information on business needs and formulating ideas of how businesses in the area can best be served by the plan over the next ten years.

Leading on the project is Norton resident and local businessman Richard Davies of Pmap Consultants Limited.

Richard said: “It’s imperative we build a true picture of the challenges and issues facing Norton businesses, and gather owners’ views on what’s needed to help them succeed before we formulate our Neighbourhood Plan. This is a document that gives local residents and workers a say in how money should be spent in the parish and what changes they want to see come to fruition. It will impact what commercial property is developed, improvement of the highways, parking and public transport system serving the village and the provision of better facilities for employers and their workforce.”

Working alongside the parish council, the group has drafted an online survey to help collect vital data that will help them move forward with the plan and are appealing for business owners to complete it.

Richard added: “As a self-employed businessman myself I completely understand the time constraints we have as company managers. That’s why we’ve tried to make it as quick and simple as possible for business owners to get involved by devising a short, succinct survey that covers areas we feel the plan can positively impact. We want to make sure we’re operating in the majority’s best interests, which is why we’re hoping to capture thoughts from as many businesses as possible.”

Responses will also be used to help build a local business list to promote the services available in the village via the Parish Council’s website and newsletter.

Surveys can be completed online via the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NortonCanesBusinessSurvey

For more information about the Norton Canes Neighbourhood Plan, email: nortoncanes.neighbourhoodplan@gmail.com

Richard Davies can also be contacted directly about the business survey and local economy working group by emailing pmapconsultants@gmail.com.

‘On-demand’ bus service being considered for Norton Canes

A new on-demand bus service could be sought in Norton Canes village, if it is established there is enough interest within the local community.

Following successful pilot schemes in other towns across the UK, Norton Canes Neighbourhood Plan is asking whether a ring and ride or app-led service could offer a feasible transport solution for villagers and have instigated talks with bus companies

The service could operate similarly to Uber taxis, using a smartphone app or call-to-book system.  Journeys would be matched with others heading to similar locations, and routes customised to suit passengers to get them to their destination in the shortest and fastest time, rather than being determined by a pre-set schedule.

A survey has been initiated as part of the Neighbourhood Plan consultation process to find out if this would be a welcome initiative, after the option was raised by a working group looking into transport.

The idea came from an ‘ArrivaClick’ pilot scheme that ran throughout last year in Sittingbourne, Kent.

“The ArrivaClick service has been hailed a massive success after a trial period of a year in Sittingbourne,” said Parish Councillor John Preece. “As part of our Neighbourhood Plan, we want to address any shortcomings in the available public transport services in and around the village, and this sounds like a fantastic, modern-day solution for communities like ours.

“We’ve created a survey for local residents to see what their thoughts are on the current bus service in the village and find out if there is a demand for an alternative solution.

“We’ll use our research findings to lead discussions with the County Council and bus companies and find a suitable way forward that meets the needs of Norton Canes residents and workers.”

The ArrivaClick pilot scheme in Sittingbourne showed that:

  • The equivalent of 12 per cent of Sittingbourne’s population downloaded the app.
  • Six in 10 ArrivaClick customers (61 per cent) used the service a few times a week or more, with just under half (43 per cent) adopting the service for their daily commute.
  • One third (34 per cent) of customers used the service for leisure trips, while just over three in 10 (31 per cent) used ArrivaClick to visit friends and relatives.
  • More than half (52 per cent) of customers switched from private motor transport, including taxis (22 per cent) driving their own car (18 per cent) or being a passenger in a car (12 per cent).
  • Almost nine in 10 (8.9/10) customers would recommend using the service to a friend.

The Norton Canes public transport survey can be accessed via the parish council website at www.nortoncanesparishcouncil.co.uk and on the Norton Canes Neighbourhood Plan Facebook page.

Alternatively, printed copies can be obtained from the Norton Canes community library.

For more information on the Norton Canes Neighbourhood Plan, contact Glenis Turner on 01543 276812.