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Rural Cornwall, China Clay Community Network

The China Clay Community Network was approached in September 2009 and asked whether it would be interested in running one of the Participatory Budgeting pilot small grants schemes. This was discussed with the Cornwall Councillors and it was agreed that we would focus this event on the rural villages of Whitemoor, Nanpean and Foxhole. The reasons for choosing these villages was that they were all in one parish and they were all relatively close together (within a three mile radius of the central village of Nanpean). They were also isolated and have been historically difficult to engage with.

Overview:

The China Clay Community Network was approached in September 2009 and asked whether it would be interested in running one of the Participatory Budgeting pilot small grants schemes.  This was discussed with the Cornwall Councillors and it was agreed that we would focus this event on the rural villages of Whitemoor, Nanpean and Foxhole.  The reasons for choosing these villages was that they were all in one parish and they were all relatively close together (within a three mile radius of the central village of Nanpean). They were also isolated and have been historically difficult to engage with.

The aims were:

  • To engage a wide section of the local community
  • To encourage members of the community to prioritise projects within their area
  • To develop greater sense of community involvement in activities within their own communities


The project achieved the best turn out for a You Choose project in Cornwall with over 200 people turning up to vote 7 projects have been funded, all of which support one of the 8 priorities that have been identified within the Community Network Programme and will lead towards greater health and well being for people through improving Greenspace, growing vegetables and improving access to recreation.

Organisation:

China Clay Community Network

Aims:

  1. To engage a wide section of the local community
  2. To encourage members of the community to prioritise projects within their area
  3. To develop greater sense of community involvement in activities within their own communities

 

Where:

This case study concentrated on 3 rural villages of Whitemoor, Nanpean and Foxhole.  The reasons for choosing these villages was that they were all in one parish and they were all relatively close together (within a three mile radius of the central village of Nanpean). They were also isolated and have been historically difficult to engage with. 

How:

We established a board to over see the roll out of the project

We were allocated a budget of £6000 to deliver a small grants scheme

We agreed that as the project spanned 3 rural villages that the event itself would be held in the central village but that all villages would receive at least one project in order to reflect fairness and the fact that the other villages had to travel

The projects presented their ideas at a ‘Fun Day’ celebration event held on Saturday 27th February 2010

Residents came and voted using a ballot box and voting slip

These villages have historically been very difficult to engage with so we decided to create an exciting ‘day out’ experience for all the family to attend.  We pulled on the Council services and provided the fire engine, we had bike skills for the older children, the police supported the day and brought along their vehicle, we used local people to provided other services e.g. face painting and a local WI group provided a cake stall.

We spoke to the local schools in the run up to the day and encouraged the children to come along and to bring their parents and grandparents. We provided posters in the local shops prior to the day.
We mostly relied heavily on the support of local ‘movers and shakers’ to get the message out
We also put the emphasis on the groups themselves to ensure people came and voted for them.

Who:

Our local Cornwall Councillors were on the project board from theout set.  They helped design the project and helped to roll it out.

The local Parish Council were on the project board and the lead person for the Parish plan.  This was a key support as they already had many links into the local communities via the parish plan process.
The Localism team supported the groups with the development of the projects and supporting them through to the application stage.

Everyone involved spent a lot of time getting the information out and working at village level to ensure people were aware of the concept and of the fun day

The other key individual was my support officer who spent lots of her time chasing everyone involved in the board, the projects, the other departments, setting up the day, sorting out the posters, proformas etc

What:

The project achieved the best turn out for a You Choose project in Cornwall with over 200 people turning up to vote 7 projects have been funded, all of which support one of the 8 priorities that have been identified within the Community Network Programme and will lead towards greater health and well being for people through improving Greenspace, growing vegetables and improving access to recreation.

All of the projects support a community response to locally identified priorities – so they should lead to strengthened communities

The large response to this style of participation demonstrates, both to the Council departments but also to partners, the effectiveness of the ability to engage with local villages even when the perception is that from previous attempts, people don’t want to get involved.

The benefits of the individual projects and the longevity of any of the above benefits will need to be demonstrated over time.

Contact:

Sarah Sims
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