On Tuesday 12th September a workshop for volunteers of the BNAP working groups took place at Hertford Theatre. The five working groups focused on the areas of
- Home and Development
- Culture and Community
- Natural Environment and Green Spaces
- Transport and Traffic
The workshop was led by Hertford Town Council Planning consultant, Jacqueline Veater, who will be guiding BNAP through the drafting of the neighbourhood plan.
Now that the area of the Bengeo Ward has been officially designated, the next stage will be to prepare a draft for the plan. Over the course of the workshop, Jacqueline outlined the different stages of the development of the neighbourhood plan and the vital role of the working groups in the process.
As a starting point, the groups were asked to identify a future vision for the Bengeo Ward; volunteers discussed what they most value about living or working in Bengeo ward and areas that could be improved.
Some of the key topics which were discussed include:
- Access to green spaces
- Maintaining the sense of a village community whilst also having a strong central area for people to meet
- Quality of schools
- Support for Local businesses to encourage business enterprise
- Green travel/ initiatives
The working groups broke off into their topic areas to discuss key issues which will then be formed into practical objectives which will help BNAP to formulate an action plan and gather evidence to support the policies. As a guide, volunteers are encouraged to come up with objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic and Time bound (SMART).
The objective outcomes and discussions from the working group meetings will help us to write questions for a detailed survey that will ask Bengeo Ward residents about all the issues that matter to them. The questionnaire will be one of the most effective ways for us to gather views from a large percentage of residents/businesses in the area. The responses that we receive will help us to write policies that will shape the future of the Ward.
The next step in the process will be individual meetings for each of the working groups within the next few weeks. These meetings will allow the working groups to focus on their specific areas and continue identifying key objectives which will be presented at the next steering committee meeting on 5th October .
This initiative is an exciting opportunity to improve our local area and we welcome your feedback and involvement. If you would like to join one of the working groups or volunteer in any other way please get in touch.