This is a member post by Joy Anderson
I represented Churches Together in Wilmslow on the Stakeholder Group convened to discuss the draft Wilmslow Vision document. In attending the meetings of this Group, my aim was to represent the view of Churches Together in Wilmslow embodied in this statement: that it is vital to maintain a strong sense of community in our town, and to take account of the quality of life of all residents.
During the meetings of the Stakeholder Group, we were encouraged to develop a vision for the town of Wilmslow , and we were all actively involved in the process of formulating the Vision to 2030 Statement on page 10 of the Draft Document, headed "Wilmslow, fostering a sense of community" . Churches Together in Wilmslow welcomes the inclusive, holistic emphasis in the Vision to 2030. We experience Wilmslow as a town committed to the sense of community, a good place for people of all ages, beliefs and interests, to live and work in. We believe that through creative use of existing resources, and careful planning of future developments, we can further the development of Wilmslow as a flourishing and vibrant 21st century town, enhanced by green spaces within and around it, and providing services and opportunities for the wellbeing of all its residents.
However, the most successful development grows organically out of the experience and aspirations of residents within a community. Many of the specific proposals in the Vision document came from outside, and were scantily discussed or declared to be outside Stakeholders' remit. Three areas give particular cause for concern.
1. The emphasis in the aims and objectives on protecting green spaces and sustaining key environmental aspects of the town is not respected in the proposed building plans.
2. There is inadequate provision in the proposals for the provision of homes on brownfield sites, within the town, suitable for the elderly. There is also unclear provision of low cost homes for rent or sale. Furthermore, the figure of 1500 homes was not open to discussion, nor was the question of the facilities and services that would be needed for any of the proposed housing developments.
3. At no point, in the discussions I took part in, was there any opportunity to discuss the town-centre developments that are widely talked about in the local press, namely a proposed lifestyle centre, the future of the leisure centre, the moving of the library, a potential new theatre and upgrading the High School. In a final exercise we all took part in, we were invited to place stickers showing our degree of support for various undiscussed proposals including expansion of the High School: notably, many placed on this proposal red stickers, which we had understood to indicate lack of support.
Churches Together in Wilmslow believes it is essential that in any specific plans that may now be drawn up, all residents of our town are fully consulted, so that our views on the future of our town are allowed to shape and inform its development.
This is a member post Joy Anderson, Chair of Churches Together in Wilmslow