7th December 2015

Present:  Cllr Paul Oatway (acting as Chairman), Cllr Peter Noel, Cllr David Clifford, Tim Warin, Phil Davidson, Eden Thomson, Carole Girling, Teresa Noel, Bernard Rogers, Bob Hughes, Alan Brownjohn, Simon Leech, Sarah Edwards, Andy Bateman, Adrian Ragbourne.

Mr Oatway explained that he and his colleagues had attended the meeting to facilitate the work of the Steering Group in its early stages, and suggested that the Group should appoint officers from members who are not also parish councillors.

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.  There followed a general discussion about the work of the Group, which included:

  • the extent to which the neighbourhood plan should take account of the district plan.  Representations can be made to the district council if it is felt the district plan should be amended.
  • the fact that Bridport is also setting up a neighbourhood plan, and that Axminster had started its work by sending out a questionnaire.
  • the need to analyse the population of the area, including seasonal fluctuations
  • the need to assess the built environment and the open spaces in the area
  • the need to identify areas which could be improved
  • the question of whether planning can be influenced by the neighbourhood plan.

At this point the meeting returned to the question of appointing officers for the Group.  Carole Girling was appointed Chair, and Sarah Edwards Secretary.  Mr Oatway and Mr Clifford left the meeting, Mr Noel remaining.

There followed a discussion about ways of getting input from a wider age range of people.  It was felt that younger people were unlikely to come to meetings but would contribute to the discussion in other ways. The Group then split into smaller groups to identify specific areas which will need to be considered.

The areas identified, all interrelated, were:

  • Demographics
  • Housing (mixture – flats/houses/rent or buy)
  • Employment (local/within 25 mile radius; available premises -office/studio/workshop)
  • Transport
  • Facilities (schools/nurseries etc)
  • Environment – natural and infrastructure
  • Tourism

The next meeting will be on 18th January 2016 at 7.30pm, unless otherwise advised.

Amended 19.01.2016

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