The History of Arnside Parish Plan Trust
In 2002, the government at the time expected all parishes in England to produce a parish plan by the autumn of 2003. To enable Arnside to produce a parish plan, the Arnside Parish Plan Steering Group which consisted of volunteers from the village was set up in 2002 by Arnside Parish Council. The steering group, under Councillor Terry Keefe’s leadership, had been set up by APC to undertake the survey of Arnside residents and to produce a report of the findings. This report was to become the Arnside Parish Plan.
Councillor Keefe believed that the steering group should be independent of APC and APC agreed with this view. However, APC did not set up APPT as such. Brian Walker was approached by Councillor Keefe and asked in September 2003 to undertake the creation of APPT. The intention was that a group such as APPT would implement the 74 actions identified in the plan. Brian, because of his involvement with Oxfam, was instrumental in the way the group was then set up. He believed it should be set up as a company limited by guarantee so the group could apply for grants and funding that wasn’t available to parish councils. It took about nine months to set up APPT and to gain charitable status so APPT was not a formal body until 2004. There were no formal links with APC at this time and that remains so. APPT is a completely independent organisation.
The 2003 parish plan was successfully compiled and published in the summer of 2003 by the steering group. Councillor Keefe co-ordinated the work of 5 groups of volunteers with the aim of implementing the 74 actions identified in the plan. His intention was that this work would pass from the steering group, which he was leading, to APPT. To date 24 of these actions have been completed Most of the completed actions were done by APPT, but others, by APC, the most notable being the refurbishment of the cemetery chapel on Silverdale Road, by APC. The chapel is now the Arnside Parish Council parish office and is used by a number of other organisations such as the Landscape Trust and the Barnes Charitable Trust. The use of this building now generates income for APC.
The 5 working groups have now been disbanded. The trust is currently made up of 6 trustees/directors and a company secretary.
The 2003 Parish Plan can be seen on this web site at http://arnsideparishplantrust.org/Site/Documents/ArnsideParishPlan.pdf The plan has to be reviewed every 5 years. The plan was reviewed in 2008 and the results are available on this web site http://arnsideparishplantrust.org/Site/parish-plan-review-2008/
The plan is due for review again this year (2013). The current government has decided that parish plans should take the form of either a Community Led Plan or a Neighbourhood Plan. There is more information on the suggested content of the plans elsewhere on this web site. APPT has been working closely with South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) and others to propose a modified approach to the Local Development Plan which is more appropriate to the special circumstances within the AONB. APPT will contribute to the work of SLDC, Lancaster City Council, Arnside Parish Council and other local stakeholders to produce a new Local Plan for the AONB area. We have produced a draft document entitled Arnside Looking Forward that can be viewed at http://arnsideparishplantrust.org/Site/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Arnside-Looking-Forwardv51.pdf . This is a work in progress and will go towards the final content of the Local Plan for the AONB Area.
APPT has been involved in other projects in Arnside, most notably the playground refurbishment project which was a new project identified in the 2008 review of the original parish plan. The playground refurbishment project was a major success. APPT worked closely with Arnside Parish Council and proved its worth by being able to raise funds for the project from sources that weren’t available to the parish council.
APPT no longer generates any income. The trust relies on obtaining grants to fund any on-going work. The trust does have annual expenses such as insurance premiums and this is currently funded by a very limited amount of cash in the bank. This lack of funds to pay for insurance premiums etc. is probably the biggest challenge facing APPT over the next two or three years.