This is the agreed vision statement for our Neighbourhood Plan area of Stapleford and Great Shelford.

A community:

  • where people of all ages and all backgrounds feel welcome to live, work and study
  • where access to the countryside is combined with sustainable village amenities and infrastructure
  • which makes a positive contribution to the economic and cultural development of the local area and the wider region.
[A discussion about the vision statement for the Neighbourhood Plan took place by email, leading eventually to the agreed statement above; the email discussion is copied below.]
From: Jim Rickard
Sent: ‎Wednesday‎, ‎9‎ ‎November‎ ‎2016 ‎08‎:‎10
To: [Steering Group members]
I’ve had a go at writing a one-sentence vision statement.  It’s intended to be a vision for the neighbourhood covered by the plan, rather than for the plan itself as some NPs appear to have done, and is as follows:
“An attractive place for people of all ages and all backgrounds to live, work and study,
combining access to the countryside with sustainable village amenities and infrastructure, and
making a positive contribution to the economic and cultural development of the local area and the wider region”.
Comments welcome, with a view to producing something that can be ratified at our meeting on 5 December.
all best
Jim Rickard
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5 comments on “
  1. miranda says:

    From: Peter Fane
    Sent: 09 November 2016 19:14
    To: [Steering Group members]
    Subject: Re: Vision statement

    Looks good, I wonder if we need to make this a bit snappier? Or just split it up into bite-sized chunks?…


  2. miranda says:

    On 10 November 2016 at 13:21, Sophi Berridge wrote:

    Hi Jim
    Thanks for taking the time to do this.
    I like the sentiment esp about “sustainable village amenities and infrastructure” but I found the start a bit too ‘promotional’ (?) Like it was a sales pitch… sorry to sound critical, I think it’s the word ‘attractive’ I have a problem with!
    I have had a go myself but it’s not the best…

    We would like to live in a beautiful, independent village/s where people of all ages and backgrounds are a welcome part of the community. We value the countryside around us and our access to it is a very important part of our well-being. We want to live in a place that becomes increasingly sustainable; ecologically, economically, culturally and spiritually and to this end our village infrastructure and amenities need to engender a sense of inclusiveness and democracy whilst interacting positively with the wider region.

    Again, something to play around with 🙂
    Hope this helps.
    All the best

  3. miranda says:

    from: Jim Rickard
    to: fane peter, fyfe miranda
    cc: whitehouse beckie
    date: 30 November 2016 at 08:34

    Miranda and Peter

    You haven’t seen the e-mails below, which were exchanged between Sophie and me, not wanting to drown everyone in too many e-mails which might lead nowhere. In an attempt to accommodate some of Sophie’s thinking, and to take account of Peter’s comment (9 November e-mail) that my original text could be “snappier”, Beckie and I produced a composite and bullet-pointed version which Beckie sent out yesterday with the agenda for next week’s meeting. I’d prefer that was the version on the website for now – not because I think it’s good, but because people won’t understand if they get one version sent out by Beckie and a different version on the proposed website.

    The PCs will also need to decide whether the vision statement speaks for them as well. Currently has the “family-friendly” tagline on its home page: doesn’t have anything corresponding, as far as I can see.

    all best


    From: Sophi Berridge
    Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 4:41 PM
    To: Jim and Rachel
    Subject: Re: Vision statement

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for that. I felt that ‘we’ WAS quite inclusive but maybe you are right about it not speaking for everyone. Anyone who lives in the village/s can be part of the ‘we’… Maybe ‘Many of us value the countryside…’ etc

    I agree with your points about a positive contribution and that whole paragraph.

    Don’t bridle at ‘spiritually’ *:) happy I didn’t mean as part of any specific religious affiliation or organisation necessarily-although it’s important that people have access to those arenas- but more that perhaps its not enough just to change our behaviours but our attitudes and the way we think as well. U.S. Advisor on climate change, James Gustave Speth, said: “I used to think that top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that thirty years of good science could address these problems. I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy, and to deal with these we need a cultural and spiritual transformation.” Thus, it is argued, ecological renewal and sustainability necessarily depends upon spiritual awareness and an attitude of responsibility.

    I hope this makes sense!

    All the best

    On Tuesday, 22 November 2016, 11:03, Jim and Rachel wrote:


    Thanks. You are the only recipient so far to actually propose some alternative text, so I hope you’ll take it in the right spirit if I take issue with some of your points.

    I see what you mean about my “attractive”. Having lived, because of job moves, in places that I didn’t consider attractive and wouldn’t have chosen to live in, what I’m trying to say is that the neighbourhood should be a place where people want to live, as opposed to one where they’re here for whatever reason but would rather be somewhere else. I can’t at the moment see a neat way to express that: always open to suggestions.

    I think there’s a difficulty with a statement that uses “we”, because it prompts people to ask “who is ‘we’ ?”. We need to be careful that this isn’t perceived as excluding people when in fact we want to do the opposite. It’s certainly possible for younger and newer arrivals in particular to feel that there’s a kind of clique of older and longer-established residents who think they are the “real” residents and only their views count. Two examples: you say “we value the countryside around us”, but there are probably residents who don’t really mind whether the countryside is there or not, and never (or can’t) access it. Likewise some people won’t be at all interested in the bus service, because they never use it and don’t want to; for others it may be a lifeline.

    I had put “positive contribution” in my final phrase because I thought it important that as a comparatively affluent and well-educated neighbourhood, there was a kind of moral obligation on us to do more for others than we expected them to do for us, as it were, rather than just pulling up the drawbridge and basking in our own little world. I’d struggle a bit if you challenged me on what form that contribution should take, but in a previous life I found that parish councils were very good at saying what they didn’t want, and very poor at saying what they were actually going to do to help. So my wording is a bit stronger than your “interacting positively”. And it isn’t the village infrastructure and amenities that need to interact with the wider region, it’s us, the residents.

    Finally I bridle a bit at the word “spiritually”: we’re not a religious organisation and I’m not sure what being spiritually sustainable means.

    All this should come up for discussion on 5 December, but I doubt there’ll be time to pick through word by word and listen to everyone’s ideas; maybe we can find a compromise in the meantime ?

    all best


  4. miranda says:

    From: Nigel Pett
    Sent: 30 November 2016 13:30
    To: [Steering Group Members]
    Subject: Re: Vision statement


    You expect me to comment!
    I have spent years writing these with educational institutions and I have to say I favour the short pithy vision based on two/three bullet points but even better one sentence. So I offer this

    Our vision is to value, protect and promote the uniqueness of Shelford and Stapleford, by respecting our heritage, appreciating the diversity of our two communities and being aspirational when planning to provide effectively for today but also for future generations.
    So we have these priorities
    · support local shops and businesses
    · protect open space
    · deal with flooding and drainage issues
    · maintain the character of the parishes
    · develop opportunities for sport and leisure
    · ensure sufficient health provision
    · plan for an ageing population
    · manage and improve footways, footpaths and cycleways
    · improve traffic management and public transport
    Best – and tear me apart


  5. miranda says:

    From: Lynda Warth
    Date: 1 December 2016 at 10:54
    Subject: RE: Vision statement
    To: [Steering Group Members]

    · manage and improve footways, footpaths and cycleways

    excludes horse riders – needs to be changed.


    · manage and improve paths for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists

    I would also put forward as a priority:

    · protect and maintain the rural character of the parishes

    we are villages and need to stay that way – the inevitable development needs to be appropriate.


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