Monday, March 17, 2008

SSDC Consultation - short article

A Yeovil church wanted a condensed low-down on the SSDC 'Issues and Options' consultation, suitable for a newsletter or parish magazine. The only editing here is the removal of my email address, for anti-spam purposes! Here it is, feel free to borrow:

Shaping Yeovil For the Next 20 Years

- Should Yeovil have congestion charging?
- How many new houses should be built in our area?
- Should the Council preserve village life, or concentrate facilities in Yeovil?
- Do new housing areas need a local place of worship?

The District Council has just launched a consultation covering these, and dozens of other topics. The result will be a set of policies which will shape the way Yeovil, and the South Somerset District, develops until 2026. Once these policies are set, it is very hard to challenge them. The consultation, which expires on April 25th, is therefore very important to the future shape of our town.

How Does It Work?
At the centre of the process is a 104 page 'Issues and Options' document, which spells out the issues facing the region in terms of Housing, Economy, Tranport, Health and Environment. There is a 21 page questionnaire through which people can respond, either replying to every question, or just picking out one or two questions.

The papers can be found at the Council Offices, Brympton Way, in Yeovil Library, or online at .

How Does This Affect the Church?
A key question in the consultation covers what community facilities should be built in new housing areas. There is an option to tick 'Place of Worship', and to state the number of houses for which each new Place of Worship should be built. This is a superb opportunity to make sure that our new neighbourhoods have a Christian presence right at the heart of them.

There are also many other places where we can make our voice heard - provision for youth and the underprivileged, care for the environment, a just share of wealth, and protection for vulnerable urban and rural communities. Please do take some time to respond to the consultation.

If You're Pressed for Time
David Keen, the Deanery Missioner, has put together a 3 page summary of the 104-page Issues and Options report, and is co-ordinating the churches response to the consultation. He can be contacted on 01935 422286 or by email via this page . David is also posting information about the consultation on his 'blog' at

Remember, the consultation closes on 25th April. If lots of Christians respond, and do so in a reasoned and persuasive way, we can make our voice heard.

1 comment:

  1. I've rejected a comment on this thread because it looked very much like someone trying to advertise their product, useful though the product might have been.