Blueprint Consultation ends today!

On Monday 4 October 2010 the ‘Blueprint’ consultation went live, putting residents at the heart of decisions on the future of their communities.

The purpose of Blueprint is to enable people to think about what type of place they want to live in not only now but looking ahead 20 years or so, and how theirs and others needs might change over that time. This ties in with the concept of ‘localism’ being promoted by the new coalition Government.

The Government has changed the system by which local councils draw up their long term planning documents. They are still called ‘local development frameworks’ but instead of starting with national targets and requirements, they now start with local views about the nature and timing of development, but it still remains the Council’s job to take all these views and to produce a set of policies which are sensible given all the issues we face.

Cllr Kelsie Learney, Leader of the Council commented, "We are pleased to have local responsibility but it’s also a major challenge. It's not about housing numbers any more but about the kind of places we want to live, work and play in. Looking ahead ten or even twenty years what kind of social and economic needs will we have? How can we help our communities change to meet the challenges of the future without losing what makes them special?

“It’s a task we need to take very seriously and with an open mind. We can't only think our own immediate interests or views. We have to think ahead and question the assumptions we might normally make. If we don’t get our planning right, the consequences may not only damage us but they may damage the communities we thought we were protecting. The Blueprint process is a totally new way of looking at how we plan long term and we think our residents will enjoy the process when they take part”.

The City Council has to produce its new plan next year because all of its old planning policies are getting out of date. We’ve called the process ‘Blueprint’ because the plan is just that - the instructions and guidance that will shape what our communities will look like in the future.

Involving all of its communities in shaping their own future is something the Council is committed to, and so the process has been designed to ensure all groups can take part. Whether you are a Parish Council large or small, or local groups such as the WI, churches, youth groups, schools, local businesses, community and residents groups, we would love to hear your views.

All the details can be found on a dedicated website, where you will be able to request a pack that contains all the materials you need, and find out more information about holding a Blueprint event. You can also request a Blueprint pack by contacting, or calling 01962 840 222.

The consultation runs until 10 December 2010 so don’t leave it to late and get debating ‘Blueprint’ today.