On Monday 7th October 2013 Alphington Village Forum committee met at the offices of the Community Council of Devon in Marsh Barton.
The committee has been considering whether or not to facilitate the creation of a community plan for Alphington. Earlier this year we spoke to some community organisations in Alphington to see if a steering group could be established, primarily for the purpose of getting as much funding for the Alphington community as possible. The response so far has been lukewarm, but we have been encouraged by Martin Rich of the Community Council of Devon, who described the practical assistance the council can give to local communities, to have a go at setting up a parish/community plan. The Forum committee does not have time to be directly involved in setting up a community plan but will be very pleased to offer assistance to a steering group.
Discussions were held with ECC in May 2014 to discuss the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) that will be distributed to communities in Exeter, including Alphington. More detailed discussion will be held in February/March of 2015 and will take account of the survey of Alphington organisations and individuals organised by an AVF sub-committee in November 2014.
A summary of this survey is given below:
1. There is significant support for the completion of the work to the Village Hall. Further funds are needed to do this.
2. There is support for other community facilities. In particular demand for the improvement of the Scout Hutincluding suggestions that this should be used by the wider community too. There is also a need for improvement to the Sports Club facilities to enable better provision for women. The Community Centre also needs upgrading.
3. There is a clear message about the need for improved youth services and facilities especially for older young people (11+ and teenagers). This includes:
a. better play facilities for older young people – including more adventurous play,
b. Revenue costs for supporting mainstream work with older young people – for a part time youth worker and activity costs,
c. The kitting out an existing building has not been costed but would be necessary.
4. The idea of making the school swimming pool more accessible out of school hours is supported by the school (see provisos below).
5. The responses reinforce the following outcomes of discussions with community organisations last year:
a. Prioritising the completion of existing projects then supporting new ones.
b. A need for youth work (11+), based around existing community facilities used for young people.
Further discussions are needed about how:
a. Community groups and other public services might work more closely to co-ordinate and communicate what they do/services they offer for local people and children in particular,
b. Opportunities for developing a strategic approach to the use and development of community buildings and fundraising for these. Especially as survey highlights high levels of demand and usage, which can be expected to grow.
6. It should be noted the opportunity for the school and pre-school to work more closely which was identified in the meeting last year has since been positively carried forward by both parties. There could be a possibility for closer working between the School and the local history group.
The survey has highlighted that some £450k capital investment is needed to improve current facilities Village hall/Shed, Scout Hut and Alphington Sports Clubs