The forthcoming May elections may be the vote that’s on most people’s minds currently … but hopefully not so in Rastrick.
This month sees an opportunity for everyone to have a real say in where the first of the Big Local “big funding” will go. It’s a fundamental part of the Big Local Trust’s philosophy that residents lead the way in how the money is spent, in order to bring about the best possible positive change.
The Rastrick Big Local Partnership has chosen “Voice Your Choice” as the best way for residents to have maximum say in distributing £65,000 this year from the amazing one million pounds available to the HD6 3 postcode area over the next ten years.
Rastrickians can be duly proud of the many community groups and individuals who step up to make our area a better place year in and year out.
Many such groups have put in bids for Big Local funding to fulfil the first identified priority of improving facilities for our children and young people. They truly deserve for as many people as possible to vote before the March 31 deadline.
Canvassing in local and national government elections finds many non-voters justifying not voting by saying that they are disillusioned with politics, or that their vote will not make a difference.
There are no party politics in this Big Local vote, and lots of difference to be made right on our doorsteps.
Please Rastrick, use the form going out to all Rastrick Big Local area households - and show your support for all the great projects by “Voicing Your Choice”.
Calderdale Council has recently published the proposed methodology for its green belt review.
In plain English – they are now looking at how, and by what methods our green belt boundaries may be changed to meet the development needs of the future.
Concerns have already been raised that the proposals may not sufficiently protect the levels of green belt that we want and need, and that they may undermine “brownfield first” policy.
If you’d like your say on this issue, please visit http://calderdale.objective.co.uk/portal before March 13 and input your views. If you don’t have online access your local library can help you, or you could raise your points via your local councillor.
In my experience of planning, what matters most, to most people – quite understandably - is development near to their own homes. What may or may not be built around them, and how it will affect their direct locality.
Next week sees a fledgling group of Rastrick residents meeting with spatial planning officers from Calderdale Council to explore how we can best bring about a neighbourhood plan for the Rastrick area.
Neighbourhood plans allow local people to get the right development for their community. They have to be in line with the council’s plans for the wider area, and once adopted they must be taken into consideration by planning departments by law.
Whilst the council determines the local plan for the whole borough of Calderdale - individual neighbourhood plans allow for very local views to strongly influence planning decisions within smaller, defined neighbourhoods.
The next vital step for the Rastrick Neighbourhood Planning Group will be to build our numbers up to a required minimum of 21 people.
It’s important for good numbers of people to be involved so that we can have sufficient representation across the area geographically, and skills-wise.
If you have an interest in helping to shape future development, or just finding out more at this stage, please contact me for more information about being involved.
By Councillor Christine Beal