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Kington Town Council is committed to engaging
as widely as possible with local residents, organisations and businesses. It recognises the importance of full
engagement with the community it has been elected to represent and to ensure
that it takes account of all community interests in the decisions and
representations that it makes.
There is a Community Engagement Strategy - click HERE for more information.
A key area for community engagement at present is the development of the Neighbourhood Plan
A number of consultation events have taken place over the past year, on a range of key topics including housing provision, transport and the environment. The Neighbourhood Plan is building on the work that was undertaken for the Kington Local Area Plan, which also identified issues which go beyond the planning focus of the Neighbourhood Plan.
A wide range of methods were used during this process, including meetings, focus groups, Planning for Real and surveys. Kington Town Council is using the results of the public consultations during the KLAP process to assist in formulating its 4 year strategy. Click HERE to be taken to the Council Actions Plans.
The Kington Centre
Other consultations that have taken place in the past year include a workshop on the development of the Kington Centre (The Library) as a pilot project for Herefordshire Council on extending the scope of libraries to play a wider role in the well-being of the community. (Click HERE to read the report from a seminar of local groups and representatives held on 20 March 2015). This innovative initiative, which is a partnership between the Town Council and Herefordshire Council, demonstrates the Town Council’s response to widespread concerns in the town about the possible loss of the library as a result of Herefordshire Council’s budget cuts.
KINGTON LIBRARY – not only books and CDs
Kington Library offers lots of other activities of which many people are unaware. The Library is looking for local users who value the library and who could form a *Users Group. This group would support the library management, suggest facilities that the community would like provided and also help with library related activities.
If you are interested and have lots of ideas, then contact Zandra 01432 260 600
The Town Council continues to engage with a wide range of local organisations through appointing representatives to liaise with, and serve on, the committees of these organisations. These include:
Kington United Charities
Lady Hawkins Foundation
Kington Festival Association
Kington Chamber of Trade
Kington Tourist Information Group
Kington Twinning Association
Council representatives on these groups report back regularly to the Council on issues and provide updates. Specific meetings have also been held by councillors with different local residents groups, including those living at Kington Park. These and other groups are invited to attend consultation events as appropriate. The Town Council is also currently engaged in meetings with local businesses on the Hatton Gardens Industrial Estate.
Kington Town Council has supported the Kington Chronicle as a means of enabling information and updates to reach almost every house in the community. It is hoped currently that a new editorial board can be created for the Kington Chronicle to ensure that this will continue to be a vehicle for news updates and articles both for the Town Council and for other groups.
Kington Town Council also has a Facebook page, which provides regular brief updates on activities and encourages members of the public to provide comments through this page.
Kington Town Council will continue to ensure effective engagement with all local residents, to ensure that it responds to local issues and needs, and is fully transparent and accountable in its work to represent and improve Kington Town.
Recent Consultations and Surveys
As a result of consultations and discussions, including the workshop held in March 2015, the Kington Centre has been given funding to develop a pilot project as a well-being centre. The book stock has been retained, together with space for the Kington History Society (albeit reduced) and Herefordshire Council Customer Services are still offered through the Centre.
ENSURING DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES
In preparation for the Town Council elections held in May 2015, the Council held an introductory session for anyone interested in standing for the council, to find out what the council does and how to be nominated. This event was widely publicised in the town.
As a result, two candidates, who might not otherwise have stood, were encouraged to stand and were elected.
Kington Town Council has been engaged in discussions about the possible formation of a Youth Town Council and these will be taken forward during 2015-16. It is very important that young people in the town are engaged in democratic processes.