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Jacobstow Parish Plan

For proposals and discussion of the Jacobstow Parish Plan.

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PaulS's picture

Parish Plan questionnaire - Jul2009

So, at last the questionnaire, the most important part of the whole process, has arrived!

It has many good features: wonderful front page, large and easy to read print and it is mercifully short. On the other hand, there are a few typos and some of the questions and routing is confused, e.g. cycling and walking is ignored and according to the questionnaire, if you have a car, you can't use or comment on public transport.

But the main problem is that the questionnaire represents a missed opportunity.

Everybody knows we are in an economic crisis, most people know that Climate Change will force us to adapt (floods, wind speeds, pests and diseases) and some people even know about oil depletion and the consequent long term shift to much higher energy costs.

But none of these really serious problems are addressed in the questionnaire.

No information is collected on levels of insulation, energy mix and use for possible community energy efficiency grant applications.
No opinions sought on the various highly valued community energy schemes, which could insulate residents from future energy cost increases.
No questions on food self-sufficiency, allotment interest, garden sharing, edible landscape schemes or any of the many possible schemes for a community to increase its food resilience. Not even anything on possible improvement to the Parish Hall, which could then be used much more widely, perhaps as an occasional cinema, at near zero energy cost and actually earning money for the community.

No doubt the answer will come back that any such schemes can be suggested using the open-ended questions. And indeed they can, but since the vast majority of people are not aware of such schemes, they obviously cannot suggest them and certainly cannot tick as agreeing with them.

As a result, the questionnaire will be of little help with the most serious issues facing each and every one of us now and increasingly so in the future. We will just have to do what we can individually, rather than using the collective wisdom of the community.