Community Plans set out to identify the priorities and goals that residents would like within their communities and the strategic vision and targeted outcomes that will be be used to try to achieve these. They can be used to help connect all tiers of government to the wider society and help provide a better community for us all to live in.
The Millom Without Parish Community plan was launched at the Annual Parish Meeting held on Tuesday 28th May 2019 and followed a period of community consultation including consultation launch events, resident surveys and follow-up meetings to develop some of the ideas flowing from the research. The work to produce the Community Plan was carried out by members of the council in collaboration with a steering committee of non-council members.
There were a number of issues which were found to be of greatest importance to residents. These have been grouped into three targeted areas:
Connecting our Community, which addresses the physical connection between people and people’s link to the landscape
Digital Connectivity, how we link with the technological networks of broadband internet and mobile phones
Child-Friendly Spaces, making our environment safer, more exciting and more accessible to younger children
The remaining, more general issues, have been grouped together under the working title of Parish Concerns and include a range of topics from affordable housing to tourism, via street-lighting and dog-fouling, and several more. In all cases, where an issue was identified as being of some concern a plan has been put together to try to address matters and improve the situation.
The Community Plan and the Action Plan, which sets out the original targets and actions that the council would undertake, were produced at the same time. The Monitoring Report was produced one year on from the Community Action Plan to show the progress which had been made in all the identified sectors of community life. To read and download any of these documents click on the highlighed document or use the links at the base of the page.
A number of action plans are well under way but we are always on the lookout for people to join in with the delivery of the Community Plan and if you want to get involved by helping with any of the projects please contact the Clerk via email.
Connecting Our Communities
Enforcement of Speed Limits
The traffic management team are working on a range of actions to make our highways safer for all users by the enforcement of existing speed limits and reductions in speed limit where necessary. To help us achieve this we are working alongside Ghyll Scaur Quarry Liaison Committee and Cumbria County Council. We’re also working with other councils to benefit from their experiences of similar situations. Interventions may include the use of mobile speed monitoring devices and the acquisition and deployment of these is being assessed.
Volunteer litter-pickers are always welcome to join the group which was set up as a result of the Community Plan. Please contact the council if you’d like to take part in an organised event. If you want to undertake your own litter-pick, we would be pleased to hear from you too and would be happy to provide more information if needed.
Additional litter bins are planned within the parish with the first of these now having been installed by Copeland Borough Council in the lay-by on the A595 below Furnace Woods.
Footpaths and Cycleways
Our goal is to improve the network of footpaths and cycleways which connect up the small communities within the parish. This is good for people in terms of health and exercise and it’s also good for the environment by reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants, and improving pedestrian and cyclist safety.
Hand-in-hand with the development of walking and cycling infrastructure it is planned that a number of cycling-related events will be held, including guided rides and cycling workshops.
Mobile and Broadband
We are monitoring developments in the rural networks and providing information and guidance to users about how to check the best supplier options for their usage. Our social media output on Facebook regularly update residents with
details of network upgrades and the government and other agency backed schemes which can support individuals or groups who experience problems with connectivity.
Workshops to deliver practical aid in decision-making and information provision are planned to be held when circumstances allow.
Child Friendly Spaces
Spaces for Younger Children
The Community Plan identified a need to provide improved access to play areas specifically targeted at younger children. Following a good deal of consultation with potential user groups a Play Area Group was set up which is progressing the construction of a high quality play area within the Thwaites Village Hall field.
We are also looking at opportunities to partner with Lowther Estates in providing some child-friendly spaces within Millom Park woods and with Thwaites school for use of their play equipment on the school field.
The Parish Council are working with Copeland Borough Council to explore schemes for specific community housing requirements. These matters are carried out alongside the borough’s housing strategy and we have begun a conversation within the community to help assess the parish housing needs.
A schedule of consultations with specialist community housing organisations is currently being drawn up
The Parish Council reviews all planning applications within the parish and will make submissions in line with planning law and based upon local circumstances however, final control of planning consent rests with Copeland Borough Council. The Community Plan suggested that we may look at the possibility of undertaking a Neighbourhood Plan which gives the parish and community more influence over planning issues. In the meantime we continue to work with the borough officers in all planning matters.
Empty houses within the parish have been identified and we are working with Copeland Borough Council to support the beneficial use of this derelict and empty housing stock.
The results of the Community Plan show that there is some debate about the level of street lighting which residents would like to see around the parish with the main area of concern being lack of lighting along Green Road towards the railway station. While the council would like to meet any additional street lighting requirements it will need to be addressed as part of the current transfer of lighting stock provision between borough and local councils. This is an on-going matter and we’ll try to keep the community updated as things progress.
Additional bins are to be provided in a number of locations throughout the parish and there is an on-going review of the range of waste bins and the process of waste disposal.
Drains and Sewerage
Representations to the appropriate authorities are being prepared and will be enacted to address issues of improvements to drainage and sewerage infrastructure. The latest update was provided in Thwaites Out & About February 2020 Issue and further developments will be communicated via this magazine and on our Facebook page.
The renovation and improvement of bus shelters at The Green and The Hill is planned for as soon as conditions allow. Money has been allocated and an offer to carry out the work has been received.
Some interest in a community shop was identified. This is only partially within the remit of the Parish Council but residents are reminded that the mobile service from Scoop Value in Millom is available and can be contacted directly.
The Tourism Group within the council are working on a number of initiatives to help promote tourism in the parish, including improved signage and promotion of our heritage sites, the standing stone project which traces the River Duddon to the sea and within The Southern Boundary Partnership we are looking at the extension of the Lake District National Park boundary to the north bank of the Duddon Estuary.
We have also made submissions to develop the English Coastal Path from Silecroft to Silverdale, through our parish, which is acknowledged to be problematic. Work continues on this project.
Visibility of Police
Working with the South Copeland Partnership, we will seek to improve this issue and more patrols are being made. The latest police bulletins are posted to our Facebook page as we receive them.
Mains Gas Supply
A perennial issue within the parish. The council continue to progress discussions with appropriate bodies as and when circumstances allow.