Interim Survey Results: 80% agree that Parish Council funds should sponsor community events.

We recently conducted a survey to understand how the community feels about the Parish Council sponsoring local events that contribute to the vibrancy and cohesion of the community. So far, we have received 90 responses with more arriving every day.

We publish below some of the key interim findings and residents’ comments from the survey.

How do you feel about the existing number of (pre-Covid) community events in the Parish?

Takeaway: 62% of respondents feel that there are too few community events in the Parish.

Residents’ comments:

  • “Capitalising and growing the connections we have made with neighbours. Celebrating how the village has come through this pandemic.”
  • “Community spirit is important to provide a secure, friendly environment for children and to prevent isolation in the older generation.”
  • “It would be good to build on the stronger community spirit following COVID.”
  • “I feel it’s important to build a community spirit which enhances quality of life and foster a sense of belonging to the Parish.”

To what extent would you agree with the Parish Council using council funds to sponsor more communal events?

Takeaway: 80% agree that Parish Council funds should sponsor community events.

Residents’ comments:

  • “Council funds are paid by locals for local things. Yes, roads, verges etc are important but “community” is, in my mind, more important. The way to build community is by bringing people together.”
  • “The Parish council should use these funds for what this money was meant for, namely infrastructure improvements. Communal events should be self funding.”

Which kind of events are of greatest interest to you?

Takeaway: Communal and family events were of most interest to residents.

Residents’ comments:

  • “Something that draws people together from all walks of life. To spend time with each other.”
  • “To be able to mingle with other villagers, enjoying local facilities. Supporting local businesses. Bringing cultural events to the village to enable accessibility for all.”
  • “I think the advertising of community events isn’t strong enough. Not everyone is on Facebook regularly. The village shop is now a regular haunt for most villagers and so hopefully word of mouth and increased use of the notice board there would help.”

Which of the following event types would you be most interested in seeing the Parish Council sponsor?

Takeaway: Residents were most interested in Summer fetes and Christmas events.

Residents’ comments:

  • “We need a large community Xmas tree on the village green and hold events (carols etc.) around it during December just like Aldbury and Little Gaddesden.”
  • A party on the common. Marquee, bands, bar, dancing and dinner. Would be amazing!”
  • “A beer festival!”
  • “Keep the greens available to both pubs.”
  • “We loved pizza on the green and the tables on the Spencer Holland Park during lockdown. These are two ways we can draw people to the village hubs, enjoy the green spaces and support our pubs.”
  • “Bring the fair back! Music events on the green or playing fields. Open-air theatre.”
  • “Live Music on the Spencer Holland Play Field outside the Plough. This happened many years ago and was organised by the Plough.”
  • “My local pub where I grew up has a harvest festival auction each year. The locals bring home produce from jumbo jars of pickled onions, cakes, log deliveries, veg etc. It was a great village evening, and the funds helped to finance parish expenses. A lot of fun!”
  • “Evening talks (with wine) about different topics that might be of interest to the local community (e.g. the history of the village, surrounding biodiversity) – Events in which locals get out surveying the local nature and can learn about the species they’re collecting (e.g. an annual Potten End BioBlitz) – Regular walking groups etc.”
  • “More sporting events help the village community to thrive. The village has sports teams that would like more villagers to come and play, especially children, to join the Colts sides as this will establish the future of the cricket teams that have been going for over 100 years in the village.”

Would you be interested in helping the Parish Council organise events?

Takeaway: 51% of respondents would help to organise community events.

Age of respondents

Other residents’ comments:

  • “Good idea to do a survey. We’ll need some cheerful activities post-lockdown.”
  • “Keep going! Brilliant aim of trying to involve more people in the community – that is exactly the way forward!”
  • “We have lived here only about seven years and enjoy and appreciate the strong community aspect of the village. There’s a wide range of different expertise and talent around here.”

Conclusion

Few people enjoy filling out forms, so we were delighted by the level of response we have had to this survey so far. Greater community engagement helps to ensure that the Parish Council is responding to the needs of residents.

It isn’t too late for you to share your views on local community events.

If you have not yet responded to the survey, please do so using the link below. We would particularly like to hear directly from some of the younger members of the Parish who are underrepresented in the survey.

If you would like to stay informed about other community news and have your say in any future surveys, please add your contact details to this form.