Many thanks to the 41 households that returned their forms – about a quarter of the households in the parish.
It is notoriously difficult to get a good response rate. Coinciding with a lockdown certainly doesn’t help! There are probably many reasons why people decide to opt out – it would be useful to learn more to improve future surveys.
How much support for traffic calming?
Three-quarters (75.6%) of responding households are in favour of funding traffic calming by an increase in their council tax.
We asked which street you live on for a good reason. Highways will assess traffic calming proposals on various criteria, including the community support in the immediate vicinity.
The percentage of households in favour on those streets with more than one or two responses was:
|% in Favour
|Taits Hill Rd & Taits Hill
Traffic calming funded by other means is supported by an additional 10% of responding households. A further 10% say they would possibly support it. This suggests that very few in the Parish are actively against doing something about speeding.
How much are responding households prepared to pay for traffic calming?
You were asked what increase in your annual council tax you would accept for this purpose. We requested your council tax band so we could calculate the corresponding increase in the parish precept. The zero responses were taken into account as well as the non-zero ones.
The calculated increase in precept came out at just over £3,000. This figure represents an average of what responding households wanted, taking account their different council tax bands.
What has the Parish Council decided?
The Parish Council discussed the survey results at our meeting on 20 January. It was essential to decide on the parish precept for 2021/22 to meet the budget deadline. We voted unanimously for a increase of £2,000 for traffic calming purposes. This is well within the amount calculated from the survey responses.
There will be a second instalment in 2022/23 to provide the balance needed for a traffic calming project. The Speed Watch Group will do its best to minimise the balance by seeking other funding. We will also get on with the other activities needed to support the project. This will include resuming speed monitoring as soon as it is permitted.
What form will traffic calming take?
The main reasons are:
- significant and sustained speed reductions at moderate cost
- can take action at more than one location
- moving the VAS between locations avoids drivers becoming “desensitised”
- education aspect – makes drivers more aware of their speed
- choice of suppliers and plenty of operating experience
A detailed table comparing the options is available for anyone who is interested.
This aspect of the survey is not related to the Speed Watch Group, but for completeness here are the key findings.
- 58.5% of responding households are in favour of funding playground improvement via an increase in council tax
- The calculated increase in precept for this purpose came out at just under £1,500.
The Parish Council decided that rather than increase the precept they would allocate £500 towards the development of proposals.
Other community projects suggested
The following suggestions were received:
- reinstatement and maintenance of public footpaths (3 households suggested this)
- contribution towards cost of a village magazine
- contribution towards the maintenance of the churchyard
- village pub
- new noticeboard next to the bench near the bridleway up the Hill
- electric vehicle charging point
The Annual Parish Meeting in May (date not yet decided) will be an opportunity to discuss these ideas. With any luck we will be able to meet in person by then.
And finally … privacy issues
All the responses have been put into a spreadsheet, which does not include any names, postal addresses or email addresses.
I have explained why we needed to know your street and council tax band. This information does not identify an individual property except in a very small number of cases. In such cases, it will be removed if the spreadsheet needs to be shared.
The unique reference number on each survey form has not been linked to your address. Its purpose was to ensure that no household submitted more than one response.
Where people submitted their form electronically we unavoidably have email addresses. The emails are stored in a dedicated, password protected account. Copies of the forms themselves will be kept temporarily, but the emails will shortly be deleted. Where people have put their response in the email instead of using the form, it will be copied to a new document. This document will not include their name or email address.
Paper and electronic copies of the completed forms will eventually be destroyed/deleted. They are being kept for the time being in case the Parish Council wishes to check the accuracy of the spreadsheet.
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