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The Infrastructure Working Party

Mon 12th December

Infrastructure Working group.

The Chair of this working group is Dr Kevin Bond.  Kevin is current Chairman of The Stratford Society and the working group includes; County and District Councillor Kate Rolf, Elizabeth Dixon representing Accessible Stratford, Rev Andrew Dow, Roger  Mathews from Transition Stratford, Tim Sanders representing Warwickshire Police and practising planner David Morris.  The membership of this group includes expertise in public sector; environmental improvement, disability planning and community welfare and need. 

The Group has set itself a task of reviewing the current infrastructure provision for the Stratford Town area against likely development scenarios to be managed during the coming fifteen/twenty years. 

Some of the infrastructure developments are not within the control of local people e.g. gas, electricity and water provision.  Some is provided by national bodies and country council e.g. roads; school expenditure and yet other is more locally provided such as public toilets through District Council. 

In some cases, private bodies invest in the public realm infrastructure e.g. contributions from developers such as play areas.  In all cases, whilst control largely sits outside the local population; local influence is often critically important.  The working group aims to outline minimum expectations looking forward, in order to ensure that the needs (and wherever possible, the desires) of local people are met. 

For the first time in the Town of Stratford upon Avon, the intention is to lay out what is needed and when and where.  In this case, developers; be they public or private, will know what is expected of them.

Not only are the group looking at physical assets and developments but will also look into developing communication needs for a modern society.  Whilst the cables and connections are physical, much of the information is transient.  Yet, as a knowledge based society needs access to this knowledge, which is increasingly, an enabler. 

In a similar vein, not all the requirement for a balanced society is new physical development.  In many cases, we need to ensure that there is adequate space between the developments.  Open space - either through green spaces/play areas or through ensuring that development is not too dense; is critical to ensure a civilised society whereby people live in harmony.

It is also critical to look at the balance of age and mobility within our society.  With life extending in most cases into the 70’s and 80’s there is a need to plan for increased mobility by the less physically active.  We must ensure that we share the space allocated to mobility between car, bus, cycle, foot and disability scooters.  This will require changes in current mobility allocations.  If hydro-carbons fuels begin to be replaced with other sources of energy then this also raises issues surrounding refuelling points.

The working group will produce an outline for public consultation in January 2012 with the intention that proposals are available for a public vote in 2013.


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