Ottershaw Neighbourhood Forum History
The path to Designation (January to October 2020)
The notion for Ottershaw to develop a Neighbourhood Plan was cast early in 2020. Following a leaflet campaign across the Ottershaw and West Addlestone ward, a small group of between 20 and 30 keen local residents started to progress towards becoming a formerly recognised (designated) Forum with a defined Neighbourhood Area.
Four Working Groups were formed to develop the application for designation:
• an Area Working Group to develop a proposal for a Neighbourhood Area
• a Constitution Working Group to develop a Forum constitution
• a Budget & Finance Working Group to develop a project plan and secure initial funding, and
• a Forum Working Group to develop the pre-designation communications plan & strategy.
A first leaflet was distributed in the proposed Neighbourhood Area and beyond by the Forum in August 2020 to encourage people to join the Forum.
The application for the Designation of the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Forum and the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Area was submitted to Runnymede Borough Council end July 2020. Membership had reached 66 at submission, significantly above the minimum requirement of 21.
Following a six-week consultation period, the application was approved, and the Forum and Area designated by the Runnymede Borough Council Planning Committee on 14th October 2020.
The journey after Designation (since November 2020):
The first election for a Steering committee was held on 9th November 2020.
The first three Forum Working Groups were set-up in December 2020:
• a Communications Working Group to develop and implement the Forums comms plan,
• a Data Working Group to develop our data strategy, and
• a Website / IT Working Group with the first task to refresh this website.
In February 2021 membership reached 300 and a second Forum leaflet was distributed in the same month to further broaden the membership base of the Ottershaw Neighbourhood Forum.
Spring 2021 saw our first resident survey, membership exceeded 400 and additional funding was secured (including £2000 thanks to SCC councillor Jonathan Hulley).
A virtual meeting in July and a stand at a mini-fair in August on the premises of Ottershaw Social Club completed our summer engagement program. Additional working groups were establised to develop initial vision and strategy documents with the help of consultants O’NeilHomer.
To be continued...