Does Cromer need a swimming pool? Survey aims to shape town’s future
- Credit: Archant
Cromer residents are being asked whether their town needs its own swimming pool as part of a survey aimed at shaping the future of the area.
Townsfolk are being urged to have their say via the detailed questionnaire, which covers roads, shopping, the environment, sport and leisure - and a section asking for opinions over the need for a pool.
As well as delving into the possibility of a pool, the questionnaire also asks people what issues affect them - such as parking, housing, broadband and policing - and their opinion of the town council, which has put the survey together.
Councillors are keen to collect residents' views so they can be called upon when dealing with major developments and future schemes in the town.
But they also want a record of homeowners' opinions to help shape future decision-making, if the authority is granted more powers through the Localism Bill.
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Tim Bartlett, who helped collate the questionnaire, explained: 'We need to be better organised than we are now as a council in order to take advantage of what those opportunities are.' The survey would give 'a clear view of what people want, how they see the future of their town and how they rate it'.
Mr Bartlett said it had partly been triggered by residents' firm rejection, six years ago, of the district council's plans to build a car park in North Lodge Park - which saw 94pc of local people vote against it in a parish poll.
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He added: 'Having taken very careful note of the strong expression of public opinion we don't want to be caught in that trap.'
Councillors were very keen 'to be guided by what the people who vote for us, or more importantly pay the council tax, think and want for their town'.
Mr Bartlett said more open-ended questions - such as asking what one thing would improve Cromer - had been deliberately included to allow people to expand on their opinions, and thought some answers may throw up ideas that had 'never crossed our minds'.
Once all the answers are collated, locals will be invited to a presentation where they will be able to discuss the survey's outcome and make further suggestions for improvements.
They will also be able to learn more about what action the council can then take on their views - such as applying for funding to kick start a project - but also the authority's limitations.
Mr Bartlett encouraged residents to voice their views, and stressed the results would not lay dormant but remain 'active' and be constantly referred to.
He said: 'This is not just an exercise in making us look like we're doing something, quite the reverse. It's the start of trying to enable us to do more than we actually do.'
Questionnaires are being delivered to every home in Cromer but it can also be filled in online at http://www.cromertown.org/parishform.htm