The Future of the Village
Your Parish Council is elected to serve the best interests of the village, and while many are content to leave the course of village business to manage itself, it is also the responsibility of the Parish Council to engage the whole community in matters of importance. While there is no single issue which warrants a public forum, there are many lesser issues which taken together suggest a significant challenge that the village needs to address. This is outlined below.
- Stoke St Gregory is a village with a stable population of just less than 1000, in around 330 households. However the average age of the population is increasing and the number of children in the school has declined this year.
- The school is also vulnerable not only from an absolute decline in numbers but also being well below the critical mass suggested for effective resource allocation.
- Other than agricultural buildings virtually all planning applications during the past five years have been for house extensions and barn conversions with the resulting trend in ‘gentrification’.
- The village envelope (land where development is permitted) is almost entirely occupied save for a small parcel below Willow Mead.
- A recent housing needs survey failed to identify a strong need for affordable housing, somewhat to the surprise of all involved. However there was no estimate of needs external to the village.
- The capacity of current services is questionable and possibly requires upgrading.
- Both public houses and the village shop are currently on the market and must be considered vulnerable.
- While the village has a recreational space, there is no football team and the cricket team struggles for numbers. While there has been success in fund raising for new play equipment, satisfying the overwhelming need for a new pavilion is a distant objective.
- At every TDBC cost review the viability of the bus route (No. 51) is challenged. It has been maintained only through successful lobbying on the village’s behalf.
- The Village Hall is a much admired asset which is used widely by local groups however several recent social events have been cancelled due to lack of support.
If you have a view on any of the points made the Parish Council would like to hear from you. You can do this either by writing to or talking to a member of the Parish Council or joining the open session at the start of the next PC meeting on Sept 11th, in the Village Hall.