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Residents asked to look into future

By Julian Dancer

Hundreds of residents have taken part in a survey to establish the future needs of their village.

Helmdon School was packed on Saturday, as villagers joined a community wide consultation on youth needs, transport, amenities, housing and development, environment, and culture.

Every visitor was asked to place a coloured pin on an enlarged map of the parish to show where they lived - and encouraged to ask questions.

Their thoughts will form the basis of a parish plan and ongoing discussions on village needs.

Helmdon, the three-times winner and current holder of the Northamptonshire Village of the Year title, has recently been granted funding for the survey from the Countryside Agency's Vital Villages Programme, which is sponsored by South Northamptonshire Council and Northamptonshire ACRE.

The parish plan will set out the future needs of the village - and all residents were encouraged to share their views, thoughts, concerns, and ideas.

Danny Moody, a parish councillor and chairman of the Helmdon parish plan steering group, was delighted with all the interest shown, and said the day had been very successful.

He said: "The event has produced many favourable comments. Several thought provoking ideas we received today will form the basis of a new village survey in September, which will give everyone a further chance to air their views on the future of Helmdon."

He added: "A village-wide questionnaire will be distributed, to give everyone the opportunity to comment on a whole range of issues that affect a rural community in the 21st century."

A further accolade for Helmdon was announced in April this year, when its website www.helmdon.com was voted the UK Village Web Site of the Year 2003.

The Banbury Cake - 7th August 2003

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