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Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 1 Petham Parish Plan Focus Groups Report Qualitative Research for Petham Parish Council.

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Presentation on theme: "Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 1 Petham Parish Plan Focus Groups Report Qualitative Research for Petham Parish Council."— Presentation transcript:

1 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 1 Petham Parish Plan Focus Groups Report Qualitative Research for Petham Parish Council and the Parish Plan Committee March 2009

2 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 2 Petham Parish Council and a dedicated Plan Committee are working on the development of a Parish Plan This is a plan for the future which will represent the wishes and concerns of all in the area An application for funding and a timetable is in place Ultimately a quantitative survey will be distributed throughout the area and the findings will be used to formulate the Parish Plan Prior to this, qualitative research was designed to collect issues and themes that are important to the people of Petham - and to understand what lies behind those topics. This document details the findings of the qualitative research. Background

3 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 3 To explore the needs, wants, hopes and fears of residents in Petham – now and in regard to the future The context: ‘Petham now and looking forward to the next 5 and 10 years’ Covering: –Services –Facilities –Social, Health and Environmental issues And, allowing coverage of any other spontaneously generated issues Research Objectives

4 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 4 Methodology 4 x group discussions of approximately 1.5 hours duration Conducted 28 th February 2009 at Petham Village Hall Facilitators: Philip Dunn, Elizabeth Edwards, Del Warden, Andrea Williams Our Sample: 1 x group of 5 respondents A mix of men and women and a range of lifestages: young mums, retirees, older middle aged All are residents: 3 x groups of 8-9 respondents Town Road,The Street, Broadway, Vicarage Hill,Garlinge Green Lighter representation of Stone Street

5 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 5 Methodology 2 x group discussions of approximately 30-45 minutes duration Conducted 13th March 2009 at Petham Village Hall Facilitators: Philip Dunn and Andrea Williams Our Sample: 1 x group of 5 respondents: Years 5 and 6A mix of boys and girls from Petham Youth Club 1 x group of 10 respondents: Years 7, 8 and 9

6 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 6 Main Findings – Adults Groups

7 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 7 All of the issues discussed are important to residents But some issues are clearly more important than others Accordingly, a hierarchy of issues is indicated NB. Not a representative sample of residents. The quantitative survey may rebalance. Shared Priorities

8 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 8 Shared Priorities Traffic calming and pedestrian safety Public transport Preservation of Petham’s current attractiveness Support for our Elders Support for Children and Teens outside school hours Maintenance: –Public footpaths –Drainage –Electricity supply –Recycling –Hedge maintenance –Road sweeping + Litter Potential for a Shop Potential for a Clinic Management of woodland Affordable housing Communication Social venues – pub and village hall potential Bringing Petham’s sub communities together The Church Funding in the future Flight paths Higher priority Lower (In no order)

9 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 9 The Issues

10 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 10 Of great concern Traffic speed reduction rather than volume of traffic reduction All areas of the village Some particular trouble spots: –The Street (the bend near junction with Vicarage Hill) –Junction with Broadway (blind corner) –Vicarage Hill (blind bend) –Chequers Hill –Stone Street Narrow roads and absence of pavements compounds the problem Lack of consciencous driving also criticised Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Safety There’s an argument for saying Chequers Hill should be one way

11 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 11 Contributing to anxiety is: –Heavy traffic during the school run – respondents suggest car share or ‘walking bus’ –HGV’s failing to drive safely –Parking of work vehicles on pavements during school run period forces any walking children into the road –Some sense of apathy in tackling problem –Some concern that solutions might bring greater light pollution Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Safety There’s no political will to do anything about it It’s horrendous! There are inexperienced drivers who drive in the middle of the road up Vicarage Hill. If we go out, we try not to be on the road then. There’s going to be a terrible accident’ People don’t know how to drive in the countryside

12 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 12 Solutions offered by respondents: –Speed bumps on the Street and Broadway – or chicanes on Broadway –A paved footpath up Chequers Lane –A footpath on the Street/Broadway junction –Communication to enlighten and educate poor local drivers –Speed cameras on Stone Street –Speed limit reduction: 50 mph on Stone Street and 40mph at junction with Town Road 20mph on the Street and Vicarage Hill –Pavement parking restricted to within school hours, banned during school run –One way route on Chequers Hill –Improved maintenance of potholes to encourage correct use of roadspace Traffic Calming and Pedestrian Safety

13 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 13 The existing bus service is considered too infrequent to be usable – or to tackle car dependency All would benefit from an improved service – but the greatest beneficiaries are likely to be the older non drivers and teenagers (important) The ecological benefits of more limited car use is a further motivator for some Debate surrounds feasibility – is there insufficient demand to sustain an improved service? All feel the issue should be investigated Public Transport

14 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 14 A very hot topic in some groups: Public Transport Transport will become a major issue in future. The 2 car family will not exist because of environmental issues and the oil will run out. We need to try to look forward I have five children and I’m constantly having to drive them into Canterbury. And there are other parents in other villages doing the same thing If we use our cars less and the bus more, we will have more buses

15 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 15 Solutions put forward by our sample: Smaller, more frequent mini bus services for all Dial a ride for our elders Liaison with neighbouring villages – Waltham, Stelling Minnis and Bridge to explore shared services Public Transport

16 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 16 The attractiveness of the area is one of the spontaneously expressed reasons for living in Petham An attractiveness created by: –The natural beauty of the landscape and its wildlife –Some buildings of architectural interest or character –Compactness of the village –Prevention of over development of housing Preservation of Petham’s Current Attractiveness We live on a very crowded island so our countryside is precious

17 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 17 Ongoing protection of this attractiveness considered important, such as: –Careful development of any new housing –Or a ban on new housing –Greater ownership of the patch outside your own house – keeping it clean –And picking up any litter you see –Good land management: Coppicing Skylark patches in crop fields –Passing on shared values. Handing down the care of Petham to the next generation – or to incomers. Could there be some form of stewardship of values? Preservation of Petham’s Current Attractiveness There are fields that are eyesores because nobody is allowed to touch them Retired people have the time but we’ve got to make sure that we actively encourage everybody to protect things There are areas that have not been coppiced and are going to rack and ruin Very shortly there will be no continuity in these villages. The names are disappearing and we ought to be aware of it

18 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 18 Liaison between Parish Council and Canterbury City Council re planning is causing some discontent –Some public perception that PC planning decisions are ‘automatically’ overidden by CCC! Preservation of Petham’s Current Attractiveness For: –would allow currently excluded young families onto the Petham housing ladder –could create greater demand for bus services –could encourage new small business enterprise and employment in the village Against: –would spoil the beauty of the village and destroy it’s character –more full time working residents would create more traffic en route to employment in Canterbury and elsewhere Development of new – and affordable - housing sparks particularly powerful debate!

19 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 19 Preservation of Petham’s Current Attractiveness I didn’t come here to be surrounded by housing estates We haven’t got a housing balance. There are not enough 2 or 3 bedroom semi’s for the young families We have to protect the look of the village without being NIMBY How do we attract more people into the village whilst maintaining the character of the village?

20 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 20 Better management of woodland was included here in the context of aesthetics But also included as an example of Petham’s role in ecology and the sustainable development of woodland Coppicing and the potential to use the bi-products for fuel was a topic important to some and supported by others An issue worthy of exploration under any ‘environmental’ section of the future survey, along with ‘Management of the Countryside’ courses Preservation of Petham’s Current Attractiveness

21 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 21 Support for our Elders There used to be a post bus. It was irregular but it used to run the pensioners in and out of town People move to where there are facilities I must admit I don’t know what we’d do when we get older and can’t drive! Considered an excluded segment of Petham society Transport problems in the village create dependency on neighbours Our sample can empathise:

22 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 22 ‘Village bound’ Elders are likely to feel the absence of services more acutely than other age groups: –Shop / Post Office / Bank / Clinic / Pub Apart from transport issues, the lack of road safety enforces isolation within the village The Village Hall drop-in is endorsed – but our Elders are not participating, due either to transport/safety concerns or limited ‘invitation’: –Communication in Parish News is good –But possibly not presented persuasively enough to our Elders (may need a strong ‘reason’ to attend – a focus or activity + tea) Mini bus / Dial a ride service would be invaluable for them Events staged alongside tea+cakes could be more of a reason to attend (a talk, a clinic….) Support for our Elders

23 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 23 Recent extension of school hours to provide support for working parents applauded, but more is needed The Playgroup and Petham Youth Club are strongly praised Recreation Ground provision is also an asset to Petham But: –Youth Club is only one night a week –After school clubs would be the ideal –Recreation Ground has limited facilities (only 1 basketball hoop, 1 goal and little for the under 5’s) Interest in exploring: –The potential to encourage more voluntary help from residents –And the feasibility of a paid groundsman at the rec to caretake grounds and supervise activities –A paid caretaker for the school to oversee after school activities –More equipment at the Rec Support for Children and Teens outside School Hours

24 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 24 Support for Children and Teens outside School Hours There aren’t enough facilities for young people The playgroup and the youth club are great but teen facilities is a problem The view that there are not many teens in the village – and that they at least have the benefit of the freedom of living in the countryside - wasn’t enough to dilute the importance of this issue and it remained a priority The kids said they wanted a basketball hoop and that brings them out

25 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 25 Several issues centred on the upkeep of the village Public rights of way are plentiful and reasonably well maintained but some feel regular monitoring / stewardship would be worthwhile (voluntary or salaried) There are services that could be improved: –Poorly functioning drainage on Broadway –Erratic electricity supply in some parts of the village –Poor hedge maintenance which obscures signage –Inefficient road sweeping –Infrequent recycling collections –Litter on Church Road / Chequers Hill –Provision of a gas supply Maintenance The road sweeping lorry comes on a Saturday morning when all the cars are parked up and it can’t reach the kerb. Where’s the logic in that?

26 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 26 Ideally, solutions would be: A public rights of way warden or team of volunteers Improved drainage and electrical supply works More efficient hedge clipping A bottle bank Weekday road sweeping More litter bins near the school Maintenance

27 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 27 Other services were debated: The absence of a shop and healthcare services in Petham is seen by some to create not only inconvenience – but to deny the village of a focus A focus for meeting others, particularly invaluable for our Elders –A shop as part of another facility (such as a Pub) –A regular, visiting clinic, staffed by a nurse if not a GP, once a week, at the Village Hall –A mobile bank Other Services Some feel the village is too small to sustain these Due to the potential practical and emotional benefits, others feel that the feasibility of these services should be investigated

28 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 28 The absence of a Pub was also raised Opinions vary! –Failure of the previous pub suggests low demand –Could cause parking / traffic congestion –Success of various functions in the village hall indicate there could be popular support for a new pub –A pub could help to unite / include the various sub-communities in Petham (notably, bringing in Stone Street residents) The topic led on to expression of interest in staging more events at the Village Hall: –Monthly pub night –Annual Summer Party Despite the risks or challenges, hopes for a pub remained high amongst some who seek a more informal location for gatherings Other Services

29 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 29 Other Services Lots of villages manage to get doctors to go to their village halls – once a fortnight or something Is there potential to join forces with a parish like Waltham? They could be discussing the same issues In the future it will be essential to have a village shop because of the transport restrictions that are likely in the future Are we too small for a pub? You need a critical mass… Respondents are very vocal about the absence of some services:

30 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 30 Parish News: Received a lot of support. A valuable communication channel Parish Council: A degree of apathy as regards attendance of residents at these meetings is perceived There is potential to enhance communication of Parish Council agendas and meeting dates (beyond the Parish News) Communication More of us should attend

31 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 31 Notice boards Are important – although not everyone chooses to use them. A website could be more accessible for some (with noticeboards maintained for others) Internet access Not voiced as an issue. Amongst this sample, access to the internet is no problem (coverage has grown since the facility for access at the Village Hall was originally discussed.) Website The concept of a Petham only website (as opposed to the PAW site) attracted some interest A Petham specific site may have potential to interest and involve kids and teens Communication We need a really lively Petham website!

32 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 32 Important, either as a place of worship or as part of the fabric of the village (history, aesthetics, character) Felt to be under used and costly to maintain Potential to use the space for multi denominational worship was discussed The Petham survey could explore the following: –How to ensure the Church is used as much as possible: what would encourage attendance at services? what else would people like to use it for? (it could be an alternative space to the busy Village Hall) what would encourage people to use the space? –To what extent the historically short term posting of vicars at Petham is felt to create a detached relationship with the Church –How non Christian residents feel about Parish funding of the Church The Church

33 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 33 Future Funding Current economic uncertainty prompted suggestion that the survey explore future funding: –Cannot rely on council tax, charitable donation etc. –What propensity is there amongst residents to contribute to a fund for Petham? Flight Paths Disturbance from occasional flight routes over Petham was not an issue More of a concern was the impact of any future expansion of Manston Airport Other Issues

34 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 34 Main Findings – Youth Groups

35 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 35 Some of the spontaneous feedback concurred with the adults’ perspective: –The intrinsic character of Petham is worth protecting – its peacefulness it’s natural beauty and it’s compact nature Thereafter, priority issues for the Petham Plan survey are felt to be: –Lack of facilities: notably a village shop: –The absence of any clinic –Too many speeding cars –The need for more activities for kids. (That said, the new basketball facilities at the Rec are very much approved) –Keeping the area clean and well maintained Youth Groups We just need the basics

36 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 36 Some divergence evident: On the subject of the bus service: –Older children feel the lack of transport and prioritise an improved service –Whereas younger children do not have that independence and so do not feel it’s so important The Environment also divides opinion: –Younger children are more conscious of the need to protect the Environment (possibly heavier indoctrination at Primary school vs Secondary level) Our Elders and their needs can also be viewed differently: –Younger children appear more caring and concerned! –Older children perceive our Elders to be well supported by family, neighbours and the community in general! There is no sense of their exclusion. Youth Groups We always talk to them and people visit them

37 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 37 And some other distinctions: Pedestrian safety: Younger children also feel more vulnerable due to the lack of pavements – but our more independent, confident older children place this issue much further down the scale! The Church: Younger children are more conscious of the need to support the Church (currently may be the more regular attendees?) Activities: Older children also feel that whilst there is a broad range of ages represented by the children of the village, the relatively small number of children can mean that the different age groups can feel isolated – i.e. the age range is very spread and spread thinly. This means that access to appropriate activities by age is important. There can be no single solution to fit all Youth Groups

38 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 38 Lowest priorities are: –Village Hall – already popular and working well –Schools - ditto –Flooding – no sensitivity to the potential problem –Flight paths – ditto –Internet – no problems. Poor mobile phone reception is more of a concern! Other issues occupy the middle ground of concern : –Passing on shared values to future generations and incomers –Careful development / no development of new housing to protect the character of the village –Crime/safety –Communication –Integration of the sub communities in the area the above are important to survey, but not ‘pressing’. Youth Groups

39 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 39 Conclusions

40 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 40 The discussions confirm that a wide number of issues are important to residents – and some stretch across the age range Issues span practical needs and steps which could be taken to provide emotional benefits (integration, socialisation, inclusion) Quantitative evaluation will confirm the full extent to which these issues are shared - and will indicate the interests of different lifestage segments of the local population Meantime, the focus groups succeeded in going beyond a trawl of ‘needs and wants’ to highlight hopes and fears for the future of Petham as a thriving community. Conclusions - 1

41 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 41 A concern is that without careful development and improved facilities the village will attract and retain only those who are: –Able to travel to work, to shop or access healthcare –Retired –Sufficiently affluent to buy homes –Able to be dependent on others in the community A future population which will impact on the ultimate character of the village There is a desire not to see Petham as a ‘dormitory’ where people do not live actively or contribute to their local area. Accordingly there is interest in using the survey to learn what people ‘do’ whilst they are here. There is also an environmental conscience in the village which is keen to ensure sustainable development, keeping an eye on the ‘bigger picture’. Conclusions - 2

42 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 42 Some topics brought with them complex challenges. How to: –provide more homes without creating a more ‘built up’ village –provide a shop and pub without the attendant parking challenges –support new businesses like shop and pub within a small community –meet the demand for transport efficiently and realistically –bring healthcare services to the village –create more of a focal point (than the village hall) without a shop or pub –be Petham focussed when we may need to work alongside other villages to achieve shared goals –pass on the values of the village to people coming in who haven’t grown up here There was the sense that to be defeated by these challenges could mean serious consequences for Petham Conclusions - 4

43 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 43 Conclusions - 3 There’s no continuity. Children grow up and leave We’ve got to lobby local councils for better public facilities like transport. If we don’t - the village will go! We’ve got to look at the shop situation. We have to think about how we could have a shop (and not just dismiss feasibility) I strongly feel there should be more affordable housing for young people otherwise we will lose a generation who will move away

44 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 44 At the outset respondents were encouraged not to see the focus groups as problem solving exercises - but within the discussions some potential solutions were offered and could be considered. The less complex problems were easier to resolve than others and so solutions were put forward for: –Traffic + Pedestrian safety –Transport options –Stewardship of the countryside –Ownership of the cleanliness of the village –Increased voluntary support of children and teens Conclusions - 5

45 Andrea Williams Qualitative Research 45 We now have a sense of the range of issues pertinent to residents Our prediction of the broad themes was accurate But our focus groups have provided an indication of priorities – many issues were spontaneously raised And we are in possession of the important detail which adds meaning to the issues. **** Conclusions - 6

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