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As you will have read in the last edition of Roundabout, the Village Plan project is proceeding well. We now have 311 of the main Questionnaires back, which is 82.5% of the 390 we issued to every dwelling in Stutton. This remarkable return reflects well on the community spirit within Stutton, a recurring theme in the many comments people have added to their answers. We also have 44 Youth questionnaires returned out of 66 issued (2/3rds) and 21 out of 28 Business forms, ¾ of those issued.

The huge task of inputting the data from all of the 311 questionnaires is going well, with nearly 200 entered so far, about two thirds. Once the recording of the data is complete it will take us some time to assimilate and analyse the huge amount of information we have collected but we are aiming at a final report in the late summer.

Having read every one of the 200 or so input questionnaires, I must say how nice it is to read that so many residents clearly love living in Stutton, with its peace & quiet, its community spirit and the frequent reference to the friendly people. Whilst many are willing to embrace change, many want Stutton to stay as it is and we will have great difficulty in balancing these differing views.

The findings that will flow from this project will not mean that changes will automatically be made. The final report will list the topics that will deserve further consideration as Action Points, and it will be for the Parish Council to set up working groups to follow up these matters in more detail and to decide if and how any action can or is to be taken.

Just a few brief snippets of information from the forms input so far, as I said about 2/3rds:

  • Our population is split roughly 50:50 between Male & Female.
  • The largest age range is 45 – 59 - 24% of respondents so far.
  • Hardly anyone uses the Telephone box, just a few ‘occasionally’ - what a shame.
  • A sensitively sited Mobile Phone mast has the approval of 2 out of every 3 of the 277 people who have expressed a view, so far.
  • The well-known problems of parking and speeding are commented on a very great deal. Flashing slow-down signs are popular and Police coverage is generally thought to be poor.
  • Keep-fit and Yoga both appear to be in demand.
  • Many have concerns about aircraft over-flying.
  • A pavement from Oak House to the Manningtree road is almost universally wanted.
  • Views are very mixed about future development, whether for housing or the “business/commercial” type of development. Some want more development, many do not and many people have expressed strong and clear views on what should happen. The possible introduction of Bed & Breakfast facilities seems to be popular. There is no clear demand for affordable housing.
  • Stutton is keen on recycling, although I am surprised how few people admit to putting their newspapers in the Paper Bank at the School.
  • Roundabout is very well read and appreciated.
  • The Parish Council has a lot to do to overcome a range of concerns.
  • Lots of people are very keen to see improvements in the local environment and there are many votes for an annual or bi-annual litter clean up and for more dog-mess bins, both in the Village and in Alton Water.
  • Several people have suggested it is up to us, the Villagers, to keep our Village clean.
  • It is no surprise that the School is recognised as an asset to the Village by a very large majority.

Finally, I would like to quote from 2 comments that I think sum up the whole tenor of the many responses I have read so far: - The first from two senior citizens who have lived in Stutton between 26 & 50 years: -


The second is from a typical family, Mum, Dad and 2 children aged between 11 and 15, the parents have been in the Village over 26 years: -


Thank you very much to everyone who has supported this project so well, the committee are looking forward to putting the final report together in the hope that we can adequately capture the hugely wide-ranging views that have been expressed.

Martin Delacamp – Acting Chairman - Stutton Village Plan Steering Group 24/4/2008




The response to the questionnaires has been astonishing. We have collected over 300 residents’ questionnaires, some 84% and with about 30 more to come. This exceptional return is so pleasing for everyone involved and will enable us to publish our report knowing that the information obtained is truly representative of the views of Stutton’s residents.

The draw for the £50 prize and the £15 Voucher for the Youth questionnaire will be made at the Parish Council Meeting at the start of May. With forms still being returned, we feel the April meeting is too soon and may miss out a few late returns. Winners will be announced in Roundabout, the Website and on Village Notice Boards.

A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone in Stutton for supporting this project. The effort made by so many to complete the lengthy and detailed form is very much appreciated.

VERY MANY THANKS to all who personally delivered and collected the questionnaires.

THANK YOU also to all the young people who have returned 39 Youth (ages 8 to 16) forms so far and expressed appreciation that they have been asked to contribute their views. Many young residents have completed their columns in the main questionnaire so the information we are receiving comes from a good age spread.

Local businesses have also embraced this project with enthusiasm, 18 have returned their form so far, nearly 65%.

If anyone hasn’t yet completed the questionnaire, please do. As it will take some time to input the huge volume of data collected, we will accept late returns. Pass them back via your collector or contact me on the number below and I will collect your form. Blank forms are available should the first one somehow have fallen into the WPB (in error of course!). If anyone hasn’t had a questionnaire delivered, let me know, please.

Several people have commented on the absence of questions about the Village Shop. It was felt that as the Shop Committee had undertaken a full consultation with residents prior to proceeding with the project, it was inappropriate for us to revisit the Community Shop issues. At 82 questions already, more about the Shop would have added to the length of our questionnaire. All comments received will be passed on to the Shop Committee.

We have been asked where the money came from to produce the questionnaire. The project is funded by grants from various bodies within Local Government and Local Authority umbrellas, specifically, Defra’s Rural Social Community Programme (RSCP), Babergh District Council and our local County Councillor (Dave Wood) through his locality budget plus a contribution from our own Parish Council, all helpfully coordinated by Suffolk Acre. Funding is not provided for the time and effort given readily by the volunteers who form the Steering Group.

Work on inputting the huge volume of data has started, the task is daunting and will take a good many weeks. Once entered, we will analyse what it is telling us. It would be premature now, to give any feedback but future issues of Roundabout will contain snippets of information that become apparent, without pre-judging the final outcome. As you know, a report will be made available to everyone, we are not sure exactly how we will achieve this but with so many of you taking the trouble to fill in the questionnaire, we feel very strongly that everyone should receive a copy of the report.

Finally, THANKS VERY MUCH for the interest and support you have given to this project, we feel very rewarded by the feedback and response we have received.

Martin Delacamp, Acting Chairman, Village Plan Committee - Tel: 327024




At long last, the questionnaires are almost ready to issue to every house in the Village. By the time you read this, the proofs will have gone to the printers and we hope to be delivering the Household Questionnaire, together with the separate Youth Questionnaire for all young people between the ages of 8 and 16, during February. A separate questionnaire will also be delivered to all Stutton businesses.

Completion of the questionnaires is very important if we are to have a significant and representative analysis of the views of our Village Residents and we are extremely optimistic that almost everyone will find time to complete the questionnaire. It is anonymous and confidential so don’t worry if your views are favourable or critical, negative thoughts will be as useful as positive ones.

Once the questionnaires are returned, it will take some time to complete the full analysis though we plan to release interim details and facts as they emerge to keep you informed. Once the full report is prepared a copy will be available to everyone and there will be a Public Meeting to discuss the findings. The Village Website ( and Roundabout will display a summary of the findings.

This is your chance to have a say about your Village.

Help us to make this whole exercise as valuable as possible by completing and returning the questionnaire through the person who delivered it to you.

On behalf of the Village Plan Committee, thank you, in advance, for taking part in this project, your views are absolutely vital and we are looking forward to analysing the many observations that will come out of this exercise.

Martin Delacamp, Acting Chairman, Village Plan Committee



Work on the preparation of the questionnaire has been continuing since the break during the summer holidays. The Plan Committee has been considering a huge list of “suggested” questions and shifting out those that simply are not relevant to Stutton or that largely duplicate more specific questions. Our aim is to narrow down the original list, some 324 or more to about 75 then add some very specific questions of our own that will, hopefully, reflect the concerns and ideas that came out of the very helpful consultation process earlier this year. Separate “Youth” and “Business” questionnaires will be produced as well.

We must own up to having dropped behind our original and fairly demanding timetable and we are now hoping to be in a position to issue the questionnaire early in the New Year leading to publishing a report on the conclusions and the action plan in March onwards. We still have a lot of work to do ahead of Christmas and we may be being a little optimistic in these proposed timings. However, the group of volunteers who comprise the Plan Committee are very committed to the project and meet regularly within the constraints placed on their time by their own work and personal commitments.

Please be patient, we want to complete this task as well as we are able and to be confident that we reflect very fully, the views and ideas of Stutton’s residents.

Looking ahead to the distribution and collection of the questionnaire, presently planned for January 2008, we plan to have a questionnaire delivered and collected personally to each house in Stutton. We want to do our very best to encourage as many people as possible to take the time and trouble to complete the questionnaire and return it for inclusion in the analysis that will follow. A draw for a £50 prize will be on offer to those that return the questionnaire.

We will therefore need some volunteers to deliver and collect the questionnaire to every house, the actual numbers for each deliverer/collector will be kept as low as possible depending on the number of volunteers we get. Volunteers will be asked to speak to the householder to encourage completion and to offer help, if needed, in answering the questions and then call to collect the completed form. If you would like to assist us in this important role, please let one of the Plan Committee know or contact either Chris Leach on 328939 or myself on 327024. We will be happy to explain more of the task if you wish.

Martin Delacamp, Treasurer, Village Plan Committee



Work on this project has been continuing as many of you will know having taken the trouble to return the completed “orange” questionnaires enclosed in the last issue of Roundabout or to attend one of the three meetings at the Village Hall in the last two weeks of June.

Firstly a very grateful “THANKS” to everyone who did complete and return the questionnaire and/or come along to one of the meetings. We are delighted with the response we have received and the huge number of comments contributed.

The Committee are currently analysing these contributions to identify the issues you, the Residents, feel are important and to pick up on the very valuable comments that build on the headings we listed. The comments also raised a number of issues we hadn’t identified or had wrongly thought were of less relevance. This mass of information will be extremely useful when we compile the questionnaire and will guide us in deciding which ones are need more weight and attention.

We are sure you will be interested to know that the following topics were the most “popular”, no great surprises and many of the additional comments overlapped with one or more of the other topic headings. E.g. under Schools several comments related to the Parking problems, most of which naturally were made under “Parking” The “favourite topics are as follows:-

  • Road Traffic
  • Village Shop
  • Footpaths
  • Post Office
  • Starter Homes
  • School(s)
  • Transport
  • Village Hall
  • Doctor’s Surgery
  • Care for the Elderly
  • Housing
  • Village Playing Field
  • Parking
  • Mobile Phone Masts
  • Roundabout
  • Police

As well as the “bad” points which we asked for, it was nice to read many “good” points that praised and appreciated many aspects of our Village and what goes on. Once the full details have been collated and analysed we hope to find a way of passing on the complimentary comments as people deserve to hear that their efforts are appreciated.

The overriding feeling having read all of the comments is that many people really care about our Village and the quality of life we enjoy. Criticisms were constructive, relevant and valid, not mindless carping and the many comments will be very helpful in our next stage. Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to contribute, it is rewarding to the Committee to know so many in the Village are interested in this project.

A few notes to keep everyone up to date on developments. Neil Mordey felt unable to continue his role as Chairman due to personal reasons and we thank him for his major contribution in getting this show on the road. No new Chairman has been appointed as yet, though Parish Chair Chris Leach is overseeing matters and ensuring things keep moving. However with the holiday period upon us, progress will be delayed for a few weeks though more background work will continue over this period.

By the time you read this we hope to have made contact with the Businesses in the Village for their input as well as a few other “groups” such as the Churches, Oak House, our own Primary School to make sure we have some input from our very young people and other interested parties, such as the Holbrook Surgery, Holbrook Primary and High School and a few other entities whose input to the important issues needs to be sought.

As this update is drafted, details of the Planning application for the Tent site in Alton Water , opposite the café, has landed on the writer’s doormat. Whilst your Committee are duty-bound to remain unbiased about individual Village issues, we are disappointed this has arrived having just finished our consultations with most of the Village residents as we feel sure this would have been an issue raised by many, not least those in Holbrook Road and Larksfield Road. It is likely this topic will be referred to in the questionnaire though the timetable of the Planning process is at variance with our Plan timetable and any response via the questionnaire is likely to be far too late for inclusion in any submission to the Planning Committee. What the Village Plan Committee might be able to do is to write to Babergh D C to highlight the many comments we have received during this consultation that are of relevance to this planning development. This will be considered in time for any submission to be sent within the 21 day period.

Martin Delacamp, Treasurer, Village Plan Committee



Last year, Stutton Parish Council decided to go ahead with a project to prepare a Village Plan following a very well attended meeting at the Village Community Hall when the idea was fully discussed. Parish Council Chairman, Chris Leach, and his Council colleagues are delighted to announce that a Steering Group has been formed to undertake this project, comprising the following volunteers, all local residents: -

Neil Mordey – Chairman Tel: 327485 Honeysuckle, Larksfield Road
John Wesley – Secretary Tel: 327280 Rustlyngs, Larksfield Road
Martin Delacamp – Treasurer Tel: 327024 Spey, 17 Larksfield Road
Sally Russell Tel: 327279 Alton Hall Lane
Adrian Gray Tel: 328827 Claemar, Holbrook Road
Will & Sally Pritchard Tel: 327966  
Chris Leach – Parish Council Chairman & Council Nominee Tel: 328939  
Keith Kennell – Parish Council Nominee Tel: 328863  

This Steering Group has already begun meeting and an application for grants to fund this project has been successfully submitted through Suffolk Acre and the grant monies are due to be received any moment. Thanks should be given to DEFRA, Suffolk County Council, Babergh District Council, our local County Councillor Dave Wood and our own Parish Council who have all generously contributed to the total grant from various appropriate funds.

A Village Plan aims to bring together the views, needs and opinions of the whole community, covering social, economic and environmental issues of relevance to all who live, work and use our lovely Village as well as linking with neighbouring communities whose amenities and facilities we share. A Village Plan is a tried and tested tool that is being used by over 3000 Villages and Parishes and has proved a successful way for rural citizens to make their voices heard and to get things done locally through improved relationships with local authorities and service providers, who may also incorporate our action plan ideas in their local District and County Plans. A Village Plan is also regarded as an important pre-requisite to the obtaining of grants and other assistance to fulfil projects that flow from the Plan.

A Village Plan uses extensive consultation to make contact with everyone who has an interest in our Village to identify our Community’s needs and the Steering Group’s first task will be to identify the range of people, groups, businesses and other bodies who will wish/need to be consulted.

The Steering Group intends to keep everyone in the Village as fully informed of progress as possible, so look out for regular features in Roundabout, on the Village Website, and on Village notice boards. Events will be arranged to enable the Steering Group to have face-to-face contact with all of the various groups within the village and to enable every resident to have the opportunity to come and contribute their views and ideas for our thriving Village before a questionnaire is issued to every household. If you have any comments in the meantime or wish to help or assist in any way, please don’t hesitate to speak to any of the Steering Group members listed above, we will all be delighted to answer any questions you may have and to talk about the Plan.

Neil Mordey, Chairman, Stutton Parish Plan Steering Group



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