The Working Party

The Southam Neighbourhood Plan is being compiled by a Working Party of Southam Town Council.

The Working Party – is made up of 20 or so members headed by 3 officers (Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary). The purpose of this group is to direct its efforts towards production of the Neighbourhood Plan and to ensure all regulatory requirements are met. This includes organising consultative events, sifting through survey responses, reading documentation and writing The Plan, amongst other things!

Membership includes a number of Town Councillors, interested residents and people with specialist skills.

The Officers are:

Graham Foster - Chairman

I have lived in Southam for 21 years and even in that time seen many changes. Personally I am immersed in the same housing dilemma: how do we preserve the environment we love but at the same time provide housing our loved ones can afford as they grow up and leave home? Government legislation has devolved a level of planning responsibility away from remote councils down to local communities and this is what a Neighbourhood Development Plan is all about. It allows us to publish a democratic consensus on how we, the residents, want our town to develop. We'd be silly to pass up the opportunity.

Mike Brooks – Vice Chairman

A resident of 17 years, what attracted me to live in Southam was its historic background, friendly residents and enviable community spirit. As a small market town I instantly felt at home and safe here. In the current climate the need to expand and build to cope with a growing UK population means practically no city, town or village is immune. I think we can do this responsibly, supporting new housing with commensurate infrastructure whilst preserving our historic places and what is important to local populations, all achievable with the right vision and a considered planning approach. We have been given here the power and opportunity to shape our own destiny for the next 15-20 years, we cannot afford to waste it.

Gary Smith – Secretary

My wife’s recommendation and my work brought me to Southam some 10 years ago and I believe we could not have made a better choice for our family. I’m an active member of Southam Rugby Club, my children are very happy at school here and my wife Louise opened Sweet Boutique on Market Hill with her friend Nicola recently. I took the opportunity to get involved with the Neighbourhood Plan because I feel we must improve our infrastructure especially our roads which are already busy and will get busier with new development. I believe there are better ways of sharing our roadways and I would love to send my kids to school on their bikes knowing that it is safe to do so. Let’s take the opportunity to adopt or adapt learning from other European towns to make Southam a more active and safer place.

The volunteer group – another 20 or so individuals make up the volunteer group. These people are invaluable to help with events, sifting through evidence, providing the voice of the community and helping to get our messages to you. We are always welcoming of new volunteers so if you want to get involved this is the ideal group to start in.

Working Groups

Working Party and volunteer group members take part in working groups looking at the 4 main themes underpinning our vision of Southam and, in time, the plan. These are Environment, Housing, Community and Infrastructure.

Environment vacancy, Laurence Caves, Jeff Smith, Marion Childs, Linda Doyle, Pamela Palmer

HousingMike Brookes, Helen Caves

Mike Brooks

Community - Graham Foster, Sharon Lythe, Joan Cripps, Cathy Lloyd and James Merrix.

InfrastructureDavid Thompson, Gary Smith, Gary Cripps, Christo Steyn, and Kieron Toner

David Thomson

I've lived in the Southam area for around fifteen years, and my family and I now live in the middle of the town. We enjoy living in a small market town with lovely walks into the countryside. I've got involved in the NSPC because it's a great opportunity to engage with our local community to help positively shape the future of our town. I'm focusing on the theme of infrastructure because I feel I can bring some experience from my job as an Urban Designer to help the Neighbourhood Plan group consider all the important elements that are needed to ensure that the Southam grows in a sustainable way and retains its best qualities.

We will focus on the various forms of infrastructure that support the life of our Town:

  • Community infrastructure (schools, doctors, dentist, other community facilities eg Craven Hall, Graham Adams centre, Grange Hall, Sports and Social club, Tithe Lodge, Warwick House, shops, pubs, leisure centre, sports clubs, market, hotel, b&bs)
  • Green and Blue infrastructure (parks, footpaths, allotments, cemeteries, play space, formal and informal sports pitches, wildlife habitat, scheduled ancient monument (eg the Holy Well) water bodies and waterways)
  • Utilities infrastructure (water, electricity, gas, telecoms, sewerage, street lighting)
  • Transport infrastructure (roads, footpaths / cycleways, public transport
  • Business Infrastructure (employment areas, retail, tourism, town support services (fire station, police station)