I first saw a demonstration of the Parish Online system at a Sussex and Surrey Association of Local Councils meeting about 4 years ago and immediately recognised the benefits for the Parish Council. Louise Davies, Parish Clerk.
It took a little time to get to grips with the system, but it has proved to be invaluable, not only for my day to day work as a Clerk, but more recently in the preparation of our Neighbourhood Plan. To date, I have used it for the following projects, but there are so many more possibilities!
- Create maps for our Neighbourhood Plan. Once plotted, it is easy to select and create different maps and export to put into documents. We included possible development sites, created divisions within proposed sites to show development and potential recreation areas and also plotted our proposed Local Open and Green Spaces.
- Use the Environment Agency data to show areas of flooding.
- View the Department for Transport accident maps and statistics to identify road traffic accidents in support of our objection to a proposed development.
- Plot the location of grit bins for West Sussex County Council's Winter Management Plan.
- Mark all Parish Council owned trees around the Conservation Area. Making it easy to produce a location map for planning applications for work on the trees.
- Produce maps to highlight location of issues, such as blocked drains/pot holes, to send to Highways Department; which has really improved response times.
- Produce maps for Parish Council planning and grant applications.
- Create a mailing list for some areas in the Parish – remember the electoral role only has those people who are registered!
Since I enrolled, the system has become easier to use, and I would thoroughly recommend to any Clerk or Councillor that they give it a go and persevere! Having recently attended the training session organised by WSCC, I look forward to having more time in the future to plot our village assets and using the system to its full potential.