Dear RARA member,
Firstly, Happy New Year to you all.
As some of you may know, after three long years, Linda Cannon-Clegg has stood down from her role as the chair of RARA and I am delighted and flattered that the committee have elected me as their new chairman. I have been on the RARA committee for the last three years and, as a trustee of Risborough Youth Club and a former Town Councillor, heavily involved in local affairs since the early 2000’s. I am a resident of Station Rd, Princes Risborough and am deeply committed to ensuring the town and surrounding area remains as lovely a place to live as I have experienced. Linda, thankfully, remains on the committee and will be invaluable in supporting us through the next year but I would like to take this opportunity to thank her on behalf of the committee and members for her constant hard work that has seen RARA remain such an important voice for the community. Her determination and drive is second to none and without her leadership there are many times when the committee would have faltered over the daunting tasks we have had to address.
The last two years have been particularly active for RARA as our town and surrounding villages have been through various consultations and proposals which have resulted in a now adopted Local Plan that will have significant impact on our area. The RARA committee have been very involved in all stages of this and although the outcome of the process is not as we hoped, we remain committed to ensuring that the voice of the residents is heard and that we can help shape the inevitable large scale developments and infrastructure changes now planned to the most optimum benefit of Prince Risborough and its surrounding area.
We will, of course, be looking closely at all development plans that will now come forward as a result of Wycombe District Councils Local Plan and, with your help and support, comment and constructively influence the future shape of the town.
Wycombe District Council will cease to operate in April of this year and the new Bucks Unitary Authority offers us new opportunities to be involved in local issues. It is important to us that we foster and build on our relationship with this new Council and also continue to work with Princes Risborough Town Council who will inevitably have a much larger role to play in the future shaping of the Town. We also look forward to meeting with and building a relationship with our new MP, Greg Smith and we are pleased that we now have proper representation at this level. We remain committed to being an important and independent voice for the Risborough area and greatly value the support and input from yourselves.
Just recently, the Town Council has managed to provide free weekend parking in the town for which we are delighted. This initiative is very welcome and RARA has always believed that some free parking will greatly help our local businesses and shops, and help keep Princes Risborough town centre vibrant.
We are also very supportive of the Risborough Environment Group who since their fairly recent creation have also been heavily involved in local issues, not least their growing and very effective Sunday litter-picking activities that have had a big impact on our general environment.
There are many other local organisations that we have worked with over the years from the Heritage Society, the Community Association, Rotary and the many residents groups and societies etc. that the town and surrounding area enjoys. We will continue to work with all local stakeholders to the best outcomes and share ideas and findings.
But mostly, we are very thankful to our members for their support and we will always welcome feedback and advice on how best to deal with issues and areas of concern that you may have.
We have a very new and updated website www.risboroughresidents.org where you will be able to find out more about our activities and where and how to contact us.
I very much look forward to my role as chairman of RARA as the town and area go through its next stage of crucial and major inevitable change in planning and in local governance. The former chairman's shoes are hard to fill but with the support of the diverse and dedicated committee, I am committed to trying to shape the best outcomes.
Chairman Risborough Area Residents Association.