Rissington Appraisal Group – 1999 / 2000

Came across this report dated 1999 – 2000 which appraised the Village and provided some Questions that needed answering. I notice that a number of the comments are still valid in 2011.

The appraisal is a comprehensive survey carried out by the community for the community. Through a locally complied questionnaire distributed to each household, it offers local people the opportunity to comment on issues which affect their daily life. The information gathered from the survey can be used to celebrate local distinctiveness and put together community action plans which can influence the way in which the village moves forward. It assists with setting priorities and helps target limited resources.

The hope for a good response to the questionnaire was initially set back by internal problems within the community, which came to a head during the time allocated for the questionnaire to be completed. Nevertheless, it was extremely encouraging to see the majority of residences did indeed return their completed questionnaires.


A total of 158 households responded to the questionnaire with a total of 419 residents over the age of 11 answering most of the questions. 81.6% of homes are privately owned, 9.5% rented from the local Hosing Association and 5.7% are privately rented. The main reason that people moved to Upper Rissington are that they find the area attractive (49.8%) and because of the local employment (18.5%).

These results are over 10 years old but the following is a precise of what they said and what was identified as a solution.

In 1999, most of the residents owned cars. Just 1.9% use the bus for work and 1.5% occasionally.
However, despite the fact that people generally have their own method of transport, 60% of people would still like to see an improvement in the bus service by the addition of more routes, while 55.9% would like to see a better timetable.

Recommended Actions:
* Bus companies must work together to provide a more comprehensive service.
* Better Public transport to suit commuters and young people travelling to and from college.
* Provision of transport links to local train stations.
* Improved bus service to and from the Tesco store at Stow.
* Links into Oxfordshire – Witney & Oxford are major requirements.

Nearly, two thirds of the respondents think that there are major danger spots at Upper Rissington and almost the same number felt that speeding traffic is a problem. Over half of those who completed the questionnaire would like to see measures taken to reduce the traffic dangers, with warning signs and traffic calming the most popular solution.

Village Access:
A loading bay for heavy goods vehicles making deliveries is essential (Note – DONE).

Pavements and Street Lighting:
Over half those surveyed said they were unhappy with the existing provision of street lights and would like to see more installed.
Pavements are seen as being non user-friendly, especially for the disabled and those with prams and pushchairs. There is significant interest for more footpaths and cycle paths and pavements.

Progress to Date (2000):
* Some resurfacing and dropping of kerbs has begun, however this seems to be quite sporadic.

Recommended Actions::
* Road Safety items – largely completed.
* Street lighting is very poor. It is important that this is improved.
* Ramps to be provided on the footpaths of Farman Cresecent to give improved pedestrian access to the shop.
* More dropped kerbs required.
* Loading bay outside village shop essential.

Views on Further development – not relevant as in 2010 this has been approved. However in 1999-2000, 65-70% did not want any further development.

Children – residents favoured a Nursery (in place so no further comment)
Adults – Nearly 90% of people would like to see adult education at Upper Rissington, with evenings being the most popular time. Computing was the most favoured subject, followed by crafts and languages.

Progress to Date:
“Rascals” Mother and Toddler Group is underway.

Recommended Actions:
* After school homework clubs should be provided, with computing facilities.
* Full time play group to be provided – DONE.
* Local Education Authority to be made aware of the rising numbers of pre-school children, and should consider the future impact on local schools.
* GLOSCAT and other providers set up new classes.
* Ensure that both the range of classes and the demand is covered.

The number of employed people living in Upper Rissington is high, but only 17% work in the local vicinity. A total of 227 people work outside the area. This is disappointing especially as the developing Business Park was sold on the basis of local jobs for local people.

Recommended Actions:
* Promote Busness Park to companies offering more local employment opportunities.
* Hi-tech and light industry to be encouraged, in preference to warehousing.
* Improved full and part time employment for young people.
* Jobs notice boards to be available, establishing a link with the Job Centre and Internet vacancy services.


Electricity and Telephone:
The majority of people are satisfied with the service provided.

Refuse Collection:
The number of households have identified that the present method of plastic sacks………..RECTIFIED.

The majority of residents consider the service provided is in “poor to reasonable” category. The service provided by the water company varies throughout the village, with some areas having low water pressure whilst others experience a constant varying pressure. Other areas are considered to be satisfactory.

The service provided was considered “poor to reasonable”. An overwhelming 90% of residents have expressed a wish for mains gas. to be pipped to Upper Rissington, as the present supplier previously indicated this intention.

Litter & Dog Waste Bins:
The residents have identified the lack of litter bins – 94% would like to see extra bins around the village. They have also highlighted a great need for more dog waste bins – an overwhelming 88% would like this to be implemented.

Medical Facilities:
The majority of residents have no difficulty in accessing the medical facilities provided by the Health Service, but approximately 17% do have difficulties and this should be investigated further to see if some of the services could be brought to the residents.

Neighbourhood Watch Scheme:
A very high proportion (75%) of the population believe that a Neighbourhood Watch scheme would be good for the Upper Rissington village but only 53% of the respondents to the questionnaire indicated hat they would take an active part in the scheme. It should be noted that there is now a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in operation.

Recommended Actions:
* Wheelie bins to be provided (DONE).
* More litter and dog waste bins (DONE).
* Mains gas is required (NOT DONE).
* Country & Metropoloitan to upgrade to mains water and sewage to facilitate adoption by a major water utility company (NOT DONE).


Social Facilities:
The general opinion is that social services at Upper Rissington are poor. The residents are unhappy with the current facilities and would like to see an improvement.

Clubs and Activities:
A total of 149 respondents indicated their interest to join new clubs and activities if they were provided. The most popular ideas for new activities were a gardening club (45%) and a rambling club (34.9%). There were 64 respondents who would be prepared to help with leisure time activities for young people. Of the activities listed, the summer play scheme was the most popular with 34.5%.

There were 230 respondents indicating a desire to participate in sports clubs and activities. Of the various sports suggested 113 residents were keen on Keep Fit with 99 people enthusiastic to play Badminton.

From the residents who responded to the appraisal it was interesting to note that many would like to see swimming activities, or for the Officers Mess to be converted into a leisure centre providing a gymnasium and other associated facilities. This in turn would provide employment for local people.

Children & Teenager:
Families with children thought that the children’s play area was adequate for small children although litter bins should be provided to prevent an accumulation of litter. A vast majority of residents thought that there should be more facilities for teenage children ranging from skateboard parks, cycle paths and roller blading areas. It is encouraging that a Youth Club is now in operation.

Village Hall:
A total of 55.7% of residents have never used the village hall, with a further 22.8% indicating that they use the hall less than once per month. From these figures it can be seen that there are not enough activities being provided to encourage residents to make use of the hall.

An overwhelming 88.2% of residents considered that the quality of the countryside around Upper Rissington to be important to them. This confirms that residents do not want to see the surrounding area spilt. It should be noted that there is a Conservation Group already in operation.

Recommended Actions:
* Encourage any new sports clubs and establish sports teams.
* A designated sports playing area.
* A summer play scheme for children and teenagers.
* Roller blading area and cycle paths provided.
* Children’s play are to be made a dog free zone.


Most people thought that the information available about what is going on in Upper Rissington was poor. There seems to be a need for a larger public notice board and more local information points, and signposts. Any new notice boards should have adequate lighting. This is a failing of the existing small notice board located near the shop.

Council Tax:
A large amount of people are unaware of how the Council Tax is spent, and the majority are not in favour of a raise of the tax. Nevertheless, an increase is in the pipeline. Residents feel that they do not see any of the Council Tax revenue being used to improve the village.

The need for a Parish Council was overwhelming, with a view being that most grounds maintenance should be handled by that body. The residents indicated that they do not think that either the Parish, District, or County Councils are aware of local concerns and feelings. People also feel that the local M.P. is similarly unaware.

Recommended Actions:
* Clean up of the village is required on a regular basis
* Provision of rubbish skips on a regular basis.
* Larger notice boards to be provided.
* Existing notice boards to be illuminated and made more accessible.
* Village plan to be provided at access points to aid visitors.
* Interest has been shown in allotments and a wild life garden
* A garden of remembrance has been requested by a considerable number of residents.