The Parish is well served by amenities for sport, leisure, education, recreation and religious purposes, although all of the facilities are situated in Wingrave, which has a greater critical mass than Rowsham.
The Parishioners were asked which amenities they use or would anticipate using. The responses below are ranked in order of response for the Parish as a whole and are then sub-divided into the Wingrave and Rowsham responses. With the exception of the shop, Rowsham Parishioners use the facilities far less intensively than Wingrave.
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The questionnaire also asked whether the existing facilities could be used for additional purposes. The response was generally neutral which suggests that the facilities are being used appropriately. A follow up question inviting suggestions for alternative additional uses of Parish amenities produced a variety of ideas but no strong trends or preferences.
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3.2 The Shop and Post Office
The Shop and Post Office are part of the same business and are located in the centre of Wingrave on the main thoroughfare. There is no off-street parking and as the site is elevated, access is difficult for the immobile. As the shop serves the entire Parish, a significant number of shoppers drive rather than walk and park on Winslow Road.
The majority of residents in the entire parish view the shop and post office as an essential amenity. If there is any possibility of the current facility closing in the future, an alternative site should be found.
3.3 The Rose and Crown Public House
There is one remaining public house in the Parish, the Rose and Crown. Historically there were up to four pubs in Wingrave and one in Rowsham but these have closed and been converted to residential use.
The Rose and Crown is currently owned by Punch Taverns and leased to the current operators. The leasehold interest has changed hands a number of times over the last decade. The retention of this amenity is seen as essential by the majority of Wingrave respondents. Rowsham residents place less importance on the facility. Closure and any transfer to alternative uses should be resisted for the duration of the Community Plan.
3.4 Wingrave Community Association
The WCA has a long lease of the Community Centre, which is owned by Buckinghamshire County Council. The WCA is also responsible for organising many of the social events in the Parish.
The Community Centre is hired out by regular commercial and non-profit (community) organisations on a daily basis. The regular weekly events at the Community Centre include Youth Club, Brownies, Guides, dance and fitness classes and monthly ‘Swingrave Tea Dance’ events. During term-time the Community Centre is fully booked on weekday afternoons and evenings.
The Centre is also used for regular community events such as bi-weekly barbecues in the summer, Bingo nights throughout the year and is also important for the 30+ social clubs active in the Parish such as the Camera Club (WINPIC), Twinning Society, The Ramblers Society and Golf Society.
There are other less regular events including WCA dinner dances, the Pantomime, Theatre in the Villages, the annual WARGAS and National Sweet Pea Show, Village Fete, Art & Craft Exhibition, Scouts Bazaar, Church Christmas Tree Festival, WCA Cinema Club, and the occasional Play Around The Parish event during school holidays. It also provides a storage area for the WWR Archive Association.
The Centre is popular for private parties and more recently bookings for wedding celebrations are on the increase with at least 3 booked for 2012.
Wireless Internet has recently been installed in the Centre and the WCA is exploring internet cafe opportunities with community groups as well as teleconference/conference/ work hub opportunities for local businesses.
The WCA is also responsible for publishing and distributing the Parish Newsletter, the Communique, on a monthly basis and the Parish Directory on an annual basis.
The WCA is funded by membership subscriptions, the 200+ Club, revenue from bookings, revenue from WCA organized events such as the BBQs and through a Parish Council grant.
WWRSAL (Wingrave with Rowsham Sports and Leisure) is a Trust that manages the sport and leisure facilities in Wingrave with Rowsham on behalf of the Parish Council. It was set up following the construction of the Sports Pavilion and associated facilities in 2001, which was funded by a Lottery Grant and a loan taken out by the Parish Council and through substantial donations by the local community. It is the umbrella organisation for a multitude of clubs including: netball, tennis, croquet, football, bowls, cricket, pool, darts and café in the park. It is responsible for the Recreation Ground including the play-area, the pavilion and the croquet lawn, and for Wingrave Park which includes the junior and senior football pitches, the cricket pitch, the skate- park, the social club and pavilion, the floodlit MUGA (multi use games area) and tennis courts
WWRSAL has nearly 450 members of the various clubs and societies plus regular non-member users of the play-area, skate-park and social club.
WWRSAL is primarily funded through membership fees of the individual sports clubs and the social club, through events such as the annual village fete, and through a Parish Council management fee.
3.6 Wingrave Garage
The garage is privately owned and is currently for sale as a going concern. The garage offers servicing, repairs, MOT inspections and fuel. The garage is valued by about half of Wingrave respondents but only 11% of Rowsham.
Planning consent exists for conversion of the 19th Century workshop to a cottage. Any alternative uses for the rest of the site would require planning consent and possibly remediation of any fuel contamination.
3.7 Educational Facilities
The Parish has one state run primary school, which is situated in Wingrave between Winslow Road and Twelve Leys. The site was constructed in the 1970s and the school was previously located in the building that is now the Community Centre. The pre-school recently moved from the Community Centre to refurbished premises at the school site. Wingrave is also the home of MacIntyre School which is run by the MacIntyre Charity and provides education and care for young people with complex learning difficulties.
The questionnaire asked whether the Parish has sufficient educational facilities with the following response:
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3.7.1 Wingrave Church of England Combined School
Wingrave C of E Combined School is a small local community primary school for children aged between 4 and 11 years old. The school catchment includes the Parish, nearby villages of Aston Abbotts, Cublington and surrounding areas. Pupil numbers are on the increase particularly in the lower forms with some children travelling from Aylesbury.
One factor in considering the future of a rural community is whether the population is sufficient to sustain the existing amenities, in particular the school population. Pupil numbers are currently around 130 and the school has capacity for about 200 children. The school is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School working in partnership with Buckinghamshire County Council and the Oxford Diocese Board of Education.
Primary school provision is considered important to the Parish and is not anticipated to change significantly during the life of the community plan.
3.7.2 Wingrave Pre-School
The pre-school is independent of the primary school and is run by a charitable trust. The pre-school is for children aged 2 to 4 and runs weekday mornings in term time. Now that it is located in dedicated premises rather than shared facilities at the Community Centre the pre-school also provides some afternoon sessions.
The MacIntyre School was constructed on its existing site in 2007. The site was formerly owned by a Convent and was donated to MacIntyre in the 1970s. Part of the site (now Mount Tabor House) that previously housed the school was sold to a private residential developer to assist in the funding of the new purpose built facility.
The school has capacity for up to 40 residential students. With 220 staff, it provides employment opportunities for the Parish.
The school has excellent facilities designed for the particular needs of its students and residents. They include a sports hall with trampoline, a hydro-therapy pool, a smaller sports hall, and a cafeteria. As the school has a good source of funding, these facilities are currently made available to the Parish community in the main for no fee. As the Community Centre is intensively used and frequently over-booked, the additional facilities available at MacIntyre School are becoming increasingly used. For example as part of the process for writing this Community Plan an Open Evening was held at the school making use of the sports hall and cafeteria.
3.8 Health Facilities
The questionnaire asked what health services the Parishioners would like to see with the following response:
Other services suggested were a physiotherapist, but the response was less than 5%. The questionnaire also asked where the services could be located. There were around 75 responses (14% of respondents) that the Community Centre could be used.
There is therefore an overwhelming desire for a Doctor’s Surgery. This was also identified in the 2004 Parish Plan but Health Sector providers have not yet responded.
3.9 Conclusions and recommendations:
The current amenities provision is good, but any additional burden either through the reduction of the current facilities (such as the closure of the shop or pub) or through additional growth would leave the Parish in short supply. Any further development in the Parish should take the balance of demand for amenities into account and additional provision may be required if housing expands in particular during the second decade of the Plan period.
If there is a substantial additional provision of housing in Rowsham, and if sufficient demand can be proven, there could be a good case for additional retail provision.
There is strong demand for a Doctor’s Surgery in the Parish, but the provision of this facility will rely on providers in the Health Sector being convinced of the requirement and business case.
The primary school is well patronised and there is no medium term concern that the constitution of the population is causing a reduction in attendees.