Date Published: 23 April 2021
Rutland residents from all walks of life are continuing to share their views and ideas as part of the ever-growing Future Rutland Conversation.
The Future Rutland Conversation was launched by Rutland County Council at the beginning of April and is a chance for people who live and work in the county to comment on a range of important issues. By gathering this feedback from people of all ages and backgrounds, the Council hopes to produce a new shared vision for the county to help guide planning and decision making.
Now entering its fourth week, the conversation has picked up pace and so far received more than 1,600 survey responses from all across the county. This includes surveys about life in Rutland, leisure, transport and the environment, all of which can be found online at: www.rutland.gov.uk/futurerutland. Other surveys on health and wellbeing, education and public services are due to be launched in the coming weeks.
Future Rutland Conversations are also being held as part of themed online forums, where more than 600 comments have been posted so far. Live online discussions between small groups are also taking place via Zoom each week, with anyone welcome to join.
Anyone who wants to join in the Future Rutland Conversation but does not have access to the internet can take part over the phone by calling Rutland County Council on: 01572 722 577.
The Future Rutland Conversation runs until 1 June 2021. However, snapshots of survey responses are being shared throughout, so that people can respond to the conversation in real time. Some of the main themes and trends to emerge from surveys that are currently live are as follows:
Your Life in Rutland
Of those who have completed Future Rutland’s ‘Your Life in Rutland’ survey so far, 66% have said they choose to live in the county because of the quality of life it offers. When asked what makes Rutland special, 81% said it was rural life, while 61% said it was the sense of belonging to a small community. The county’s choice of independent traders and its pubs and restaurants have also been highlighted by a majority of people as things that make Rutland special.
Leisure and recreation
Future Rutland’s ‘Leisure and Recreation’ survey was launched on 6 April. So far, walking has emerged as the number one sport and leisure activity in the County, listed by 91% of respondents so far. The next most popular activities are currently cycling (41%) and swimming (34%). When asked what facilities they use for leisure and recreation, 87% of people have said footpaths and public rights of way, 79% have said Rutland Water and 69% have said parks and open spaces. Just over a quarter of people (28%) have indicated that they take part in leisure activities three or more times a week.
Future Rutland’s ‘Getting Around’ survey on transport and travel was launched on Monday 12 April. Of those who have responded so far, the vast majority of people (85%) have said they travel around the county by car. Just over 80% said they do not use public transport. However, more than a third of respondents (38%) said they would like to change the way they currently travel. When people were asked why they do not currently use local public transport, the main reasons given were: services not running at the times they need, services not reaching the destinations they need and the length of journeys.
Climate change and the environment
Future Rutland’s ‘Climate Change and Environment’ survey was also launched on Monday 12 April. So far, the majority of respondents have said that global warming, plastic waste and increasing the abundance of plants and wildlife are the three environmental issues that need addressing most urgently. When asked what they think a sustainable Rutland should include in the future, 80% have said increased use of sustainable transport, such as electric cars, cycling and walking, while 74% have said less consumption of items that produce waste. Despite identifying global warming and biodiversity as key areas of environmental concern, less than 15% of respondents have said they might commit to using less fossil fuels or make a ‘wild’ space in their garden for plants and animals.
“We’ve seen a really positive response to the Future Rutland Conversation so far and it’s encouraging to see so many people coming forward to share their views and contribute to a new shared vision for the county. We’re not even half way through yet so there’s still plenty of time for people to complete surveys, post on forums and join live discussions. The comments and feedback that have been submitted so far make for really interesting reading. Please don’t miss out on this opportunity to add your own views on the key issues affecting Rutland. I’ve taken part in a number of Future Rutland’s live online discussions via Zoom since the conversation started and it’s been fantastic to hear directly from residents about what matters most to them and why they think Rutland is so special. I would strongly encourage more people to register for these discussions and come and speak to us in person." Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council
For more information about the Future Rutland Conversation or to register for a survey, forum or live discussion group, please visit: www.rutland.gov.uk/futurerutland.