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Rutland County Council launches Future Rutland Conversation to shape 50-year vision

Rutland County Council is launching a conversation today (Thursday, April 1) to find out people’s views and aspirations for the future of the county.

The eight-week community engagement, called the Future Rutland Conversation, is being run by an independent facilitator.

It aims to seek the views of those who live and work in Rutland, as well as people who own businesses in the county, and those who are visitors to Rutland.

Rutland County Council leader Oliver Hemsley
Rutland County Council leader Oliver Hemsley

Topics include the environment, health and wellbeing and leisure.

County council leader Oliver Hemsley (Con) wants to develop a 50-year strategy for the county.

He said: “Through having a conversation with people, you’re able to better understand how they see things and from that we can set a vision for the entire county based on people’s aspirations.

“This isn’t the council telling people what is happening - it is a real opportunity to have a conversation. It’s not about politics or anything else, it’s about the future of Rutland, the place where we all live, and what do you want for it?”

Asked if he believed people would get involved because of a perception in the county that residents are not listened to, Coun Hemsley said: “Lots of people have said we are not listening but my door is open and always will be.

“I respond to everyone who contacts me and try to support them if I can.

“The Future Rutland Conversation is a chance for everyone to get involved, from all walks of life and all ages.”

Each week, the results of the conversation from the week before will be available so that the conversation can evolve.

At the end of the eight weeks, a 50-year vision will be developed for the county.

Coun Hemsley said his motive for starting the conversation was his own love of the county.
“Rutland for me is my home. It’s a very unique place and I am here to do the very best I can for Rutland.

“My father had a motto that I try to live by: Always leave something in a better state than you found it, and that’s what I hope to do.

“We have an opportunity to show what the real strengths of Rutland are and to build on

As part of the engagement, Rutland County Council will be launching an online engagement platform and hosting a series of virtual conversations, open to everyone. They will be hosted by the independent facilitator, Michael Maynard and there will be the opportunity to have a conversation with Coun Hemsley and the council’s chief executive, Mark Andrews.

Views collected during the engagement will inform the vision and aspirations for the county and future council strategies and policies. Past engagement work will also be fed into the conversations.

Surveys hosted through the website should be completed by individuals rather than households to encourage everyone to get involved.

There will even be activities and opportunities for children and young people to provide their views and aspirations for the county’s future.

Information on how to sign up and take part in the conversation can be found at www.rutland.gov.uk/futurerutland. Anyone without internet access can call 01572 722577.

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