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The world – and Wolverton! – has changed significantly in the last 15 years, and whilst some aspects of the Future Wolverton Vision remain relevant, much has been achieved.

The Vision remains a live document which we hope still captures issues that are important to the local community. That is not to say that it doesn’t need to be revisited on occasions, and the Board of Future Wolverton are alert to the need regularly check that is has a continuing relevance.

Future Wolverton Vision

The development of the original Future Wolverton Vision took place in 2002/3. For more than six months more than 500 people in Wolverton and the surrounding area discussed how their town should develop in the next twenty years.  Working Groups met 31 times, involving 70 people, and there were a number of questionnaires to record people’s views.

 What emerged were common and overlapping areas of agreement, of fundamental principles on which Wolverton’s future should be built.

Over a period of 10 years various organisations have taken forward different aspects of the Vision. Future Wolverton took over from Wolverton Steering Group in 2013, and continues to be the principle organisation charged with realising this important document.

Refreshing the Vision – 2010/11

At the end of 2010 a group of local people decided it was time to review the progress made in achieving the Future Wolverton Vision and original Action Plan.

The “Refreshing the Vision” process was launched in January 2011, with the aim of celebrating the progress made and re-focussing on the key tasks for the next 5 years.

The process was very different from the original visioning exercise, mainly because it was led entirely by volunteers with a small amount of funding supplied by the Town Council to support leaflet design and delivery and meetings. Because of this, the decision was made to carry out the consultation in an intensive 4 week period, giving a snap-shot of how people felt at one moment in time.

The January 2010 Town Council newsletter included a central spread which explained what it was all about and how to get involved. People were encouraged to complete a short questionnaire detailing the good and bad things about living in Wolverton and what they would change it they had the chance.

These questionnaires were also available for completion across the Wolverton Parish, and information about the process was displayed at Wolverton Town Hall and Post Office, Greenleys Community Centre, The Galleon Pub in Old Wolverton and the Wolverton Park development.

The process was launched with an opening meeting at Wyvern School, and a series of themed workshops followed, giving people the opportunity to reflect on what had been achieved against the original vision and was left to be done.

The workshops followed similar themes to those used during the original vision process, with notable additions of Sport, Energy and Culture. This reflected the fact that different issues had gained in importance since the original visioning exercise.

The themes were:
Environment, Energy and Transport
Family, Community and Sport
Economy, Housing and Learning
Arts, Heritage and Culture

In addition to the workshops which were open to any resident to attend, a number of community groups and some local businesses took part in Focus Groups which considered the same key issues – the Good, Bad and Changes to be made – as the questionnaire. Some valuable information was obtained by reaching out to those people who were not normally consulted.

The process ended with a series of “Expert Panels” where local residents, organisations and groups spoke to a Panel of independent people drawn from across Milton Keynes about progress towards the original Vision, giving observations on what needed to be prioritised next.

The Panels followed the same themes as the workshops and received a summary of the outcomes of the workshops as well as hearing evidence from the individuals who attended the Panel sessions.

The Panel meetings were recorded so that the Independent Evaluators whose job it was to “write-up” the process could list to some snap-shots of the total 35 hours recorded!

They also read many of the questionnaires received, and considered the results of the workshops and focus groups, before producing the “Refreshing the Vision” report which can be read here.