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Sunday 24 January
About Petersfield TomorrowMarket Towns have long been at the heart of life in rural England. They provide a centre for trade and services for residents of the town and those living in the surrounding countryside.
Petersfield is a classic example - a traditional market town that was famed for its annual horse fair on The Heath and weekly cattle markets in its central square, with local businesses that catered for the local agricultural industry.
This has all changed and with the pressures of modern life, such as traffic and long-distance commuting, an agricultural industry that no longer employs many people, housing pressures and the prospect of the designation of the South Downs National Park, it is an appropriate opportunity to look to the future.
Market Towns such as Petersfield have been encouraged to undertake a Market Town Health Check by the Countryside Agency and Hampshire County Council. This enables the local community – its residents and businesses, together with the local government and the statutory agencies to review the issues and the changing circumstances of the town, in order to plan for the future.
The four work groups identified the strengths and weaknesses of the town in terms of Work and Business, Our Surroundings, Getting About and Providing for Our Community. In addition, the pupils of The Petersfield School were asked for their views.
This has enabled a vision for the town to be drawn up together with a series of projects to be tackled for each of the main issues. These are set out the booklet and questionnaire “Do you care about the future of your town?” Residents and all those interested were requested to return the completed questionnaires within two weeks and by Easter (15 April 2006).
The booklet and the analysis of the response to the questionnaire can be seen from this website.