Some of you will recall a survey on the front page asking for your opinion on the KRA and activities. The survey ran for two months and ended on August 31st. The results have been presented to the committee and are now here for you, with some commentary from us. I should note that although given the option of leaving names for follow up communication, all respondents remained anonymous so we have had to ‘interpret’ a few replies!
Overall there were 7 respondents. We accept this is low but it was not unexpected and had anticipated that in the main it would be critics that felt the need to have their say which we welcomed and gave us the opportunity to learn grievances. The survey had these 9 questions:
|1||Do you think the KRA act in the best interests of the village?|
|2||Is the KRA approachable?|
|3||Is the KRA easy to contact or get in touch with?|
|4||Does the KRA listen to your concerns when you get in contact?|
|5||Having looked through the website, knaphill.org, what would you like to see added, removed or improved? Please be as specific as possible|
|6||What are we NOT doing that you would like us to do? Please be as specific as possible|
|7||What is your opinion on this statement – ‘The KRA is politically minded’|
|8||What ARE we doing that you would prefer we didn’t? Please be as specific as possible|
|9||Are there any other comments you wish to make regarding the Knaphill Residents’ Association?|
Below are the statistical replies (questions 1-4 and 7) followed by the written responses; not all respondents left written responses.
Q5. Having looked through the website, knaphill.org, what would you like to see added, removed or improved? Please be as specific as possible
Answer 1: more up to date
Answer 2: memory lane type posts, KRA must look forward
Answer 3: layout
Answer 4: It would be good to have a forum area
KRA response –
The look and feel of a website is very much a personal preference and the KRA website, we hope, strikes a good balance of being easily read and in being able to find information. There is little likelihood of a forum area due to maintenance in terms of time on the volunteers but we will constantly look at how to best present articles and the layout of the site.
With regard to Memory Lane and looking forward, we have found that these articles are especially well received and as we have so few submissions we will not be stopping them but would actively encourage people to read about the history of their area. History provides the basis of moving forward. With regard to moving forward we have created several projects which we hope will benefit the village once we have projects leads come forward.
Q6. What are we NOT doing that you would like us to do? Please be as specific as possible
Answer 1: We need visibility of the KRAs actions
Answer 2: Get the council to look after Knaphill, the roads are rubbish, the verges parks etc are either not cut or left with cut grass laying around. Pavements are shocking, the park has the most rubbish play area the woods have been vandalised It is really a travesty ! Our village should be pride of place
Answer 3: As a local paid up trade member I feel that a clique of businesses get first call on any business involvement.
Answer 4: Improving the appearance of the village
Answer 5: be inclusive
KRA response –
We’re always concerned to be doing as much as we can for the village. Whereas we are all volunteers, there are activities that we do and meetings that take place so we shall endeavour to place minutes of these meetings on the website in the near future.
We are unsure as to what the ‘be inclusive’ comment refers to. We are as inclusive as possible! We aren’t in the habit of press-ganging people into service but do always ask for people to become involved, be a part of the KRA and help the village.
Answer 3 above is of concern to some on the committee. We have no business clique that we’re aware of and will work with and promote any business in the village, for example through ‘Business Focus’ features in the magazine. Any business advertising is warmly received and allows the magazine to continue. We welcome the involvement of any and all businesses in the village and are more than happy to discuss this more if anyone wants to get in touch.
With regard to answers 2 & 4, we have absolutely no influence over the council, either local or county. Whereas we agree that the infrastructure is in need of attention and are aghast at how bad it gets sometimes, in terms of actual ‘power’ to do anything it is minimal. Sad but true. What we can do and what we do do is raise issues to the borough and county councillors, MP Jonathon Lord and any official bodies either by meetings, photographic evidence, relating issues to regulatory governance and by trying to hold the officials to account. Knaphill is a big area and it is incumbent on all residents to raise issues to relevant bodies such as the council, we’re happy if you want to do it through us but if we don’t know about it we can’t do anything at all; we realise this is not what some people may want to hear but we can’t strongarm the council to do anything, as much as we may want to.
Q8. What ARE we doing that you would prefer we didn’t? Please be as specific as possible
Answer 1: Charging
Answer 2: As my previous statement regarding local business pointed towards a clique businesses should not be included in a residents organisation as businesses by there nature will always look for a pay-off for any involvment they make. cynical but true these days.
Answer 3: Stop being political and start looking after our village
KRA response –
I’m sure many will have heard this before – we’re not a political body. We do have to ‘play the game’ at times however due to the nature of people and bodies involved, in short, politicians. If you deal with anything council related you must be able to engage in their terms. That is the extent of our politics but we will make no apologies for getting down and dirty with the politicians if it helps the village out and improves the infrastructure.
With regard to charging we have little option but to charge a small amount for membership. It is a voluntary act to join the KRA and we appreciate every single one of you. The money allows us to have a start point for the village show and free magazine magazine, the remainder (a large percentage) being made up via advertising or generous donations. Don’t forget you don’t have to be a member to help out. With regard to the business involvement, the businesses ‘pay-off’ is any result from their investment in advertising. We have no influence over this but do greatly appreciate any business that chooses to support us in our activities in the village. Again, we are very welcoming of any further opinions on this!
Q9. Are there any other comments you wish to make regarding the Knaphill Residents’ Association?
Answer 1: Stop patting yourselves on the back and do what you set yourselves up to do….
KRA response –
Ouch. One answer and it was a shot across the bows indeed! We aren’t entirely sure of the intent of the comment but have tried to interpret it as best we can. The residents’ association was set up for the village, to represent the village when we can and more information can be seen here. On that page are a few achievements that we have a right to be proud of; the list is not exhaustive and much more has been achieved than has been reported. We do what we can with exceptionally limited resource and often invite people to join in and help with what’s important to them. Again, we do what we can and do it voluntarily and unpaid in our own spare time for the village where we live. We do it because we care about getting involved and doing something for Knaphill.
That’s the end of the results folks, why not let us know your thoughts? We shall be running the survey annually to get your ongoing views of the Knaphill Residents’ Association. Thank you for your time.