The Appraisal how it was carried out

When the Appraisal committee began work it quickly decided that the aims were;

to identify the primary village concerns and to provide actions for their solution

to document the village and its environment

to involve the whole village and enhance the community spirit

to produce practical recommendations for action by the Parish Council and East Hants District Council

The above aims were to be achieved by the time of the Annual Parish Meeting in March 2000 together with the presentation of the results to a public meeting

To help establish the key issues concerning the village a list of issues were circulated to all active organisations asking them to prioritise them in order of importance. The results of this survey were

  1. Transport

  2. Local Environment

  3. Education

  4. Health and Local Services

  5. Sports and Social Activities

  6. Housing

Surprisingly, retail services, local government, employment and religion received little priority, especially the latter, in view of the recent concerns in this area.

The next step was to draw up a list of questions on the above key issues together with a number of household questions which included age, sex and number of people in the household etc...

The task was facilitated by the use of a special computer software package for Village Appraisals which contained a menu of 324 basic questions from which the 65 final questions used were mainly selected.

A provisional questionnaire was piloted in 20 homes; 10 in the village centre around the Pond Stores and 10 by the Dene Stores. The 32 page questionnaire finally produced consisted of 65 questions with a space for comments. It was made clear that anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents would be preserved. In June the questionnaire was delivered by a willing band of 36 volunteers to each household in the village. Completed questionnaires were collected the following month.

A total of 455 questionnaires were returned out of the 605 delivered, giving a response rate of 75% and representing 1224 people. The 989 individuals who answered the questions were over the age of 11, or 93% of the respondents eligible to answer the questionnaire. The committee consider therefore that the combined answers to the questions broadly represent the views of the people of Ropley as a whole. A further 18 (3%) questionnaires were returned either blank or incorrectly filled in, and could not be used. A further 15 houses (2.5%) were empty. This nearly achieved in total the 80% target set by the committee.

The 100,000 separate answers were next entered onto a computer by a team of volunteers, led by Rachel Williams. The Appraisal Committee carried out further analysis of the open-ended elements of the questionnaire and gave detailed and exhaustive consideration to all the information collected. The results of this analysis are set out in the remaining sections of this report, which provide the answers to all 65 questions. Where total numbers have been quoted these were obtained by extrapolating the results from the questionnaire for the whole village.

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