Community Plan

Community Plan Overview


Like many residents, I feel very fortunate and proud to live in Richmond upon Thames, an area which is proud of its parks and open spaces, culture, education and the opportunities it offers to all of us to achieve our potential.

Although the circumstances in which we find ourselves planning for the future of our communities is very different to that of the last 5 years, our vision for the borough remains ambitious and we are determined to maintain those things that people appreciate about the area and to improve on the services that matter.

“Putting People First” is all about listening to what local people have to tell us and acting to change the way we do things in response.

No one organisation can do this alone and partnership working is a vital component in ensuring that the services people need are focused on the whole person, give them choice and control and are efficient and value for money. The Richmond Partnership is committed to working better together to achieve more.

But our most important relationship is with the local community and we are working to put the community at the heart of all we do, listening, involving and supporting people to enable everyone to play their part in local life. This Community Plan sets out our priorities for working together and ensuring that our vision for the borough remains a reality.

Cllr Lord True, Leader, Richmond upon Thames Council

Putting People First

Richmond upon Thames is a vibrant community. People are proud of where they live and every day show their willingness to work together to improve the life of their local area. This Community Plan describes our aspirations for the borough and how we will work together over the next five years to achieve our vision.

The Richmond Partnership brings together a wide range of organisations, large and small, from the public, business, community, voluntary and faith sectors to work together. We are planning in an uncertain environment as the global economic downturn means that there are fewer resources to go round, with impacts on jobs, savings and welfare benefits. We must make greater efforts to harness our joint resources if we are to continue to deliver good quality services to the most vulnerable, carry out new responsibilities for helping the most needy and retain all that is good about our borough, ensuring that all its communities can prosper. Our most important partner in this is the local community.

Our priorities are to involve and engage local people by listening to them and giving them more opportunities to be involved in making decisions about local services and in delivering local services. To deliver services that are cost effective and meet the needs of local people and to be accountable to local people by providing them with clear information about what we are doing and why.

The members of the Richmond upon Thames Partnership are listed in Further Information.

Our Vision

We have developed this vision from the things that we know now about the local community and how it might change in the future and from the things that you have told us are important:

  • Our vision is for a borough where local people are engaged and involved in their communities and where there is a vibrant and sustainable community and voluntary sector to support residents and help them play a full role in community life.
  • Where people lead happy and healthy lives and are able to enjoy life, with opportunities to learn, develop and fulfil their potential.
  • Where people can live as independently as possible in the local community and feel empowered to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing and plan for their future.
  • Where people feel safe, are respected and valued and able to contribute to their communities and where diversity is celebrated.
  • Where the local character of the environment is protected and new development is high quality and compatible with local character, meets people’s needs and provides opportunities for all.
  • Where our towns and local centres are attractive, viable for businesses and contribute positively to the quality of life of residents and visitors.

We already have a range of partnership plans that describe in detail how we will deliver specific services and this Plan does not attempt to duplicate them. A list of these plans is provided in Further information.

Our Borough

Information from the Census in 2011 shows that the borough’s population has grown to an estimated 187,000 residents, of whom 51.3% are female and 48.7% male.

When compared with London, Richmond has a significantly lower percentage of people aged 20-24 (4.9% in Richmond and 7.7% in London) and 25-29 (6.5% in Richmond upon Thames compared with 10% in London). Overall, the borough has a smaller percentage of the population in all the age quintiles between age 10 and age 34 compared with London but a higher percentage of the population in age quintiles 49 and over, with 4,000 people of 85+.

The key differences between the Richmond borough distribution and England distribution are:

  • 25,000 children aged 0-9 (13% more than England average)
  • 41,000 persons aged 10-29 (16% less than the England average)
  • 64,000 persons aged 30-49 (22% more than England average)
  • 56,000 persons aged 50-89 (11% less than England average)
  • 1,500 persons aged 90+ (5% more than England average)

Population projections suggest a rise in the total population of Richmond upon Thames to 212,000 in 2018. There is a spike in the younger population, with the cohort reaching ages 5-9 years in 2016 being 9.8% higher than that of 5 years earlier. The same cohort reaching ages 15-19 years in 2026 is expected to be 8% higher than that of the preceding 5 years. The age group with the greatest projected percentage change in population is those of pension age. Both these projections have implications for our planning and future pressures on services for school age children and for older people. More information about the borough’s population can be found on the DataRich website.

The demographic information confirms our understanding of Richmond as an attractive place to live for families with children and older people, while the relative affluence can mean that it is difficult for young people to move into the borough. Our Community Plan seeks to address these issues through our work to increase the number and choice of school places available and through our focus on helping more people to live independently at home for as long as possible.

The health of people in Richmond upon Thames is generally better than the England average and life expectancy for both men and women is higher than the England average. Over the last 10 years, all cause mortality rates have fallen. Early death rates from cancer and from heart disease and stroke have fallen and are better than the England average.

However there are some areas with lower life expectancy and the gap is approximately 5 years between the most and least deprived areas. Coronary Heart Disease is the biggest contributor to the gap in life expectancy for men; whilst Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (Lung Disease) is the biggest contributor to gap in life expectancy for women.

More information about the health of local people.

Crime is relatively low with Richmond upon Thames being one of the safest London boroughs when measured on overall crime and the safest borough with regard to violent offences. Our focus is therefore on giving people information so that they can remain safe, tackling anti-social behaviour and ensuring that victims of crime which puts personal safety at risk, such as domestic abuse, is given priority.

The borough has a thriving voluntary and community sector, with more than 750 organisations working in the borough in all sectors including the arts, environment, sport, health and social care. This contributes greatly to the capacity of the local community to be resilient in difficult times and to enable everyone to participate in community life and we are committed to continuing to support and sustain our local voluntary sector.

In 2010 there were 12,100 VAT registered business in the borough and we have one of the highest self-employment rates in the country. Half of people that work in the borough also live in the borough.  Our priorities for supporting business, especially small businesses and our local high streets, acknowledges this aspect of our local economy and reflects our desire to nurture local business.

What you said

Between 8 November and 10 December 2010 we asked households, through the All in One survey, what they thought about the borough and 92% were satisfied with the borough as a place to live.

Full results of the All in One survey.

The Council has since carried out a telephone survey in October 2012, asking 1,400 residents about their satisfaction with where they lived.  This found that over nine in ten (93%) residents were satisfied with their local area as a place to live and three quarters (76%) of residents agreed that the local area is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well. Residents were also happy with the safety of their area and few thought that anti-social behaviour was a problem locally.

Percentage of residents satisfied with local services:

  • 90% satisfied with local parks, open spaces and play areas.
  • 88% satisfied with the safety of the area.
  • 67% felt that the police and other agencies were successfully dealing with crime and anti-social behaviour.
  • 78% satisfied with local high streets.

The most common issues cited as problems by residents are:

  • 52% - levels of congestion, rising to 74% in East Sheen and 73% in Mortlake.
  • 24% - think that road and pavement maintenance are the most important services to improve.
  • 20% - believe that parking services need improving the most.

These results are very much in line with the All in One survey. During 2011 we held events at all the village areas in the borough to give people an opportunity to make suggestions about how these things could be improved in their local area, through working together. We are now working with local communities to put some of these suggestions into action and to find out how we can help the community to do some of these things for themselves.

As well as engaging with people to maintain and improve the quality of the local environment and universal services, we recognise that many local people rely on the personal services provided by the Council and its partners such as health and social care. Our priorities reflect the need to continue to improve the way we involve and engage local people, especially patients, service users and their carers in the design and delivery of these services.

Updated: 1 May 2013