Working With Rural Communities

Rural Conference

Bassetlaw covers an area of 640 sq. kilometres (a third of Nottinghamshire). The population of Bassetlaw is 114,847 (mid population estimate 2016), 40% of whom live outside of Retford and Worksop. There are 73 villages, served by 45 Parish Councils and 10 Parish Meetings. Tuxford, Harworth & Bircotes and Langold have been identified as market towns.

The rural communities are very diverse ranging from small market towns and former mining communities, to very small hamlets. The District is classified as a ‘Rural 50 District’. The Wards with the largest number of rural households are Harworth, Carlton, Tuxford and Trent, Langold, Misterton and Blyth.

Parish Councils and other community groups are actively helping to implement policies, programmes and services that improve the quality of life for their communities.  To support this work, Bassetlaw District Council will:

  • Help develop the capacity of Parish Councils
  • Build effective partnerships with Parish Councils and rural community groups
  • Provide assistance in seeking funding
  • Encourage community involvement and promote local wellbeing

How Do We Achieve This?

Bassetlaw Rural Action Plan

The Bassetlaw Rural Action Plan identifies the commitment of Bassetlaw District Council and its partners in supporting the viability of the District’s rural areas. It assesses the upsides and challenges of living and working in the countryside, reviews the area’s economic wellbeing and looks at the land and environment that surrounds us. It goes on to set out a long-term vision for rural Bassetlaw, how we can get there and who can make it happen.

Parish Council Forum

The aim of the Forum is to bring together representatives of the Parish and Town Councils and Parish Meetings under the auspices of the Nottinghamshire Association of Local Councils (Notts ALC) in a partnership  with the District Council of Bassetlaw to develop and promote a thriving and effective group that will work to enhance the quality of life for the (rural) communities of Bassetlaw.

The Forum will provide a mechanism for regular communication with these representatives of the district. The Forum is not a decision making body for the Parish/Town Councils and the District Council and has no delegated powers.

The Forum will create an environment for constructive discussion on National, County and District matters relevant to the rural Parishes and provide a platform to raise specific concerns or issues on matters of policy and strategy or items of common interest across the District.


  1. To act as the representative body for Town and Parish Councils within Bassetlaw.
  2. To provide a forum for the consideration of local initiatives, to engage and respond to local, county and national initiatives and strategies.
  3. To ensure the effective, timely dissemination of information.
  4. To identify areas of mutual interest to Parish and Town Councils and co-ordinate collective action as appropriate.
  5. To ensure that Rural Parishes are represented at a strategic level in order to influence decision makers.
  6. To promote joint working between the Parish/Town, District and County Councils and their respective Councillors.
  7. To provide a link to the activities of the Notts ALC and the National Association of Local Councils


Representatives of Parish and Town Councils and Parish Meetings along with their respective District Councillors and officers of the District Councils as appropriate to the matters under discussion.

There will be a minimum of three meetings of the Forum. For more information contact your NALC Representative.

Rural Conference

Two Rural Conferences will be held each year by Bassetlaw District Council. These will be held at strategically important times in the municipal year so that parishes can contribute to the budget debate, and be instrumental in helping to implement the annual objectives.

Date of Next Conference

The next Rural Conference date will appear here when arranged.

Monday 12 February 2018, 2-5pm, Retford Town Hall, Ballroom

The following presentations were given at the meeting:

View the Agenda for this meeting.

Thursday 22nd September 2016 2-4pm at Retford Town Hall

At the conference a presentation was made on "The Bassetlaw Plan". The results of this will be published on the website.

Presentations 23rd March 2016

The conference focussed on Devolution, the Bassetlaw Plan (new Local Plan) and the role of Young People in Parish Councils

Presentations 24th June 2015

This was a special conference focussing on social isolation.

 Advice Bassetlaw Video

Presentations 25th March 2015

Dr Patrick Candler, Chief Executive, The Sherwood Forest Trust, Contact: 01623 821490 or 07876 806646



Presentations - 26th March 2014

Area Parish Forums 

There are two area forums of Parish Councils in Bassetlaw.

Role of the Forum

  • To encourage greater involvement from local communities in issues that affects them.
  • To identify specific issues and develop local responses.
  • To articulate the needs of the area.
  • To provide a forum for service providers to gain closer contact with residents and local organisations.

North East Bassetlaw Forum

The North East Bassetlaw Forum was established in 2004, initially as a three year pilot.  This was reviewed and all members agreed its ongoing support. The District council provides support in the form of a Senior Officer and administrative assistance.


To support collective working amongst Parish Councils and Community Groups in the area covered by the Parishes of Misterton, West Stockwith, Walkeringham, Beckingham, Gringley-on-the-Hill, Everton and Misson.  Mattersey joined in 2007 and Ranskill in 2012.


Membership of the Forum is made up of all Parish Councils in the area, community groups, District and County Councillors for the area.  The Forum will consider applications from any group that can demonstrate they are supportive of the Forum objectives and are not restrictive on membership.


The Forum meets four times a year and meeting venues alternate around its area.  Meetings are open to the public.  Meetings commence with a question time to allow public to raise issues.

For more information contact:

Central Bassetlaw Forum

The Central Bassetlaw Forum was formed in 2015.  The District Council provides support in the form of a Senior Officer and administrative assistance.


To support collective work amongst the following Parishes - Sutton, Lound, Clarborough and Welham, Hayton, Barnby Moor, Torworth.


Two representatives from each Parish Council.


The Forum meets four times a year.  Venues alternate.  Meetings are open to the public. Questions are allowed at the commencement of the meeting for a 10 minute period.

For more information contact:

Rural Officer

In partnership with Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire (RCAN), the Council has invested additional funds to ensure that there is a full-time Rural Officer post in Bassetlaw.

The Rural Officer has worked with a large number of rural communities across the District and helped to generate over £400k of external funding into our rural areas.  She is also helping with Fuel Poverty, Financial Inclusion, and engagement with Safer Neighbourhood groups, rural retailing, Arts and Cultural events.

Contact RCAN >>

Neighbourhood Plans

Under the terms of the new Localism Act, communities can now choose to produce a neighbourhood plan, which will contain policies to help shape and deliver new development in their areas. Because this document will become a statutory (legal) document they have to produce it in a certain way.

Neighbourhood Plans can set out a vision for an area and should contain planning policies for the use and development of land. A Neighbourhood Plan should be developed to help guide development, rather than to prevent it. Policies should cover local issues rather than strategic issues.

If you wish to discuss the possibility of developing a Neighbourhood Plan. Contact our Neighbourhood Plan Team.

Parish Charter

The Charter sets out the relationship between Parish and District Council.  It acknowledges the position of Parishes as local authorities in their own right.  It covers all Parishes, not just those with “Quality Status”.  The Charter is the first of its kind in Nottinghamshire and was supported by the Notts. Association of Local Councils and the Liaison Group.  At the end of 2008, over 70% of Parishes had signed. The Charter is due to be reviewed.

Superfast Broadband – Available Now

Bassetlaw District Council has joined with Sharpe Group who are an ICT services and solutions group of companies to bring the latest in SuperFast Internet Access to businesses and it’s available now.

Access to Services

The Misterton Centre

Misterton is a large, remote rural community.  Consultation from the Parish Plan indicated strong support for a community one stop shop, and so The Misterton Centre was developed.

The Co-op agreed to develop the old store, and converted it into an office suite.  The building was then made available to the partners on long leases.  The entire development costs were borne by the Co-op, and the District Council providing videoconferencing.  All the partners contribute to the costs of an advisor employed by the Parish Council.

Tuxford Mine Of Information - opened in 1996

The Mine of Information is a resource and training centre and part of the UK online Centres.  It is based in a former redundant bank which was secured by a dedicated group of local people.  Since that time the building has been significantly developed and enhanced and is open five days a week.

A wide range of services are provided from the Centre, including ICT training, internet access, Welfare Rights information and Citizens Advice Bureau.  It is a base for the community car scheme, community newsletter, Parish Council Clerk, Police Contact Point, Rural Bassetlaw Befriending and a venue for MP’s and Councillor Surgeries.  It acts as a base for local information and assistance.  It is a ‘Help Point’ with videoconferencing links to the Council.  BDC Customer Service staff provides regular service and A1 Housing.


Bassetlaw District Council recognises the importance of building capacity in local communities to help them to deliver local services and initiatives they respond to locally identified issues.  We provide this support in a number of ways.

Langold Resource Centre

Based in the Village Hall. Provides information to a range of services and videoconferencing links.


Joint work with the Town council on access to services


Developing proposals with the Parish Council.


A number of our local communities were devastated by the floods of 2007.  Since then we have been working very closely with Parish Councils.

  • Completed detailed drainage surveys
  • Worked with Parish Councils to establish local bases for emergency response equipment
  • Set up the Bassetlaw Drainage Co-ordination Group pulling together all the relative bodies to jointly address and resolve localised flooding problems.

Useful Links