A NEW body is set to be launched today to give residents in the Cotswold Water Park area more say on future plans for the area.

The Cotswold Water Park Parish Panel is to be set up following the disbanding of the Cotswold Water Park Joint Committee (CWPJC) in March and will consist of six representatives from 27 parishes in the area.

Two representatives each for the Western, Central and Eastern areas of the Water Park will be elected at this evening’s meeting.

The panel aims to exert influence on issues relating to the Water Park, liase between parishes and lead initiatives to achieve the objectives of the Cotswold Water Park Master Plan.

Former Wiltshire parishes representative on the CWPJC Robin Rogers said it was important the new organisation had a strong group of representatives, who would work in the interests of Water Park residents.

“They will take the viewpoints of the residents of the area and translate these into bold initiatives,” he said.

"New ideas could come from both the parishes and from the Panel.

“A brilliant example of how the parishes could work with the Trust on new ideas was the joint bid in 2011 for Lottery funds to transform access. We need more of that.”

“Like it or not, we are in a new era of ‘Localism’ where the views of the community, well founded and well expressed, should count for more.

“The new Parish Panel will strengthen that voice.”

For a full report on the meeting, see next week’s Standard.