Broomfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Annex A Terms of Reference
1.1 The Broomfield Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (‘the Steering Group’) has been established following the Parish Council’s successful application to conduct a Neighbourhood Plan covering the Parish (approved by the local planning authority 9th June 2016).
1.2 The purpose of the Steering Group is to support the Parish Council in developing the Neighbourhood Plan (‘the Plan’), in particular the tasks set out below, for the duration of the plan. It will comprise both parish councillors and other residents. It is a working/task group.
The Steering Group will support the Parish Council by:
- Preparing a project plan and budget for the Plan
- Applying for funding for the Plan (to be held by the Parish Council, ring-fenced for the Plan)
- Monitoring progress on the project plan and reporting regularly to the Parish Council
- Planning and implementing community engagement and consultation to support the Plan
- Analysing data from both consultation activities and other data relevant to the Parish
- Liaising with the Parish Council, its Planning Committee and any other relevant authorities and agencies, as required, to prepare the Plan
- Attending relevant training courses, networking with other neighbourhood plan groups to gain experience and share good practice
- Finding and recommending consultants where necessary (following any tendering requirements specified by conditions of grant and normal parish council procedure)
- Make arrangements for an Integrated Impact Assessment, which may include Environmental Assessments, Habitat Regulations Assessments and all other legal requirements relevant to the Plan
- Preparing a draft Plan for agreement by the Parish Council and submission to the local planning authority
- Carrying out any other tasks necessary to prepare an effective Plan, as may be requested by the Parish Council from time to time
- NB The Steering Group does not have formal powers delegated from the Parish Council, for instance to spend money or engage services. It will make recommendations to the Council and the Planning Committee, which will take decisions as necessary.
3. Membership (max. 15 members)
The Steering Group will comprise the following types of members:
- Parish councillors, nominated by the Parish Council, who will serve for the duration of the Plan (unless they resign or are removed by the Parish Council)
- Other residents of the Parish of Broomfield, co-opted by the existing members of the Steering Group, who will also serve for the duration of the Plan (unless they resign or are removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the other Steering Group members).
- Advisers, co-opted as needed by the Steering Group, who need not be residents of the Parish. They will be non-voting.
4.1 At its first formal meeting, the Steering Group will elect a Chair, Secretary and Finance Co-ordinator. Other roles may also be formally identified, including a Volunteer Co-ordinator and Communications Co-0rdinator
4.2 If possible, all members of the Steering Group will be given a specific role or roles.
4.3 Temporary working groups may be set up for specific purposes as required, such as data gathering, consultation, plan drafting. Their role and purpose should be regularly reviewed by the whole Steering Group
4.4 Membership of the Steering Group is for the specific purpose of producing the Plan. It is not intended to provide a platform for individuals to promote their own specific viewpoints or pecuniary interests; the Steering Group must work as a team rather than a collection of individuals.
4.5 Members must conform to the normal requirements of parish council governance in terms of avoiding conflicts of interest.
5.1 The Steering Group shall normally meet at least monthly and more frequently if required
5.2 the quorum shall be 3 members or one third of the membership, whichever is higher.
5.3 At least 3 clear days’ notice of meetings shall be sent to each member by e-mail, wherever possible detailing the matters to be discussed.
5.4The Secretary shall be responsible for the production and circulation of notices of meeting and shall keep a record/notes of meetings, which should be circulated in a timely fashion.
5.5 Each meeting shall include the following items: apologies for absence, declaration of interest, notes of the previous meeting, comments from the Parish Council, other matters arising from the notes, finance report; and any other business. Other items shall be included at the discretion of the Chair.
5.6 Voting shall be by simple majority (except where specified otherwise) of the parish councillor and ‘other resident’ members of the Steering Group. In the event of a tie, the Chair shall have a casting vote.
5.7 All meetings should be open for public attendance
5.8 In all other respects, the conduct of the meeting may be determined by the Steering Group.
5.9` The notes of meetings should be sent to the parish clerk and placed on the agenda of the following Parish Council meeting and planning committee meeting, indicating where action is required by the Council or Committee. The clerk can also be asked to publicise forthcoming meetings and notes of previous meetings on parish noticeboards, website etc.
6. Relations with the Parish Council
6.1 The Steering Group’s aim is to assist the Parish Council in the production of the Plan. Therefore, the Steering Group and the Parish Council should work in tandem and any differences of opinion should be resolved as early as possible.
6.2 Parish councillor members of the steering group are expected to provide a ‘bridge’ with the Parish Council and will report to the Council meetings verbally as required, in addition to the notes of Steering Group meetings.
6.3 At each meeting, the Parish Council and its planning committee will be invited to comment on and endorse the progress of the Plan and associated activities (though not the accuracy of Steering Group notes). Any comments should be reported back to the Steering Group by the parish councillor members.
6.4 Parish council insurance will cover the agreed activities of the steering group and volunteers, but for the avoidance of doubt the Steering Group should check this with the parish clerk from time to time and be aware of any limitations.
7.1 All grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Parish Council, which will ringfence the funds for Plan purposes only.
7.2 Notification of all planned expenditure will be given to the Parish Council before actual costs are incurred.
7.3 The Finance Co-ordinator shall keep a clear record of expenditure incurred by the Council in connection with the Neighbourhood Plan, supported by receipted invoices and will regularly review and update the budget in liaison with the Parish Clerk.
7.4 The Finance Co-ordinator in partnership with the Parish Clerk, will draw up and agree with the Steering Group procedures for volunteers who wish to claim previously agreed expenses necessarily incurred during the process of producing the Plan. This includes, but is not limited to, postage, stationery, telephone calls and travel costs.
7.5 The Finance Co-ordinator will report back to the Steering Group and the Parish Council on planned and actual expenditure for the project.
7.6 Invoices will be made out in the name of the Parish Council which will pay them according to its normal procedures.
8.1 Following the adoption of a Neighbourhood Plan, the Steering Group will dissolve unless it agrees otherwise with the Parish Council.
8.2 Should it prove impossible to complete the project, the Steering Group and the Parish Council should consult about the future of the Steering Group. Ultimately it will be for the Parish Council to determine if the project has terminated.