Abberley Parish Council

Abberley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee Terms of Reference

Title

The name of the group is Abberley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee

Purpose

The purpose of the Steering Committee is to develop and oversee a process that will result in the creation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Abberley in line with the Localism Act of 2012.

The Neighbourhood Plan must be in line with the wider ambitions for growth and sustainability set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

The defined designated area is the entire parish of Abberley.  The Steering Committee was first established in April 2016 under the aegis of Abberley Parish Council.

Aims of the Steering Committee

To set out a plan for the evolution of the Parish of Abberley that benefits current and future Parishioners whilst allowing for sustainable economic and social growth and development.

Responsibilities of the Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is responsible for overseeing the process for the delivery of a Neighbourhood Plan for Abberley Parish, in a timely manner and in line with national guidance, reporting to the Parish Council on a regular basis throughout.

The Steering Committee is responsible for setting the timescale and overall project plan and to seek funding to support this.

Membership of the Steering Committee

Membership of the Steering Committee is to be drawn from Abberley Parish Council and interested parties living or working in Abberley Parish.Membership should total no more than six (6) persons. Four (4) members are to be serving Abberley Parish Councillors and the remaining two (2) members may be from either the local community or additional Parish Councillors. Members of the Steering Committee shall be appointed to chair the Working Groups.

Working Groups

Membership of the Working Groups is to be drawn from volunteers from Abberley Parish Council and interested parties living or working in Abberley Parish. Individuals with specialist skills and expertise may also volunteer to assist Working Groups but unless they live or work within the parish they may not chair a Working Group. Working Groups may invite presentation from specialists and individuals with relevant expertise and undertake fact finding visits. Working Groups may also engage consultants.

  • Membership of working groups is to be a minimum of four (4) persons. One person will act as chair of the Working Group.
  • A quorum for a meeting is to be three (3) persons.

The number and remit of Working Groups will be reviewed quarterly by the Steering Committee. At this stage Working Groups are envisaged to cover.

  • Housing – design guidance, type, potential sites etc.
  • Infra-structure – sewage, roads, transport, paths, renewable energy, sites for community use, amenities etc.
  • Local economy – change of use, business, light industry etc
  • Landscape & Environment – flooding, local listing, historical environment and buildings, protection of green spaces etc.

Term of Office for Steering Committee and Working Groups

The timescale for creation of the Neighbourhood Plan is envisaged to be between 18-24 months and it is expected that Steering Committee and Working Group members will commit to serving for the duration of the project.

Should members of either the Working Group or Steering Committee resign, the vacancy will be advertised on the Parish Council notice boards and web site.

Conflict of interest

Steering Committee and Working Group members shall declare any disclosable pecuniary interest (as defined by the Disclosable Pecuniary Interest Regulations 2012) that may be perceived as being relevant to a topic being discussed. The member may speak on the topic, but shall not take part in any vote on the topic. Such an interest is most likely to be in the form of any beneficial interest in land or property being discussed, by either the member or their spouse or partner, but can take other forms. Owning a property or business in the area is not in itself a conflict of interest. 

Accountability

The Chairs of the Working Groups will report back to the Steering Committee following every meeting.

The Chair of the Steering Committee will provide a short written progress report to the Parish Council issued with the agenda for the next Parish Council meeting.

Financial delegation

The Parish Council will provide delegated authority to the Steering Committee to apply for grant funding to support the Neighbourhood Planning process and an additional budget remaining from a previous Parish Planning exercise.  Expenditure and appointment of any consultants will be subject to a majority vote of Steering Committee members.

Working Methods

The steering committee will meet every two months.

The Working Groups will meet every four to eight weeks and will report back to the Steering Committee before the bi-monthly meeting. 

The Chairs of the Working Groups and Steering Committee will organise and chair the meetings. 

A person will be nominated to take the minutes. 

The meeting Chair will check minutes and circulate them within one week of the meeting date. 

Minutes will be reviewed and approved at the start of the next meeting. 

Steering Committee and Working Group meetings are not open to the public, but the approved minutes will be published on the Parish Council web site. The Parish Clerk will provide hard copy on request. 

Terms of Reference, the effectiveness of the Steering Committee and Working Groups overall will be reviewed by the Steering Group every six months to ensure that the process and procedures laid down remain applicable. Proposed amendments to the Terms of Reference must be agreed by the Parish Council prior to be taken into effect. 

Working Group agendas 

Agendas for meetings will be posted on the Parish Council web site at least two days before meetings. 

Topics for Working Group agendas can be suggested by any Parishioner or local business operating within the Parish.  

Sharing of Information and Resources 

The Parish Council web site will have a dedicated Neighbourhood Plan section. Agenda and approved minutes will be published on the web site and displayed on the Parish Notice boards and in other places as appropriate.

A separate password protected section of the site will be accessible by Steering Committee and Working Group members for posting resources such as examples from other Neighbourhood Plans, guidance and for group editing of draft documents.  

The Parish Clerk and a nominated Parish Councillor will administer the web site. 

Definition of Terms 

In order to ensure clarity of understanding, a glossary of terms will be created and published on the Neighbourhood Plan section of the Parish Council web site as necessary.

Abberley Parish Council © 2017