Steering Group

Bredenbury Group Parish Council
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Terms of Reference

Purpose

• The purpose of the Steering Group will be to oversee the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan for Bredenbury Group Parishes in order that this will then progress to Independent Examination and a successful community referendum and ultimately be adopted by Herefordshire Council to become planning policy.

  • The Steering Group will engage the local community to ensure that the Plan is truly representative of the ambitions of the Parish Council. The Steering Group will maximise support for the approach taken in the Neighbourhood Plan by ensuring high levels of community engagement throughout the plan-making process.

Principles

• That the Steering Group will undertake the process in a democratic, transparent and fair fashion, encouraging widespread participation and giving equal consideration to opinions and ideas from all members of the community
• All decisions made shall be fully evidenced and supported through consultation with the local community.

Responsibilities

The Steering Group shall support the Parish Council to carry out the following tasks:
• Produce a Project Plan which identifies priorities and a timescale for action.
• Identify sources of and secure necessary funding.
• Take responsibility for planning, budgeting and monitoring expenditure on the Neighbourhood Plan and report back to the Parish Council on these matters.
• Liaise with relevant authorities and organisations to make the Neighbourhood Plan as effective as possible.
• Identify ways of involving the community and gather the views and opinions of as many groups and organisations in the parish as possible
• Develop and implement an effective communications plan designed to maximise community engagement and elicit fully representative views from all cross sections of the community
• Be responsible for the analysis of all survey information and the distribution of the final report.
• Regularly report back to the Parish Council on progress, issues arising and outcomes from the exercise.
• Oversee the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.

Membership

• The Parish Council will appoint councillors and may appoint members of the community to the Steering Group, ensuring that there is a cross section of the community and the skills required to run a successful Neighbourhood Plan.

Roles

• A member of the Parish Council will be appointed as chairperson.
• The parish clerk/RFO will be the secretary and treasurer.
• The Steering Group will appoint individuals to manage specific aspects of the Plan development
• Other members of the Steering Group will be required to carry out tasks as they are needed.
• Volunteers from the community will be recruited to help with a range of tasks needed by the Neighbourhood Plan.

Insurance

• The Parish Council insurance will cover agreed activities of the Steering Group and volunteers.
• The Steering Group officers will ensure that terms of the insurance are not breached.

Meetings

• The Steering Group shall normally meet monthly (but every two months as a minimum), or as may be required.
• At least three clear days’ notice of meetings shall be sent to members via the communication method agreed with, and appropriate to, each individual member.
• Whenever possible, notices of meetings should detail the matters to be discussed.
• The meeting will be deemed quorate when two of the appointed parish councillors and the parish clerk/RFO are present.
• Decisions will be made by consensus unless the Chairman of the meeting determines a formal vote is necessary. In this case, the matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the Group members present. In the case of votes being equal the chairman shall have a casting vote
• The secretary shall keep a record of meetings and circulate notes to Steering Group members and the Parish Council in a timely fashion.
• The notes will be published on the Bredenbury Group Parish Council web site and any other publication determined as suitable to reach as many members of the Parish as possible.
• All Steering Group meetings should be open to the public.
• Copies of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct will be available at all Neighbourhood Plan meetings.

Working groups

• The Steering Group may establish such working groups as it considers necessary to carry out the functions specified by the Steering Group.
• Each Working Group should have a lead person.

Conduct

• Steering Group members abide by the principles and practice of the Parish Council Code of Conduct including declarations of interest.
• Whilst the Steering Group will be accountable to the Parish Council, Members will also be accountable to the wider community for ensuring that the Neighbourhood Plan reflects their collective expectations.
• The Steering Group will achieve this through applying the following principles:

i. Be clear and open when their individual roles or interests are in conflict;
ii. Treat everyone with dignity, courtesy and respect regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion and belief; and
iii. Actively promote equality of access and opportunity.

Finance

• All grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Parish Council, which will ring-fence the funds for Neighbourhood Plan purposes only.
• Notification of all expenditure will be given to the Parish Council.
• The Clerk/RFO shall keep a clear record of expenditure which is supported by receipted invoices and will regularly review and update the budget
• If needed the Clerk/RFO, will draw up and agree with the Steering Group procedures for volunteers who wish to claim expenses.
• Invoices will be made out in the name of the Parish Council

Changes to the terms of reference.

• These Terms of Reference may be amended with the support of at least (two-thirds) of the current membership at a Steering Group Meeting and with the approval of the Parish Council.

Dissolving the Steering Group

• The Steering Group will be dissolved once its objectives have been attained and/or when at least two- thirds of its members and the Parish Council, consider its services are no longer required.
• The Steering Group will then dispose of any remaining funds held in accordance with any conditions imposed by the grant funders and in the best interests of Bredenbury Group Parish.