ABBERLEY NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN STEERING GROUP
TERMS OF REFERENCE
The name of the group is Abberley Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
The purpose of the Steering Group 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 Group was first established in April 2016 under the aegis of Abberley Parish Council.
Aims of the Steering Group
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 Group
The Steering Group 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 Group is responsible for setting the timescale and overall project plan and to seek funding to support this.
Membership of the Steering Group
Membership of the Steering Group 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 Group shall be appointed to chair the Working Group(s) as required.
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. Subject to approval by Abberley Parish Council, the Steering Group 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 periodically by the Steering Group. As work on the NP has progressed, a single merged working group has been formed to cover the four themes of housing, infra-structure, local economy and landscape and environment.
Term of Office for Steering Group and Working Groups
The original timescale for creation of the Neighbourhood Plan was envisaged to be between 18-24 months. The revised completion date is now anticipated to be late 2020. It is hoped that Steering Committee and Working Group members will commit to serving for the duration of the project but individuals may join the Working Group at any point.
Code of conduct for group members
Abberley Parish Council adopted a new code of conduct on 15th January 2020. Since the Steering and Working Groups are organised under the aegis of Abberley Parish Council, this code of conduct will apply to group members and supersedes the previous guidance.
The Chair of the Steering Group will also chair the Working Group meeting and will provide a short-written progress report to the Parish Council issued with the agenda for the next Parish Council meeting.
The Steering Group will apply to the Finance Committee of Abberley Parish Council for funding to support the Neighbourhood Planning process.
The Working Group will meet every two months and the Steering Group will meet as required.
The Chair of the Working Group and Steering Group will organise and chair the meetings.
A person will be nominated to take the minutes, at the Working Group this will normally be the Parish Clerk.
The meeting Chair will check minutes and circulate them within one week of the meeting date.
Working Group minutes will be reviewed and approved at the start of the next meeting. 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 Group and Working Group overall will be reviewed by the Steering Group periodically 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 file sharing system will be accessible by Steering Group and Working Group members and appointed consultants for posting resources such as examples from other Neighbourhood Plans, guidance and for group editing of draft documents.
The Parish Clerk will administer the web site and file sharing site.
Revised by the Steering Group 4 Feb 2020.