Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Terms of Reference
- Purpose of the Steering Group
Rudby Parish Council is the qualifying body for preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Rudby Parish Council area (consisting of the four parishes of Hutton Rudby, Middleton-on-Leven, Rudby and Skutterskelf), and as such has responsibility both for initiating the process and for the final submission of the draft plan.
Rudby Parish Council has agreed to establish a committee of the Council under Section 102(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 (the Steering Group) to facilitate the delivery of the plan-making function. The Steering Group will:
- Provide leadership for the group of community volunteers working on the plan (The Neighbourhood Plan Team).
- Provide accountability to Rudby Parish Council on behalf of the Neighbourhood Plan Team.
The purpose of the Steering Group is to design and oversee a process that will result in the preparation of a draft Plan in order to:
“Preserve and enhance the quality of life, environmental attributes, economic growth and characteristics of the parish and to ensure the infrastructure is in place to create a sustainable community for future generations through the empowerment of local people.”
The process will be:
Participation is open to everyone who lives or works in the Rudby Parish Council area.
All Steering Group meetings will be publicised and be open to the public. Participation will be encouraged, and public access provided to minutes and working papers.
Sub-groups and working groups will operate in an inclusive and transparent manner.
Rudby Parish Council and the Steering Group recognise that earliest practical delivery of a sound Neighbourhood Plan is important to the Parish community and have targeted completion by end of 2017.
The Neighbourhood Plan will identify the important aspects of life in the Parish for which we need to plan for the future, and
Bringing forward proposals which aim to improve the overall quality of life in the Parish.
The Steering Group has full delegated power to carry out the following tasks on behalf of Rudby Parish Council:
- Define and implement a process for producing the Neighbourhood Plan,
- Promote the process of preparing the Plan to encourage participation and the submission of views and ideas.
- Actively communicate throughout the process to facilitate engagement with the whole community
- Organise meetings and appoint sub-groups as required,
- Assess existing evidence, and develop additional evidence where appropriate about the needs and aspirations of the village, advising and making recommendations to the Parish Council,
- Liaise with relevant organisations including Hambleton District Council, the Parish Council, and organisations from the voluntary sector to secure their input in the process,
- Analyse the views, ideas and proposals received during the plan making process, and use them to prepare a draft Plan to present to the Parish Council for their consideration,
- Provide progress reports to every meeting of the Parish Council, and
- Keep the Parish Council informed of ongoing budgetary requirements.
- Steering Group Membership
Members will include three representatives from the Parish Council, one representative from Hambleton District Council and up to eleven other members of the community.
Appointments to the Steering Group will be made by Rudby Parish Council.
The Steering Group shall be considered quorate when one third of members are present. If less than five members are present, the meeting shall be adjourned.
Any member of the Steering Group who wishes to resign shall inform either the Steering Group Chair or Secretary who will in turn immediately inform the Parish Clerk.
The Steering Group will meet regularly whenever appropriate and timed to report to the Parish Council monthly meetings. The agenda and associated papers will be dispatched three clear days before the date of the meeting by e-mail or post.
The Steering Group will elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from current members of the group and will consult with the Parish Council for the approval of those elected. If the Chairman is not present, the Vice Chairman shall take the meeting. If neither is present, members will elect a Chairman for the meeting from those present.
If members of the public would like to sit in on the meetings, they may do so, but any comments must be made through the Chairman. Notes will be taken to assist reporting to the Parish Council.
Decisions made by the group will be by consensus. Where a vote is required, each member will have one vote. A minimum of five members shall be present where matters are presented for decisions to be taken. A simple majority will be required to support any motion. The Chairman, or in their absence the Vice Chairman will have one casting vote.
All recommendations made by the Steering Group are subject to adoption by the Council, and no actions can be taken until that has happened.
When undertaking the task of preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, members of the Steering Group will conduct themselves in accordance with the Nolan principles and with Rudby Parish Council’s adopted code of conduct.
Specifically the Steering Group will ensure that:
- The probity of the group and the plan is open and transparent. All members of the Steering Group must declare any personal interest that may be perceived as being relevant to any decisions or recommendations made by the group. This may include membership of an organisation, ownership of interest in land (directly or indirectly) or a business or indeed any other matter likely to be relevant to the work undertaken by the Steering Group.
- There is no discrimination in the plan making process and that it is an inclusive open and transparent process to all groups in the local community and those wishing to undertake development or be involved in the process in the community.
- Members of the group will work together for the benefit of their community; treat other members of the group with dignity, courtesy and respect, allowing members to air their views without prejudice and interruption.
- Financial Arrangements
The Steering Group will identify sources of grants and assist Rudby Parish Council in accessing these funds, be responsible for managing expenditure on the plan making activity within agreed budgets, but ultimately all expenditure is subject to final approval by the Parish Council.
Rudby Parish Council will hold the funds for the production of the Neighbourhood Plan and will be responsible for making any payments related to the Neighbourhood Plan.
Approved by Rudby Parish Council at its meeting on 11th July 2016.
Expansion of Steering Group to have up to 15 members and amendment of quorum approved by Rudby Parish Council at its meeting on 11th February 2019.
Addendum to Terms of Reference
This addendum was approved by Rudby Parish Council at its meeting on 14th May 2018 and is effective as of that date.
Steering Group Procedures
The Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is a committee of Rudby Parish Council established under Section 102(4) of the Local Government Act 1972. It is composed of Parish Councillors and other members of the community.
The Steering Group and all of its members, whether Parish Councillors or not, are subject to all sections of Rudby Parish Council Standing Orders which are applicable to committees including but not limited to those sections relating to declaration and management of conflicts of interest, conduct, and complaints.
Conflicts Of Interest
Steering Group members must submit a declaration of interests to the Parish Clerk within 28 days of their appointment unless they have already provided a currently valid declaration as part of their duties as a Parish or District Councillor.
At meetings, in working groups, workshops and any other activities related to preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan management of Conflicts of Interest are subject to the Parish Council Standing Orders and any other relevant policies and procedures of Rudby Parish Council prevailing at the time.
For the avoidance of doubt, within the context of preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan the following interpretations are applied:
- Conflicts of Interest do arise through a direct or indirect interest in any land which is under consideration for allocation by the Neighbourhood Plan.
- Conflicts of Interest may, but do not necessarily arise, from residency near or adjacent to land under consideration for allocation by the Neighbourhood Plan. Each member must make their own decision about any interests or residency that they have. If they are in any doubt , they are encouraged to consider declaring an interest to ensure that the decision making/recommendation process is not flawed.
Any complaints about conduct of the Steering Group or its members should be raised and dealt with in accordance with Rudby Parish Council’s Standing Orders and Complaints Procedure.
Comments, Correspondence & Communications Protocol
Objections to decisions made within the Neighbourhood Plan process, concerns, questions or other matters related to the Neighbourhood Plan may be raised directly with the Steering Group or through Rudby Parish Council.
The Steering Group can be contacted by emailing the Steering Group Chairman at firstname.lastname@example.org or by raising issues at Steering Group meetings.
The Parish Council can be contacted via the Parish Clerk at email@example.com or by raising issues in the public session of Parish Council meetings.
Any Neighbourhood Plan issues raised via the Parish Council will be forwarded to the Steering Group for review and any response or actions taken will be determined by the Steering Group.
Use of Mailing List
All general communications (e.g. meeting notifications, distribution of minutes and general announcements) will be distributed through the Rudby Parish Council email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to everyone who has opted in to the Neighbourhood Plan email distribution list.
Messages Sent to Parish Council
The Parish Council has delegated preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan to the Steering Group, and Steering Group responsibilities include responding to any Neighbourhood Plan issues raised via the Parish Council.
Any Neighbourhood Plan related messages received by the Parish Council are circulated to all Parish Councillors for information, and are forwarded to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group for review and action.
The Steering Group will respond directly to the originator of the message and provide a copy of the response to the Parish Council for information. The message and the response may be published on the Neighbourhood Plan website at the discretion of the Steering Group.
Messages Sent to the Steering Group
Messages are circulated within the Steering Group, and the Steering Group will respond directly to the originator of the message.
Messages and responses may be circulated to the Parish Council for information and/or published on the Neighbourhood Plan website at the discretion of the Steering Group.
Issues Raised at Meetings or Workshops
Issues raised are recorded in minutes along with any response given at the time. Where an immediate response is not provided within the same meeting, it will usually be provided at a subsequent meeting rather than through a written response sent to the originator. Minutes are published on the Neighbourhood Plan website.
Comments Submitted through Consultation Events
Consultation events typically provide opportunities for submission of comments from participants.
The Steering Group will not send personal responses to originators, but all comments and responses will be recorded in a Schedule of Responses which will be published on the Neighbourhood Plan website.
Contact with Hambleton District Council
At the request of Hambleton District Council all contact and communication between the Steering Group and Hambleton officers will be arranged via the Parish Clerk. This will enable Hambleton officers to easily differentiate between requests for assistance from the Neighbourhood Plan qualifying body to whom Hambleton have a duty to assist, and general enquiries from members of the public in connection with the Neighbourhood Plan.
Contact with Other External Parties
The Steering Group will communicate directly with any other external parties as and when required to discharge their responsibilities as defined under the Term of Reference.