Steering Group Terms of Reference

Steering Group Terms of Reference (DRAFT)

1. Background

In 2015 discussions were held between Mendip District Council and Glastonbury Town Council in light of the Government’s proposed changes to the planning system, enabling communities to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan.  It is intended that this process will enable the community to actively influence land use and development, as part of statutory planning.  The Town Councils felt this could be an opportunity to shape future development in the area whilst safeguarding and enhancing what is valued. Following various discussions and meetings a Steering Group was established to oversee the process of preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, within the context of the Mendip Local Plan, version 2. Glastonbury Town Council has employed an Officer to support the creation of a Neighbourhood Development Plan.

2. Timescale

The formal process of registering the intent of Glastonbury Town Council to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan will be submitted to Mendip District Council during the summer of 2016. The depth of engagement required with all interested parties and the wider community suggests that the completion of the plan will take approximately two years. It is anticipated that Glastonbury Town Council will present a final version of the Neighbourhood Development Plan to the community during 2018.

3. Name of the group

The group will be known as the Glastonbury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

4. Purpose

The Steering Group’s purpose is to design, implement and oversee the Neighbourhood Development Plan process in order that this will then progress to Independent Examination and a successful community referendum and ultimately be adopted by Mendip District Council and become planning policy.

5. Principles

i/ That the Steering Group will undertake the process in a democratic, transparent and fair way, allowing opinions and ideas to be put forward by all.

ii/ That the Steering Group will make this a positive and constructive process.

iii/ It is intended to take a holistic approach that will improve quality of life and strengthen the community.

6. Tasks and Activities

i/ All key decisions must be mutually agreed by the Steering Group and Town Council – hence the need to ensure communication is effective and appropriate.

ii/ Prepare a project plan to set out how it is proposed to create a Neighbourhood Development Plan

iii/ The project plan will contain a timeframe to focus activity.

iv/ Publicise the intention to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan, to inform and engage the community, and publicise all subsequent activities and progress.

v/ Meet regularly (as a minimum six times per year) to agree actions and discuss issues that arise, in order that the process is dealt with in an efficient and timely manner.

vi/ Gather baseline information, establish and understand the needs, vision and aspirations of residents and the business community.

vii/ If required, set up sub-groups (or theme groups) to gather statistics, information and views of specific members of the community e.g elderly, youth, sports clubs etc (subject to this being agreed and delegated by the full steering group)

viii/ Consult as widely and thoroughly as is possible to ensure that the draft and final NDP is representative of the views of the residents.

ix/ Analyse the information gathered to prepare the draft and final Neighbourhood Development Plan.

x/ Produce notes/minutes from Steering Group meetings to ensure the process is both transparent and documented.

xi/ Set up a mechanism to inform interested residents of progress e.g. monthly updates by email, creating a link to the Town Council website etc.

xii/ Actively publicise the draft Neighbourhood Development Plan prior to the Referendum.

xiii/ Agree financial arrangements and budget with Glastonbury Town Council.
7 Membership of Steering Group

The Glastonbury Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group shall be formed from current town councillors and members of the community and shall include not fewer than six and up to 12 members (no more than six to be Town Councillors in any capacity).

The Town Clerk, Deputy Town Clerk or a representative from the Town Council office, can be present in an ex-officio, non-voting capacity at all meetings.

A person living outside the town but running an established local business may be invited to join, subject to there being no conflict of interest.

The Steering Group shall be quorate when at least half of the members attend.

Mendip District Council officers or elected members, as well as other agencies appointed by the Council to support the process cannot be voting members of the Steering Group but are able to attend meetings and contribute to the discussions as required.
8 Roles within the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

i/ The Steering Group shall elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.

ii/ If the Chair and Vice Chair are unable to attend a meeting then a temporary Chair (selected from the Steering Group members) will be elected for that meeting.

iii/ The Secretary will take notes/minutes from the meeting, record main decisions and action points; and make available to the public these and any relevant information as appropriate.
9 Steering Group Meeting Arrangements

i/ The Steering Group shall meet as necessary and no less than six occasions per year.

ii/ Specific theme groups will meet in addition to the Steering Group as and when necessary.

iii/ Decisions from specific theme groups should be relayed back to the full Steering Group for ratification and/or information.

iv/ Members of the public can observe the meeting and speak at the Chairpersons discretion.

v/ From time to time other stakeholders or interested parties may be invited to attend a specific Steering Group meeting to give a presentation and/or discuss their interest in the proposed Neighbourhood Development Plan.

vi/ The Terms of Reference was adopted at a Glastonbury Neighbourhood Development Plan Steering Group meeting on 25th May 2016