Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) - Steering Group

(Now terminated - see 1(b) below)

1(a) Present position.
A Steering Group was set up on the lines described below in Section 2 to produce a sound NDP for the Winscombe and Sandford Parish that defined the planning policy priorities identified by the community taking into account all representations made during the plan-making process and having regard to existing plans and evidence. One of the results of this group's considerable and valued efforts was that a questionnaire was devised and distributed throughout the community, with the results being collected, analysed and summarised. 

1(b) Termination of the Plan
As detailed below in 2(j), the Parish Council decided, in 2018, that on subsequent review a useful and acceptable plan could not be achieved. As a result it was agreed that a Neighbourhood Development Plan would not be produced.

2. Originally agreed Structure and Guidelines.
The Steering Group shall undertake the development of a Winscombe and Sandford Neighbourhood Development Plan (the NDP) within the stated objective and shall involve parishioners in the preparation of the NDP as fully as possible

(a) Objective
The objective of the Steering Group is to produce a sound NDP for the Winscombe and Sandford Parish that defines the planning policy priorities identified by the community taking into account all representations made during the plan-making process and having regard to existing plans and evidence. The plan' shall take full account of the provisions of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the North Somerset Council Core Strategy as well as the EU and Human Rights Legislation. In achieving this objective the Steering Group will ensure that the NDP development is supported by an effective ongoing program of communication and consultation with the community, North Somerset Council and other key third parties, including the Environment Agency, Natural England, AONB Partnership etc.
(b) Steering Group Composition
The Steering Group shall consist of a minimum of 8 and no more than 10 members, viz:

  • A minimum of 4 Parish Councillors
  • A minimum of 4 parishioners
  • A maximum of two other members (parishioners and/or Parish Councillors) 
In addition members of Working Groups may from time to time be asked to attend a meeting when their expertise is required to assist in key discussions.

The Steering Group shall meet monthly and will exist for the lifetime of the project. The Steering Group comprises those 4 Councillors nominated by the Parish Council, and those members elected at the second meeting of the NDP Volunteers following nominations submitted. Officers will be elected by Steering Group members.

The Steering Group shall comprise the following officers:
  • Chairman - one of the Parish Councillors
  • Vice-Chairman - one of the parishioners
  • Treasurer - one of the Parish Councillors
  • Communications Officer - either a parishioner or a Parish Councillor
The quorum for a Steering Group meeting shall be a minimum of 3 members comprising at least one Councillor and one parishioner.

(c) Working Groups
Working Groups will be formed to address aims and issues identified. Any parishioner can participate in a Working Group. Working Groups will be active for as long as the need arises.

Each Working Group shall agree a leader. Working Groups should meet as regularly as necessary in order to complete efficiently the work to be undertaken. Whilst in existence written reports shall be submitted at least one week before the monthly Steering Group meetings. There is no specific quorum for any of the Working Group meetings.

(d) Meetings
All meetings shall be held in either the Winscombe Community Centre or Sandford Village Hall. Bookings should be made via the Steering Group Communications Officer. Additional bookings for Working Group meetings can be requested.
All meetings shall be open to the public. Steering Group meetings shall be advertised in advance.

(e) Finance
The Steering Group will flag up opportunities for funding and will support applications for funding made by the Parish Council to support the development of an NDP.

The Treasurer is responsible for recording all financial matters relating to the preparation of the NDP and shall alert the Steering Group if available monies fall below £200.Claims for expenses and other payments agreed in advance by the Steering Group shall, if under £250 and within the budget allocated by the Parish Council, be forwarded by the Steering Group with a request for payment. All payments shall be submitted for approval at the next full Parish Council meeting in accordance with Parish Council Standing Orders.

(f) Reporting to Parish Council
The plan-makinq process remains in the control of the Parish Council as the qualifying body. The Steering Group shall provide a written report to the Parish Clerk one week before any full Parish Council meeting to include drafts of proposed publications and actions, and details of proposed public consultations to be undertaken on behalf of the Parish Council.

(g) Code of Conduct
All members will adhere to the principles set out by the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life. The seven principles
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
  3. Objectivity - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest. 
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example. Steering Group and Working Group members are expected to work with mutual trust and respect and to combine expertise. Parishioners have open access to all meetings, and all meeting attendees are required to address all remarks through the chair, and to show courtesy respect and consideration towards all other attendees ..

(h) Declarations of Interest
All members of the Steering Group and Working Groups shall 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 any organization, ownership or interest in land or a business or indeed any other matter likely to be relevant to the work undertaken by the Steering Group or any Working Group. Such declarations will be recorded in writing by the Working Group leader and/or Steering Group Communications officer.

(i) Membership
Membership of the Steering Group or any of the Working Groups is open to any Winscombe or Sandford parishioner. It is on a voluntary basis. Any Group may decide that it would be beneficial to invite the participation, as a voluntary adviser, of any person who has relevant expertise but who is not a parishioner. This is unlikely to be refused but shall be agreed in advance with the Steering Group.

(j) Termination of the Steering Group
The Steering Group may be terminated once the NDP has completed the referendum process, or by the Parish Council on subsequent review if it is agreed that a useful and acceptable plan cannot be achieved.

(k) Amendment of Terms of Reference
These Terms of Reference may be reviewed by the Parish Council during the life of the project following representations made by the Steering Group to the full Parish Council.

Chairman: Cresten Boase