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Charvil Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group Terms of Reference

1. Purpose

  1. The main purpose of the Charvil Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is to oversee the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan for Charvil Parish Council in order that this will then progress to Independent Examination and a successful community referendum and ultimately be adopted by Wokingham Borough Council to become planning policy.
  2. The Steering Group will engage the local community to ensure that the Plan is representative of the ambitions of Charvil residents and conforms with the strategic policies in Wokingham Borough Council’s adopted Local Plan. The Group will maximise support for the approach taken in the Neighbourhood Plan by ensuring high levels of community engagement throughout the plan-making process.

2. Principles

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.

3. Roles and Responsibilities

In order to achieve this, the Steering Group will carry out the following roles:

  • Be accountable for steering and providing strategic management of the Neighbourhood Plan for Charvil Parish Council;
  • Produce, monitor and update a project timetable;
  • To undertake analysis and evidence gathering to support the plan production process;
  • Actively support and promote the preparation of the Charvil Neighbourhood Plan throughout the duration of the project;
  • Liaise with relevant authorities and organisations;
  • Consult as widely and thoroughly as is possible to ensure that the draft and final Neighbourhood Plan is representative of the views of residents and conforms with the strategic policies in Wokingham Borough Council’s Local Plan;
  • Agree, subject to ratification by the Parish Council, a final submission version of the Charvil Neighbourhood Plan.

4. Membership

  1. The Steering Group will be made up of a cross-section of volunteers from the community, including Parish Councillors. Effort will be made to seek representation from under-represented sections of the community.
  2. Membership of the Steering Group will be open to the public indefinitely, up to a maximum of 10 members.

5. Decision Making

  1. The Steering Group has full delegated authority from the Parish Council to deliver its plan making functions up to and including publication of the Consultation Draft Plan. The Group will report monthly to the Parish Council setting out progress on its work. The Parish Council will approve the Submission Draft Neighbourhood Plan prior to publication for consultation and independent examination.
  2. The plan-making process remains the responsibility of the Parish Council as the qualifying body. All publications, consultation and community engagement exercises will be undertaken by or on behalf of the Parish Council with appropriate recognition of the Parish Council’s position given in all communications associated with the project.

6. Meetings

  1. Steering Group meetings will take place at least monthly and more often as necessary.
  2. The Steering Group will elect a Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary from its membership to remain in those positions until the project is completed. If these positions should become vacant, the Group will elect an alternate.
  3. The Secretary shall keep a record of meetings and circulate notes to Steering Group members and the Parish Council in a timely fashion. Minutes shall be made publicly available on the parish council website.
  4. Decisions made by the Steering Group should normally be by consensus at Steering Group meetings. Where a vote is required each member shall have one vote. A minimum of 5 members shall be present where matters are presented for decisions to be taken. A simple majority vote will be required to support any motion. The Chairman shall have one casting vote.

7. Working Groups

  1. The Steering Group may establish working groups, made up of volunteers from the community to aid them in any Neighbourhood Plan related work.
  2. Each working group should have a lead person from the Steering Group.

8. Finance

  1. All grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Parish Council, who will ring-fence the funds for Neighbourhood Plan work.
  2.  The Steering Group will notify the Parish Council, advising them of any planned expenditure before it is incurred.

9. 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.

10. Data Protection

Any personal information collected by the Steering Group will be stored in compliance with the Charvil Parish Council Data Protection Policy, a copy of which is detailed on their website.

11. Dissolution

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 or town council, consider its services are no longer required.