Latest Steering Committee Minutes

Steering Group Meeting –  Ye Hostelrie – 22ndt March 2017 – Meeting Notes


Present:  Lawrie Lowe / Tony Lafford / Ken Gort / Robin Hulse/ Chris Hulbert/ Mark Jessup / Adam Fletcher

Apologies:  Janet Sheldon / Phil Dryden/ Rebecca Roper

In attendance:  Nigel Roper


1 Previous Minutes

These were approved.


2 Questionnaires

The distribution was now complete with few problems encountered.


The questionnaires are to be returned to Ken Gort, along with a list of deliveries made and comments from each distributor. Ken will try to get the bulk of the questionnaires to Data Orchard in Hereford in early April, with a final batch being delivered after 9th April.


3 Project Expenditure to Date (please note all figures are quoted net of VAT)

Ken and Chris had produced an expenditure report for the first six months of the Project. Returns needing to be made before the next tranche of funds is approved and released.


Expenditure is £2973.04 against a budgeted figure of £4413. During the period, the project has run to plan, with two exceptions:

  • The questionnaire process was brought forward
  • The identification of sites for development has been held until the next 6 month period.


The return was approved and will be submitted and surplus funds returned once cleared through the parish Clerk.


4 Expenditure Forecast for the next Six Months and Request for Funding

Working with forecasts from Data Orchard, Ken and Chris have calculated a need for funds of £3960 for the next 6 months; this is heavily weighted towards the costs of the Consultants handling data entry and analysis of the questionnaires, working on the land for development proposals and moving on to start writing the draft report.


The objective is to have this report half completed by the end of September and to have held one further round of consultation meetings during the period covering questionnaire results and land survey findings and proposals.


Before approving this figure, the meeting considered the costs to be incurred after September. The best estimate was a further £4030 which would leave the project some £2000 over the grant level of £9000.



It was agreed that the budget for the next six months should be approved and Ken should base his application for grant funding on it. There should however be steps taken to handle the overall cost of the project and its funding:


  • We should meet with Data Orchard and identify whether we can handle additional work in the next 6-month period.
  • The cost of work on potential development site surveys should be reviewed once the number and type of sites is known.
  • We should keep under review the balance between issuing reports on paper as opposed to using the web site (which is due to be reformatted).
  • We should make a case to Awards for All for lottery funding to bridge the funding gap. This will best be done once we have more information from the questionnaire exercise about participation etc.
  • It was noted that in other parishes some projects had received Parish Council funding support.


Ken and Chris were thanked for the work that they had done.


5 Future Organisation

Adam Fletcher tendered his resignation as chairman due to work commitments and it was proposed, seconded and unanimously agreed that Ken Gort should take over. Lawrie Lowe agreed to remain as Secretary.


It had always been agreed that the structure of the Steering Group should be reviewed as the project progressed.


Over there past 2 months there had been a core group who had worked with the Consultants and had done the work on the questionnaire – bringing in others as appropriate.


It was felt important, however, that the team running the project did not become seen as a self-elected clique and the following was agreed:


  • The next routine e-mail to Parishioners who had expressed interest in the Project would include these minutes and would ask if any would like to put their names forward for getting more involved.
  • Depending on the response and also the views of existing Steering Group members – some of whom would welcome only being involved when specific subjects were being discussed – the composition of the Group would be reviewed. This could allow those with specific interests and expertise to concentrate on policy areas that mainly interested them, working within a nominated support team.
  • Thee keeping of all Steering Committee Meetings open to all who wished to attend was seen as a way of demonstrating openness.


Next Meeting:  to be advised, potentially not before he Questionnaire results are known in late April. A meeting with Data Orchard may also be organised to look thoroughly at their estimates and to try to identify cost saving opportunities.



Name                                                                                    Signature


Name                                                                                    Signature

Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference


The purpose of the Steering Group shall be to work in partnership with the Parish Council to carry out the following:

  • Produce a Project Plan which identifies priorities and timescale for action.
  • Identify and secure sources of funding.
  • To take responsibility for planning, budgeting and monitoring expenditure on the plan and report back to the Parish Council.
  • Liaise with relevant authorities and organisations to make the plan as effective as possible.
  • Identify ways of involving the whole community to gather views and opinions of as many groups and organisations as possible.
  • Determine how information can best be gathered.
  • Be responsible for the analysis of surveys.
  • Regularly report back to the Parish Council on progress, issues arising and outcomes from the exercise.
  • Oversee the production of the Neighbourhood Plan.


  • The Steering Group will be made up from a cross-section of people from the community, including parish councillors nominated by the Parish Council.
  • The Steering Group will elect a chairperson, a project manager, a secretary and a finance officer.
  • Other members of the Steering Group will be required to carry out tasks as needed.
  • The Steering Group may co-opt additional members to ensure that skills exist to run a successful Neighbourhood Plan.
  • Volunteers from the community will be recruited to help with the range of tasks needed for the Neighbourhood Plan.
  • A person shall cease to be a member of the group having notified the chair or secretary in writing of his or her wish to resign.


  • The Group Parish Council’s insurance will cover the previously agreed activities of the Steering Group and volunteers.
  • Steering Group officers will ensure that the terms of the insurance are not breached.


  • The Parish Council will provide the opportunity for the endorsement of regular reports from the Steering Group via its meeting agenda.
  • It is expected that all Steering Group members will abide by the principles and practice of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct, including declarations of interest.
  • The Steering Group shall meet as required but at least monthly.
  • Ideally at least 7 clear days’ notice of meetings shall be sent to members using appropriate communication methods.
  • Notices of meetings should identify the matters to be discussed.
  • The secretary shall keep a record of meetings and circulate notes to Steering Group members and to the Parish Council in a timely fashion.
  • The secretary shall also publicise the notes via the Neighbourhood Plan website and parish council notice-boards.
  • All meetings should be open to the public.
  • Copies of the Parish Council’s Code of Conduct will be available at NDP meetings.


  • All grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Parish Council who will ring-fence the funds for Neighbourhood Plan purposes only.
  • Notification of all planned expenditure will be given to the Parish Council before actual costs are incurred.
  • The finance officer will keep a clear record of expenditure supported by receipted invoices and will regularly review and update the budget.
  • The finance officer will draw up and agree with the Steering Group procedures for volunteers who wish to claim expenses and the rates that they may claim.
  • The finance officer will report back to the Steering Group and the Parish Council on planned and actual expenditure for the project.
  • The finance officer will set up a system for reimbursement of expenses and a procedure for payment of invoices.
  • Invoices will be made out in the name of the Parish Council who will pay them at their next parish council meeting.

Changes to the Terms of Reference

  • Changes to the Terms of Reference
  • These Terms of Reference may be altered and additional clauses may be added with the consent of two-thirds of the Steering Group present.

Dissolution of the Steering Group

  • At the conclusion of the Neighbourhood Plan project the Parish Council and the Steering Group should discuss the future working of the Steering Group. If the Steering Group wishes to dissolve it must notify the Parish Council. If the Parish Council wishes to dissolve the Steering Group it will need to consider the return of any unused funding, if this was a condition of any grant.
  • A final report will be written as part of the final grant payment.

Stage 2

Stage 2  – Initial Preparing of your draft Neighbourhood Development Plan

Identify key partners and stakeholders including potential developers and landowners

Information/awareness raising community event(s).)

Engage with local groups and people to gain their views on local issues and priorities e.g. consultation event.

Analyse feedback from consultation event responses, broadly define key issues and priorities

Check event was inclusive.

This stage of the plan is completed.

Stage 1

Goodrich and Welsh Bicknor Parish Council Neighbourhood Development Plan

Commenced July 2016

  • Stage 1  – Getting Started  – Defining Neighbourhood Area  – Form Steering Group

    Parish Council meeting to discuss potential Neighbourhood Development Plan, e.g. process, ideas aspirations.

    Do pre-publicity/awareness raising with the parish residents – ensure they know what is being discussed.

    Define the Neighbourhood Area and complete the Neighbourhood Area application form and submit to Herefordshire Council.

    Herefordshire Council to formally advertise the Neighbourhood Area and Parish awaits Decision document.

    Await initial environmental assessment screening decision from Herefordshire Council.

    Identify volunteers from the local community and consider skills / knowledge / interests / representation of the Steering Group.

    Check for inclusivity and diversity in the makeup of the Steering Group.

    Set up the Steering Group and agree roles (Chair etc.) and Terms of Reference.

    Agree and set up process to ensure flow of information between Parish Council and Steering Group.

    Sign Service Level Agreement with Herefordshire Council.

    Populate and agree Project Plan and Budget Proforma.

    Ensure the aims and objectives of doing a Neighbourhood Development plan are clear/understood.

    This stage of the plan is completed.