Steering Group

The steering group is to lead the Abbots Langley Neighbourhood Plan on behalf of the Parish Council. The Steering Group will work within the agreed budget toward achieving the Council’s aim of producing a Neighbourhood Plan that is adopted by Three Rivers District Council as a statutory planning document.

Purpose

The purpose of the Steering Group is to support the Parish Council to carry out the following tasks:

  1. Investigate and identify support for the Neighbourhood Plan.
  2. Identify sources of funding.
  3. In conjunction with the Clerk to the Council take responsibility for planning, budgeting and monitoring expenditure on the Neighbourhood Plan and report back to the Parish Council on these matters.
  4. Liaise with relevant authorities and organisations to make the Neighbourhood Plan as effective as possible.
  5. Identify ways of involving the whole community and gather the views and opinions of as many groups and organisations in the community as possible.
  6. Determine the types of survey and information gathering to be used.
  7. Be responsible for the analysis of the survey, as well as the production and the distribution of the final report.
  8. Identify priorities and timescales for local action in the Project Plan, including the lead organisations and potential sources of project funding.
  9. Regularly report back to the Parish Council on progress, issues arising and outcomes.

Membership

The Steering Group will be made up from Parish Councillors (6) nominated by the Parish Council and key representatives from the community (6).
The quorum for any Steering Group meeting will be three Parish Councillors.
The Steering Group may form Task Groups consisting of members of the community and representatives from the Parish Council. The Task Groups will have their own term of reference and will report back to the Steering Group.

Defining Roles

  • At the first meeting, the Steering Group will elect a Chairman.
  • Members of the Steering Group may be elected to other key roles as required during the project.

Roles & Relationships

  • Parish Council insurance will cover the previously agreed activities of the Steering Group and volunteers, but Steering Group members, in liaison with the Clerk to the Council, need to ensure that terms of the insurance are not breached.
  • The Chairman and Administration Officer (if appointed) are responsible for reporting back to the Parish Council.
  • The Parish Council will provide the opportunity for the endorsement of regular reports via its meeting agenda.
  • Task Groups will carry out duties specified by the full Steering Group, which may include, but is not limited to: (1) Data gathering (2) Consultations (3) Making recommendations
  • The make-up and purpose of Task Groups will be regularly reviewed by the full Steering Group.
  • It is expected that all Steering Group members abide by the principles and practice of the Parish Council Code of Conduct including declarations of interest.

Timing

The target date for a referendum is mmm yyyy.

Meetings

  • The Steering Group shall normally meet monthly, or as may be required.
  • At least three clear days’ notice of meetings shall be sent to members via the communication method agreed with, and appropriate to, each individual member.
  • Notices of meetings should detail the matters to be discussed.
  • The Administration Officer shall keep a record of meetings, and circulate notes to Steering Group members and the Parish Council in a timely fashion.
  • Meeting dates and times will be published well in advance.
  • All meetings are open to the public.

Task Groups

  • The Steering Group may establish such Task Groups as it considers necessary to carry out the functions specified by the Steering Group.
  • Each Task Group will have a lead person.

Finance

  • All grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Parish Council, who will ringfence the funds for Neighbourhood Plan purposes only.
  • Notification of all planned expenditure will be approved by the Clerk to the Council if within delegated limits or the Parish Council if higher. All expenditure must be approved before actual costs are incurred and the Parish Council’s normal procurement and ordering procedures adhered to. Parish Council preferred suppliers such as Herts County Supplies will be used where possible. 
  • Invoices will be made out in the name of the Parish Council. 
  • The Chairman will keep a clear record of expenditure supported by receipted invoices and will regularly review and update the budget in liaison with the Clerk to the Council. 
  • The Clerk to the Council will draw up and agree with the Steering Group procedures for volunteers who wish to claim expenses. 
  • The Clerk to the Council will report back to the Steering Group and the Parish Council on planned and actual expenditure for the project. 
  • Members of the community who are involved as volunteers with any of the Working Groups may claim back any previously agreed expenditure that was necessarily incurred during the process of producing the Neighbourhood Plan. This includes, but is not limited to, postage, stationery, telephone calls and travel costs.

Dissolving the Steering Group

At the conclusion of the Neighbourhood Plan project the Parish Council and Steering Group should discuss the future working of the Steering Group. If the Steering Group wishes to dissolve it must notify the Parish Council.

Document Revision History

  • Date: 02/11/2015 Version: 1.0 Revision: Draft to Parish Council for approval
  • Date: 09/11/2015 Version: 1.1 Revision: Amend references from “Chairperson” to “Chairman”. Parish Council Nov 2015 approved, min. 239.