Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group 18th September 2012

Minutes of the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group 18th September 2012

Birdham Neighbourhood Plan

Minutes of the Steering Group Meeting

19.00 Tuesday 18 September 2012 Birdham Village Hall



Terry Claughton,      (TC)                            Ken Wright                (KW)

Carolyn Cobbold      (CC)                            Marion Barker           (MB)

Jane Finch                (JF)                             Alan Drew                 (AD)

Arnie Chamberlain  (AC)


Paul Simmons, Dave Williams, Hamish Gairns, Steve Crossley

Also present:

David Siggs (DS) (Birdham Parish Council Clerk), Paul Finch (PF) (FG member – Transport & Accessibility), Lavinia Brooks (FG member – Economic & Business)


  1. 1.    Review and agreement of the Terms of Reference (ToR)

The initial draft had been amended following comments received from the members.  The meeting agreed that the quorum for key decisions would set at 6 members. The ToR were agreed and will be reviewed again at the December meeting.       JF/MB

  1. 2.    Appointment of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Funding Co-ordinator

Following a discussion of the experience and commitments of the members the following appointments were agreed:

Chairman – Terry Claughton

Vice-Chairman – Ken Hughes

Secretary – Jane Finch/ Marion Baker

Funding co-ordinator – Paul Finch.  (Co-opted for funding issues).

The already heavy workload of the Parish Clerk, precludes full involvement in the committee but he will provide support, as required, within existing time constraints.

The appointments agreed will be added to the addendum of the ToR.                           TC

  1. 3.    Registering of the plan and designation area with CDC

The Parish Clerk confirmed that, based on the agreement at the public meeting held on 10th September, when the Steering Group (SG) was formed, together with the resolution at the council meeting on 17th September, he would register the Plan and Designation Area, with the District Council, as the whole of Birdham Parish. He would also register this with neighbouring parishes.                                                                  DS

  1. 4.    Communications strategy

a. Questionnaire

A draft covering letter and questionnaire was presented. This was broadly based on that used by W Wittering in developing their Village Design Statement. It provided some very initial thoughts for SG members to take to their Focus Groups to help determine the questions they would like to ask the residents of the parish.                                     All

The Parish Clerk informed the meeting that AirS is contracted to provide support in producing and printing the finished questionnaire for distribution with pre-paid envelopes addressed to AirS. They will also analyse the data.

It was noted that other parishes had a return rate of c.15% but the committee’s aim is to do considerably better than this.

b. Website

The Parish Clerk confirmed a tab for Neighbourhood Planning had already been created on the Parish Council web-site. Agreed official minutes, agendas and other communications would be posted on the web-site once agreed by the SG.          JF/MB

c. Public Meetings

It was agreed that members would seek opportunities to raise awareness by communicating with local groups about the Neighbourhood Plan. (e.g. Residents’ associations, church groups, etc.). The importance of presenting a consistent message was emphasised.                                                                                                              All

The first open meeting for all Birdham residents was tentatively scheduled for Saturday 17th November. This will be a drop-in style meeting from 10am to 1pm in Birdham Village Hall. The availability of the venue will be confirmed.                                       JF

d. Newsletters – not discussed

e. Register of consultation

TC emphasised that it is vital that we can clearly demonstrate that we have done our utmost to consult residents as widely as possible throughout the parish. The record of consultation within the W Wittering Village Design Statement is an example of this. To this end a Register of Consultation will be created and maintained.                                  All

  1. 5.    Reports from Focus Groups

The purpose of this item is to report the progress that each Focus Group has made to date and what it is going to do next.

  1. Economic/Business –  meeting arranged to follow-on from the SG meeting
  2. Transport/Accessibility – meeting planned for 20th Sept
  3. Community – no meeting planned yet
  4. Environment – meeting planned for 20th Sept
  5. Heritage/Local knowledge – 2 meetings held. Wealth of information gathered and key topics identified. Next task is to identify suitable questions for the questionnaire.
  6. 6.    Mapping of Issues to Focus Groups

The first draft of the key document, mapping key Issues to the relevant Focus Group, was presented. This will be maintained to ensure that these issues are effectively registered and it is clear which Focus groups will be dealing with them thereby reducing the risk of issues not been fully addressed.                                                                              All

  1. 7.    Funding

The Parish Council has budgeted £1000 to start the development of the Neighbourhood Plan and further funding will be available from a VAT recovery. A small expenditure on the hire of the village hall has been spent to date. The cost of the support from AirS has already been allocated, by the Parish Council, in addition to the above.

PF explained he had spoken to Anton Draper in Communities and Local Government (central government). It appears that of the £30k available to the District Council per plan, £5K will be made available to each parish on the receipt and acceptance of their Designated Plan Area.

TC suggested that to get the quality of the final plan document right, we would need a budget to engage a professional writer. This proved essential in the preparation of the W Wittering Village Design statement. CC (who is a professional writer) volunteered to help in this respect.

  1. 8.    Expectation Management

The importance of managing expectations was discussed. It was noted that members must be realistic about our ability to do things and be very careful not to make commitments that we cannot deliver.                                                                                         All

The Parish Clerk said that the plan will need to be flexible and subordinate to the Local Plan, although this doesn’t yet exist. The impending consultation document from the District Council will give some guidance as to its eventual content.

  1. 9.    AOB:

A draft list of parish assets was distributed for consideration by members.              All

The next meeting was proposed for Tuesday 16th October 2012.                               All

Meeting was closed at 20.35.