NUTHURST PARISH NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
MINUTES OF STEERING COMMITTEE (SC) MEETING
held on the 26th November 2013 at
COPSALE VILLAGE HALL, Copsale
Commencing at 8.00pm
O. Hydes (Chairman), P. Bullen (Vice Chairman), R. Webber (Secretary), F Brennan (Treasurer), J. Fortune, M. Kenny, D. Livingstone, P. Lusty (Publicity Officer), P. Smith,
F.Bayo (Consultants AirS)
Fourteen members of the public were also present
01/261113 WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS
OH welcomed everyone. He explained that following designation as a Neighbourhood Plan (NP) area, Action in rural Sussex (AirS) had been appointed as consultants by Nuthurst Parish Council (NPC). He introduced Faustina Bayo from AirS, the Chairman and Vice Chairman and a councillor from NPC and explained that at his discretion he could invite them to speak on any agenda item.
02/261113 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
J. le Rossignol and Simon Hurst.
RW announced he had received on 26 November 2013 the resignation from the Steering Committee (SC) of Roger Cato, chair of the Mannings Heath Action Group (MHAG).
03/261113 CHAIRMAN INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
OH reported that NPC had been awarded a grant of £7K from locality and £5K from Horsham District Council (HDC), the latter payable in two tranches, £2.5K now and £2.5K on submission of the draft NP.
04/261113 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were none.
05/261113 MINUTES OF LAST MEETING
These were agreed and signed in the presence of the committee members.
06/261113 MATTERS ARISING
OH explained changes to the public forum procedure following discussion with AirS.. SC meetings were held in public but they were not public meetings. Public forums were not a required element but in accordance with the SC terms of reference one would be held for a strict 15 minutes with 2 minutes maximum per speaker. He asked that members of the public should not interrupt or distract someone speaking during the public forum.
Following concern on accessibility, FB explained the rationale behind it. In essence the Dropbox is for SC members only. Information from the Dropbox to Focus Groups (FG) will be via the FG Representative if deemed necessary and provided the information is not marked confidential by the originator.
07/261113 PROPOSAL THAT NO ORGANISATION IS TO BE REPRESENTED ON THE SC
OH said that all members would have received R. Cato’s e-mail earlier in the day stating that he was resigning and that he was “in dialogue” with Coole and Haddock, Solicitors. In view of this OH would be making no further comment about the actions of NPC or the SC. However the SC still needed to discuss and take a vote on the proposal.
RW introduced the proposal and gave reasons for it. MHAG representation on the SC had not been conducive to the smooth running of the NP process, it had affected residents who had volunteered for the SC and the Focus Groups and it could result in HDC and the Independent Examiner rejecting the NP because of undue influence by MHAG, thereby wasting public money. He proceeded by asking members to accept the proposal.
RW read in full an e-mail from Simon Hurst, who had been unable to attend. He supported the proposal.
FB confirmed was a team leader in a MHAG “focus” group and noted proposal did not extend to any individuals belonging to an organisation. He also noted the conflict with the advice given and nomination of organisations at the inaugural meeting and also noted such parties were permitted under the SC Terms of Reference. He also proposed the selection of an alternative for any vacancy arising.
FB confirmed would not be supporting the proposal.
JF said he would support the proposal.
PS would support the proposal and asked about filling the vacancy that would be created.
DL queried whether the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the SC would need to be changed. FB (AirS) explained that the ToR do not state that any organisation or business must have a representative on the SC. Rather the ToR allow that individual members of the SC may also be members of organisations or businesses operating in the Parish. Therefore the ToR do not need to be changed. DL proposed, and JL seconded, that in view of Roger Cato’s dialogue with solicitors, a decision on the proposal should be delayed until further advice had been obtained.
PL supported the proposal that no organisation is to be represented on the SC.
MK also supported the proposal that no organisation is to be represented on the SC and added that the present position on the SC was untenable.
PB stated that he fully supported the proposal that no organisation is to be represented on the SC. He commended the support he had received from MHAG members in his Focus Group. However, he raised concerns about e-mails OH had received from a MHAG member that were personal and critical of PB and unpleasant. He stated that he was not anti MHAG as was being portrayed and he denied all other accusations against him.
FB (AirS) explained the reasons for the advice given to NPC and SC officials. It centred on the perceptions within the Parish of the degree of MHAG’s influence on the NP and that HDC and the Independent Examiner could use this to reject the Plan. She added that all organisations within the Parish would be properly consulted and their opinions taken into account.
OH invited a comment from Val Court, Chair of NPC. She advised that any legal action initiated by any individual or organisation would be a matter for NPC as the SC was a sub-committee of NPC. She said the SC was doing a good job and should continue in a positive way.
A vote was taken on the proposal to delay a decision and this was defeated by 5 votes to 4.
A vote was taken on the proposal that “no organisation is to be represented on the SC” and this was carried by 8 votes to 1.
08/261113 PUBLIC FORUM
Alan Langford stated he wasn’t representing MHAG. He highlighted that some of the posters from the Open Day could not be opened on the website. He raised the Public Forum and asked that the SC post the schedule of actions on the website. All points were noted.
9/261113 TREASURERS REPORT
FB asked if the £44 had been paid. A cheque was to be issued at the next NPC meeting. He had received a further invoice for £32 for hall hire. He requested that members should advise him of any additional expenditure prior to spending.
10/261113 FOCUS GROUP REPORTS
Housing and Development PB said most of the time was spent preparing for the Open Days. The days had been very successful with many residents voicing opinions. Their analysis of 3.4 houses pa built in the last 20 years needed to be confirmed and they are also waiting for information on housing needs from HDC. They were now preparing their closing reports which are due by Christmas.
Farming, Environment & Countryside RW said that there had been a lot of preparation for the Open Day and there was still data outstanding. MK who is also on the FEC said they were finalising the amenity agenda which currently was incomplete. Also a meeting was arranged for the 10th Dec 2013 to finalise actions.
Community, Infrastructure and Local Economy SH in his absence had submitted a report and it was read out by OH. Draft reports had been prepared on the events and facilities, all businesses and the state of power, water and other infrastructure in the Parish.
Traffic and Transport DL reported further surveys on traffic movement had taken place and now they were focussed on the State of the Parish Report and questions for the survey.
RW outlined paper SC7 prepared by SH on the creation of a NP site that would sit alongside the Parish Council website. There was overall support for a better communicative site so residents could participate.
ACTION: SH, PL & RW were tasked to finalise a proposal for the next SC meeting.
12/261113 OPEN DAYS
OH reported two very successful events with 81 people attending at Mannings Heath Village Hall on 9th November in the afternoon and 65 at St. Andrew’s School on 12th November in the evening. All comments had been numbered and scanned and entered on a spreadsheet by David Hilliam. The relevant comments would be circulated to all chairs of Focus Groups (FG). PL had also emptied the ‘suggestion boxes’ at the 3 locations around the Parish. The comments from these boxes would be added to the spreadsheet.
ACTION: OH to circulate open day comments to FG chairs.
OH thanked everybody for all their efforts and reported back comments on a very professional presentation.
13/261113 ADDITIONAL WORKSHOPS
FB (AirS) advised the SC to conduct two further workshops. 1. To the young people (8- 11 and11-18) in the Parish and 2. Business Community this includes business premises and home workers. Time frame for both events is late January or early February 2014 at latest. Maximum time for young people events is 1½ hours.
ACTION: MK would select a team from the infrastructure Group to organise events for young people. FB would give guidance on the event content and a ‘What to Expect’ information sheet.
ACTION: OH, PL & RW to plan and publicise the business event and to liaise with CILE FG for support and participation. FB (AirS) is to provide guidance on content.
14/261113 STATE OF THE PARISH REPORT
FB (AirS) said this report is a vital document in identifying the current position of the Parish in all aspects and would play a significant role in the Draft Plan. The report would be prepared with considerable evidence based material and this would include a Parish wide survey, a Housing Needs Survey, workshop results and FG closing reports.
Housing Needs Survey (HNS)
ACTION: FB (AirS) to arrange the wording and layout of this document as a PDF for printing. AirS would supply prepaid reply envelopes and would provide the analysis of all the returns.
ACTION: RW to request funding from HDC regarding the HNS.
To include 4-5 questions from each FG. General survey and HNS will be sent out together. Timescale – hand delivery mid January 2014, returns posted to AirS end January 2014
ACTION: RW to finalise all dates
15/261113 SUGGESTIONS FOR MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED AT THE NEXT MEETING
Website, workshops and surveys and possibly FG closure reports
16/261113 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Marked as 17 in error on the Agenda.
Due to a number of actions required in the next 2 months it was recommended that a meeting be held on 18th December 2013 or 7th January 2014.
ACTION: RW to advise on the final date.
OH declared the meeting closed at 9.57pm.