Steering committee (inc: code of conduct)

Steering Committee Membership

Voting members





Owen Hydes Chairman Mannings Heath Councillor
Paddy Bullen Vice-chairman Maplehurst Steering Committee Representative on Housing & Development Focus Group
Richard Webber Secretarynpnpsec@gmail.com01403 248550 Mannings Heath Councillor, Steering Committee Representative on Farming, Environment and Countryside Focus Group
John le Rossignol Deputy Secretary Mannings Heath Councillor
Paul Lusty Publicity Officer Maplehurst  (resigned)
Frank Brennan Mannings Heath
Sophie Winterton Nuthurst
Simon Hurst Mannings Heath Steering Committee Representative on Community, Infrastructure & Land Economy Focus Group
Melanie Kenny Copsale (covering Monks Gate)
Dennis Livingstone Sedgwick Steering Committee Representative on Traffic & Transport Focus Group
Paul Macivor-Smith Copsale


Non-voting advisory members





Faustina Bayo Adviser Consultant, Action in rural Sussex, appointed to assist with Neighbourhood Plan
Duncan England Adviser Copsale Horsham District Councillor link. Also Parish Councillor



The name of the organisation shall be the Nuthurst Parish Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee, hereafter referred to as the Committee. The Committee shall be dissolved when the Neighbourhood Plan has been approved by a community referendum and has become statute law.

Aim and Mission Statement

The aim of the Community-led Committee is to develop and oversee a process that will result in the preparation of a draft Neighbourhood Plan for the whole of Nuthurst Parish in order to achieve the following mission statement:

“Preserve and enhance the built, natural and historic environment of Nuthurst Parish and the distinctive character of its main settlements – Copsale, Mannings Heath, Maplehurst, Monks Gate , Nuthurst and Sedgwick – allowing for sustainable economic and social growth and development”.

The process shall be:

  • inclusive – offering the opportunity for everyone who lives or works in Nuthurst Parish to participate in the neighbourhood planning process;
  • comprehensive – identifying all the important aspects of life in Nuthurst Parish that  need to be preserved and enhanced in the future; and
  • positive – bringing forward proposals that will improve the quality of life for everyone in Nuthurst Parish.


1)    To produce a working strategy and timetable for the Committee so that it can produce a draft Neighbourhood Plan within a pre-determined timescale, using, if advantageous, consultants appointed by Nuthurst Parish Council. The draft Neighbourhood Plan shall be so well researched and consulted upon that it is consistent with Horsham District Council’s (HDC) emerging Local Development Framework (LDF) and passes the four formal stages of acceptance, namely:

  • endorsed by Nuthurst Parish Council;
  • accepted by HDC as conforming to its LDF and to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
  • approved by the independent examiner appointed by HDC as meeting the basic conditions and other legal requirements and recommended for community referendum; and
  • approved by the residents of Nuthurst Parish in a successful community referendum.

2)    To set up Focus Groups to undertake research and gather evidence that will underpin and support the Neighbourhood Plan and to supply terms of reference for those Focus Groups. The Focus Groups could include, but may not be limited to:

  • housing and development;
  • farmlands, environment and countryside;
  • community, infrastructure and local economy; and
  • transport and traffic

The main aims of these Focus Groups will be to:

  • record the current features of Nuthurst Parish in terms of, for example – population, age profile, housing types, commercial activities, farming, leisure and social amenities etc.
  • record peoples’ aspirations for Nuthurst Parish for the future by appropriate means, for example: by surveys/questionnaires, public meetings, opportunities at public events etc.
  • recommend potential proposals that might reasonably be included in the Neighbourhood Plan

Membership of the Steering Committee

The membership of the Committee should reflect the overarching aim to produce a community-led Neighbourhood Plan by being representative of residents, organisations and businesses within the whole of Nuthurst Parish.

The Committee shall comprise of up to 12 voting members including:

  • ideally at least one resident from each of the six settlements in Nuthurst Parish;
  • a representative of each Focus Group (currently envisaged as four); and
  • one quarter who are Parish Councillors.

In addition there may be up to three non voting advisory members, making a maximum of 15 members, for example officers of HDC, District Councillors or consultants appointed to assist with the Neighbourhood Plan.

A person shall cease to be a member of the Committee by notifying the chair or secretary of his or her resignation. The Committee may advertise for a replacement member.

Officers of the Steering Committee

The Committee shall appoint the following officers:

  • Chair
  • Vice-chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Publicity officer


  • The Committee shall meet every month or more frequently if required.
  • At least five clear days notice of meetings shall be given to members by written notice. The notice shall include the agenda for the meeting.
  • The Committee may agree to invite any individual or organisation to attend a meeting to provide advice.
  • Meetings of the Committee shall be open to the public and the public shall be given an opportunity to raise issues and ask questions during the meeting. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, a time limit of 15 minutes will be available for the public to raise issues and ask questions.
  • The quorum for the Committee shall be five voting members.
  • Every matter requiring decision shall be determined by a simple majority of votes of the voting Committee members present. In case of equality of votes, the chair shall have a casting vote.
  • The secretary shall take minutes of the meeting, circulate them to members not more than 14 days after each meeting and keep them in a minutes folder. Minutes shall be posted on Nuthurst Parish Council’s website as soon as practical after they have been agreed by the Committee

Conflicts of interest and conduct

  • All Committee members shall be expected to declare any conflicts of interest. These shall be recorded in the minutes by the secretary and the chair shall ensure that no member with a conflict of interest takes part in the relevant discussion, decision making or voting.
  • All Committee members shall work with mutual trust, respect and courtesy combining together to achieve the production of the Neighbourhood Plan


  • The Treasurer shall keep a clear record of grants received as advised by the Parish Clerk and of expenditure incurred supported by receipted invoices. The Treasurer shall supply those invoices and expense sheets, once approved by the Committee, to the Parish clerk for record keeping
  • The Treasurer shall draw up and agree with the Committee procedures for members of the Committee and Focus Groups who wish to claim expenses and the rates they may claim.
  • The Treasurer shall report monthly to the Committee and Nuthurst Parish Council on planned and actual expenditure for the project, and liaise with the Parish Clerk to facilitate payment of invoices.


Changes to the terms of reference

  • These terms of reference may be amended by agreement of a simple majority of the voting Committee members present.


Dissolution of the Committee

  • Upon dissolution of the Committee any remaining funds shall be disposed of by the Committee, in accordance with the decisions reached at an Extraordinary Meeting open to the public called for that purpose. No individual member of the Committee shall benefit from the dispersal.
  • The return of any unused funding given as grants to the Committee may need to be considered if this was part of the condition of the grant.
  • Every member of the Committee and Focus Groups shall be formally thanked in writing for their contribution to the Neighbourhood Plan. The community shall be thanked for their involvement and support by public notice in the “Link” magazine.

Neighbourhood Plan Working Party

7 August 2013

Agreed at Steering Committee meeting on 2 September 2013

Code of Conduct for Steering Committee Members

1.     Purpose of the Code

1.1 To ensure that the members of the Steering Committee work professionally and collectively to achieve the Committee’s aim of producing a high quality Neighbourhood Plan that meets with the approval of Nuthurst Parish Council, Horsham District Council, the Independent Examiner and the parishioners in a public referendum.

1.2 To ensure that public money, some £18K, properly results in the Parish achieving an approved Neighbourhood Plan.

2.   Functions of Committee Members

2.1 To seek and utilise the advice of Action in rural Sussex (AirS), the consultants appointed by Nuthurst Parish Council to assist with the Neighbourhood Plan, as appropriate to the circumstances.

2.2 To produce and agree plans including a timetable for producing the Neighbourhood Plan.

2.3 To serve as volunteers at public consultations and other public events and to assist with any preparatory and follow up activities.

2.4 To carry equal and collective responsibility for decisions made by the Steering Committee.

2.5 To be a good ambassador and give public support for the aims and work of the Steering Committee in producing a Neighbourhood Plan.

2.6 To liaise effectively and sensitively with members of the Focus Groups as needed.

2.7 The Chair or the Secretary shall keep Nuthurst Parish Council informed of progress with the Neighbourhood Plan and shall report to the Parish Council any problems that impede that progress.

3.   Personal Accountabilities

3.1 To develop constructive and effective relationships with the other members of the Steering Committee and with members of the Focus Groups in order to achieve a positive ethos and good team spirit.

3.2 To understand the aims of the Neighbourhood Plan and the work of the Steering Committee and promote these in the Parish.

3.3 All press enquiries must be referred to the Chair. Only speak formally on behalf of the Steering Committee when authorised to do so – for example at public events.

3.4 To be mindful of the responsibility to maintain and develop the good reputation of the Steering Committee and the Neighbourhood Planning process.

3.5 To act at all times in the best interests of the Steering Committee and the Neighbourhood Plan and not those of any other organisations to which the member happens to belong.

3.6 To observe complete confidentiality when matters are deemed confidential by officers of the Steering Committee, members of the Steering Committee or other persons.

4. Commitment

4.1 To acknowledge that the commitment to the Steering Committee means more than just attending its meetings – it also means giving pro-active help and support to Focus Groups, public events and any sub-groups set up for specific tasks.

4.2 To accept a fair share of the responsibilities of being a Steering committee member so the work is shared out equitably.

4.3 To make every effort to attend all meetings of the Steering Committee and when unable to do so, to send apologies with reasons in advance to the Chair or Secretary.

5.  Relationships

5.1 To express views thoughtfully, courteously and respectfully and without intimidation and pressure, in all communications either spoken or written.

5.2 To support the Chair and Vice-chair in their role of ensuring appropriately respectful conduct at Steering Committee meetings and at all other times.

5.3 Not to take action either written (including e-mail, internet or social media) or spoken that could reflect adversely on the Steering Committee or the Neighbourhood Plan.

6.  Conflict of interest

6.1 To declare at a Steering Committee meeting any potential conflict of interest, either personal, financial or prejudicial, in respect of any item to be discussed at that meeting. The Chair or Vice-chair shall determine whether that conflict of interest can be managed or whether that member shall leave the meeting whilst that item is discussed.

6.2 To inform the Chair or the Secretary should any potential conflict of interest arise outside of meetings of the Steering Committee.

7. Resignation

7.1 To write formally to the Chair or Secretary should a member wish to resign from the Steering Committee.

8.  Breach of this Code of Conduct

8.1 If any member believes that any other member has breached this Code of Conduct, even if only once, it must be reported formally in writing to the Chair who, with the Vice-chair, will investigate the alleged breach and report the result of the investigation to the Steering Committee.

8.2 If the Vice-chair is alleged to have breached this Code of Conduct, the investigation will be carried out by the Chair and the Secretary.

8.3 If any member believes that the Chair has breached this Code of Conduct, it must be reported formally in writing to the Vice-chair who, with the Secretary, will investigate the alleged breach and report the result of the investigation to the Steering Committee.

8.4 When the investigation team concludes that there has been a breach of this Code of Conduct it may either make a recommendation to the Steering Committee that the member committing the breach is giving a written warning with an improvement note or, if the breach is judged sufficiently serious, make a recommendation that the member’s appointment to the Steering Committee be terminated.

8.5 If the Steering Committee agrees by simple majority with the investigation team’s conclusion and recommendation, either the member will be issued with a written warning by the lead of the investigation team or, in the case of a serious breach, the member will be expected to resign or have the appointment terminated.



I agree to abide by this Code of Conduct



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