1. Introduction

Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes Parish Council took the decision to produce a Neighbourhood Development Plan following the Government’s notice of intention to embark on a Localism bill. In order to produce this plan the Parish Council will establish a Steering Group to oversee a process that will result in the preparation of a Plan which will be put to a public referendum.  In doing so it is deemed appropriate that the Steering Group are provided with and accept the following terms of reference;

The plan will seek to:
  • Identify all the important aspects of life in the Parish which are needed to plan for the future 
  • Bring forward proposals which will enhance the quality of life in the Parish in the years to come
2. Membership of the Steering Group
  • The Steering Group will be formed primarily from local volunteers who reside or work in the Parish. The group should be representative by consisting of an equal number of local people from the villages or communities in the Parish Area. Elected members or officers of the Parish Council may also be members of the Steering Group 

  • The Steering Group has delegated powers and may form Working Groups or sub-committees to undertake various aspects of the work involved in producing the Neighbourhood Development Plan.

  • The Steering Group will be supported by senior officers of Leeds City Council. The Local Planning Authority are obliged to provide assistance under the statutory provisions of the Localism Act 2011
3. Roles and Responsibilities of the Steering Group

The local representatives who are members of the Steering Group will;
  • Promote the process of preparing the Neighbourhood Development Plan and be encouraged to participate and provide their views and opinions on the specific topics which are covered during the preparation of the Plan
  • Arrange meetings and appoint sub-groups to gather views and consult on emerging policies which are considered appropriate for incorporation in the  Plan
  • Assess existing evidence about the needs and aspirations of each village
  • Liaise with relevant organisations and stakeholders to secure their input in the process
  • Analyse the results of questionnaires or other evidence received during the planning process and use them to prepare a robust  Plan
  • Inform the parish Council of progress on a regular basis  in order that Steering  or Working Group Minutes can be noted
  • Support the Local Planning Authority and Barwick-in- Elmet and Scholes Parish Council during the referendum process.
The Parish Council will
  • Support the Steering Group throughout the process providing sufficient assistance and financial resources to ensure the plan is prepared expeditiously  
  • Appoint professional planning expertise and provide any relevant aid during the development of the Plan. Drafting of the Plan will require professional assistance to ensure conformity to national and local policy and that the Plan will be sound and robust enough to withstand independent examination
  • Work with the Steering Group and the local community to establish that the future infrastructural needs of the area are provided prior to any housing or other development occurring within the Parish.
  • Work with the Steering Group to develop policies to guide the future development and use of land in the area.
  • Support the Steering Group in developing sustainability appraisal or other assessments requested by the Local Planning Authority prior to the Plan being submitted.
  • Support the Steering Group in efforts of engagement and consultation with the local communities throughout the plan making process.
  • Facilitate any required contact with the relevant statutory bodies or parties who must be consulted during the plan making process.
  • Carry out all statutory duties contained in the Neighbourhood Planning (General)  regulations 2012 and engage with Leeds City Council during the referendum process of the plan for which the principle authority are responsible.
  • Following the preparation of the Plan and with the agreement from the Group,  submit the plan to the Local Planning Authority for inspection and independent examination
  • Provide any budgetary support, not outlined above, for the production and local promotion of the Plan
All Members of the Steering Group will
  • Declare any personal interest that may be perceived as being relevant to any decisions or recommendations made by the group. This may include membership of an organisation, ownership of interest in land (directly or indirectly) or a business or indeed any other matter likely to be relevant to the work undertaken by the Steering Group.
  • Ensure that there is no discrimination in the plan making process and that it is a wholly inclusive, open and transparent process to all groups in the plan area and to those wishing to undertake development or be involved in the plan making process 
  • Work together for the benefit of the communities established within the Parish. 
  • Treat other Members of the Group with respect and dignity, allowing Members to express their views without prejudice and interruption.
  • Any decisions taken by the Steering Group, other than those delegated to appointed officers, will be carried forward if the majority (more than 50%) are in favour.
4. Chairman &  Working Party Leaders
  • The Group shall elect a Chairman and Deputy Chairman from their number – the Lead Members
  • If the Chairman is not present, the Deputy Chairman shall take the meeting.  If neither is present, members shall elect a Chairman for the meeting from amongst their number
  • Working Groups will be set up as required to research and review evidence and to contribute to the  document
  • Working Groups can be appointed to work on specific aspects of the plan
  • The Lead Members will support colleagues who require their assistance, monitor progress and work closely with officers of Leeds City Council and the planning consultant when appointed.
5. Frequency, Timing and Procedure of Meetings
  • The Working Groups will usually meet monthly although sub groups may meet more frequently as necessary
  • The Steering Group comprising of the  working groups and all other members shall meet at least every twelve weeks 
  • Meetings shall normally be held at 7pm at an appropriate venue endeavouring to keep the room hire costs to a minimum
  • All Steering Group meetings shall be open and may be attended by residents or those who work in the area identified for the plan to observe proceedings or participate in the proceedings
  • The Steering Group shall keep Minutes of meetings which will be open to public scrutiny. These will be publicised on the NDP web site and displayed in the notice boards, library or such other prominent places as may be requested
  • Notices, Agenda, Minutes and associated papers shall normally be despatched to Steering Group members by email unless otherwise specified or agreed.
  • Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with set procedure to be determined and agreed by the Steering Group
  • The Steering Group will regularly update and report its progress to the Clerk of the Parish Council ensuring that he, as the responsible financial officer for the council, is aware of the on-going budgetary implications associated with the project. 
  • The Terms of Reference will be reviewed throughout the project and amended as required. Any changes to Steering Group Terms of Reference shall require Parish Council agreement.