Terms of reference

1              Purpose of the Steering Group

Humshaugh Parish Council is the qualifying body for the preparation of a Neighbourhood Development Plan for their civil parish area. The Parish Council has agreed to establish separate project management arrangements to facilitate the delivery of this plan-making function. The Parish Council has granted delegated authority in exercise of all relevant plan-making functions to the Humshaugh Neighbourhood Planning Steering Group.

The Steering Group sits as the Project Board for project management and decision-making purposes and will lead the preparation of the Humshaugh Neighbourhood Development Plan. The Group will guide and agree the content of the Plan and all associated evidence and analysis up to the ‘Preferred Option Consultation Draft’ stage.

The Group will:

  • provide a locally accountable and representative lead for plan-making;
  • agree a project timetable and endeavour to secure compliance;
  • agree a project communication, consultation and engagement strategy;
  • agree the initial scope of the Plan prior to early public engagement;
  • confirm, subject to consultation with the Parish Council, the scope of the Plan following analysis of early and subsequent community engagement;
  • approve all background and evidence-based reports prior to publication;
  • agree all consultation documents prior to publication;
  • agree, subject to ratification by the Parish Council, a final submission version of the Humshaugh Neighbourhood Development Plan; and
  • actively support and promote the preparation of the Humshaugh Neighbourhood Development Plan throughout the duration of the project.
  • Secure funding for the NP as a designated body of the Parish Council.

The Steering Group may establish working groups to examine specific planning issues.

The plan-making process remains in the control of the Parish Council as local authority and qualifying body. All publications, consultation and community engagement exercises will be undertaken by or on behalf of Humshaugh Parish Council with appropriate recognition of the Parish Council’s position given in all communications associated with the project.

2.            Time Limits

The Steering Group will be established for a time-limited period. The project is intended to run until a Plan has been presented for independent examination. The Steering Group will remain active until the independent examiners report is published.

3.            Steering Group Objectives

The objective of the Steering Group is to produce a sound Neighbourhood Development Plan for the Parish of Humshaugh, that defines the planning policy priorities identified by the community, considering all representations made during the plan-making process and having regard to all relevant existing plans and evidence. The Plan will include or be supported by an appropriate delivery plan setting out, where relevant, how these policy priorities may be implemented.

4.            Steering Group Membership

  • Chair of Humshaugh Parish Council;
  • 3 or 4 additional Members of Humshaugh Parish Council;
  • Clerk to the Parish Council
  • Northumberland County Council Ward Member; 
  • 3 or 4 individual community members;
  • 3 or 4 representatives of parish stakeholder groups;

Membership will be reviewed and confirmed by the Parish Council.

5.            Reporting and Communication

The Steering Group will report bi-monthly to the Parish Council setting out progress on its work. The Parish Council will approve the Submission Draft Neighbourhood Development Plan prior to publication for consultation and independent examination.

6.            Meetings

Steering Group meetings will take place bi-monthly, at least ten days prior to the Parish Council meeting. All meetings should take place in Humshaugh Parish. The Parish Council will arrange appropriate venues for the meetings.

The Steering Group will elect a Chair from its membership and this person shall remain in that position following their election until completion of the project.

Decisions made by the Steering Group should normally be by consensus at Steering Group meetings. Where a vote is required, each member shall have one vote.

A minimum of seven members (or 50% of the members whichever is the greater) shall be present where matters are presented for decisions to be taken. A simple majority will be required to support any motion.

7.            Support

The Parish Clerk will provide secretariat services required by the Steering Group.

Further support will be available through Northumberland County Council Neighbourhood Planning.

8.            Consultancy

If it is agreed to appoint a consultant to work on this project, then the consultant will report to and work alongside the Steering Group. Any consultant will be contracted through the Parish Council who will approve any appointment.

9.            Conduct

The Steering Group will follow the code of conduct set out by the Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life. The Steering Group is accountable to the wider community for ensuring that the Plan reflects their collective expectations. The Steering Group will achieve this through applying the following principles:

  • Work with mutual trust and respect, and combine their expertise;
  • Be clear when their individual roles or interests are in conflict;
  • Provide feedback from Steering Group meetings to their stakeholder organisation;
  • Assist their stakeholder organisation (where appropriate) to bring ideas and concerns to the attention of the Steering Group;
  • Inform the Steering Group when they are unable to deliver agreed actions;
  • Treat everyone with dignity, courtesy and respect regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability, or religion and belief; and
  • Actively promote equality of access and opportunity

Current Members of the Steering Group

  • Ian Birleson – Resident
  • Nicolle Croft – Resident
  • Nick Morphet – County Councillor, Humshaugh Ward, Northumberland County Council
  • Herbie Newell – Chair, Humshaugh Parish Council
  • Jerry Oliver – Councillor, Humshaugh Parish Council
  • Chris Robinson – Councillor, Humshaugh Parish Council
  • Kaeti Seth – Resident & Clerk, Humshaugh Parish Council
  • Rhona Still, Resident
  • David Sill, Resident
  • Peter Woodward, Councillor, Humshaugh Parish Council

(as at 30/08/2022)

Jo-Anne Garrick has been appointed as consultant to the Steering Group.

Chris Anderson is the officer from Northumberland County Council who is supporting the Steering Group.

Please contact the Parish Clerk if you wish to get involved = [email protected].

Minutes are available from the Parish Clerk – [email protected]