You are on page 1of 23

Report of The Arches NP Forum Neighbourhood Plan

consultation events 26th and 28th November 2018


The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

Background
What is a Neighbourhood Plan?
It is a document created by local people that sets out future planning policy for where you live.
It helps you protect the things you care about in your community, such as important local green
spaces, as well as make improvements to the local area. For example, it can show where
buildings can and can’t be built, what they should look like, and used for. It can also encourage
the kind of development that you would like to see more of.
Why a Neighbourhood Plan might help?
A Neighbourhood Plan carries the same legal weight as plans drawn up by your council. This
means it gives you and your community a powerful voice that must be listened to when
decisions are made about development in your area. For example, your council must follow
what’s in your Neighbourhood Plan when making decisions about planning applications and
developers or landowners must follow it if they want to get planning permission.

These two consultation events aimed to support points 1-3 (in italics) and make a start on point 5, the
key building blocks for developing the Neighbourhood Plan. Some grant funding (4) has already been
secured.
Key steps:
1. Get agreement from local people on the area to be included in the Neighbourhood Plan.
2. Set up a Neighbourhood Plan Forum to take this forward.
3. Register your Neighbourhood Plan area with the council.
4. Apply for funding (up to £17,000 is available from the government plus FREE specialist
advice/consultancy).
5. Engage and consult with residents on what to include in the Neighbourhood Plan –
generally through a survey and workshops.
6. Write and then consult on a draft Neighbourhood Plan.
7. Have the Plan ‘examined’ by an independent planning expert to ensure it complies with
legislation.
8. Hold a referendum at which every resident (18 and over) gets a vote on whether they
‘agree’ the plan.
9. The plan is ‘made’ and becomes part of the overall development plan for the Medway
Council area.

Introduction
These events were designed:
• As the public launch of the Arches Neighbourhood Plan;
• To recruit people who live and work in the area to join the Neighbourhood Plan Forum;
• To consult on the Neighbourhood Plan area that has been worked up by a group of local people
working with Medway Council.

Although Arches Big Local has taken the lead on initiating the Neighbourhood Plan, the intention is that
this role will pass to a new Arches Neighbourhood Plan Forum that will be made up of a minimum of 21
people who live and work in the area. While recruiting people to the Forum was a key aim of the

2
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

events, it was also an opportunity to meet with a range of residents of all ages and discuss their issues
and ideas for the future of the area. As the poster for the events states:
This is our place, our voice, our opportunity to influence the future of the area!
There are lots of positive changes happening and planed in Medway. We want our area to better reflect
and be part of these in the future.
We will be running two drop-in community events to share our ideas, to find out more about the issues
and opportunities that exist and to find out you vision[s] for the future. Come and find out how to get
involved. This is your chance to have a big influence on what our area will be like in the future.
The Brook Theatre, 26th November 14.30 – 18.30
Arches Hub, 2e Luton Road, 28th November 10.30 – 18.30
The two venues were chosen as they are key venues in the Big Local and proposed Neighbourhood Plan
area. A key step prior to Medway Council agreeing the Neighbourhood Plan area, is to consult on the
extent of the area with people who live and work in the there.
Community engagement and involvement in developing the Neighbourhood Plan is essential –
ultimately residents (aged 18 years and older) will be able to vote in a referendum whether to agree the
Neighbourhood Plan or not. It only comes fully into force after a positive result in the referendum so
making sure that residents’ views are reflected in the Neighbourhood Plan is the key to its success.
Community engagement
A wide range of means were used to promote the events to the local community. Flyers were
distributed to every household and business in the area and banners put up around the area. Extensive
use was also made of social media, website posts and promoted it with a dedicated area inside the
Arches Hub on Luton Road. Local residents, businesses and other stakeholders 1 were invited to come
along and take part in a range of activities to record their thoughts and ideas on the past, present and
future of the area around Neighbourhood Planning. The table below and postcard reproduced overleaf
shows the range of activities that were used to seek people’s views:
Activity Description Output
What you’ve A range of Wordles® produced by Whether people agreed or disagreed with
said Arches Big Local’s Community the views put forward. Generally, peoples’
Researchers from previous views had stayed the same.
consultation events.
Community People were asked to nominate Whether people agreed with the
treasures buildings and open spaces that are nominations and to what extent.
important to them.
Our place We asked what the area used to be Ideas for the future included for creating
journal like, what it’s like now and what they green or community spaces and a lido or
would like it to be like in 15 years- beach!
time, the life-time of the plan.
What’s We asked what was stopping people What exercise they would like to do and
stopping you from being more physically active. what are the barriers that need to be
addressed.

1
People who have a ‘stake’ in the area but may not live in the area for example: medical staff, social or charity
workers, environmental groups, landlords / housing associations, developers and landowners.

3
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

Activity Description Output


Big Tree Plant Trees can to improve an area’s Where people would like trees to be planted
appearance, tackle pollution, provide in the area soon (while the plan is being
shade and shelter to wildlife. developed) and later, as a planning
requirement for new developments.
Postcard back People were asked to write a message We will use these to develop a vision / set of
from the from their future to their present-day visions for the future of the area – what it
future selves. will look and feel like in 15 years’ time.

Results
Where possible we aimed to gauge the strength of people’s views in relation to the different issues or
opportunities. Both events had a steady number of visitors throughout the sessions, although the
Arches Hub had the most. Approximately 40+ attended in total. Further consultation (including
repeating these activities) will take place through-out the Neighbourhood Plan process. See over for
charts and commentary.
What you’ve said …
For this activity we asked people to tell us if the things our community researchers had recorded in the
past about our area are still correct today. To do this we laid out some of the comments residents had
previously made to us and asked if people still agreed or disagreed. Through this activity we discovered
that people’s views of the area had remained much the same, with most people agreeing that the
comments made in the past are still relevant to our area today.

4
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

Community Treasures

COMMUNITY TREASURES
40
34
35
30 27
24 23
25 22
20
15
10 9
10 6 6 6
5 5 5
5 3
1 1 1 1
0

Before the event we invited people to make nominations by tweeting @ArchesLocal a picture or
description, using #wetreasure or emailing arches@archeslocal.org.uk. Nominations made before the
event included The Arches, Luton Millennium Green and Magpie Community Centre Cafe.
We displayed these nominations at each event placing a flag on the map at their location and asked
people if they agreed with each one by placing a dot by the corresponding photo. There were additional
nominations made at the events these included the Nucleus Arts Centre, Fort Luton, Central Theater,
Luton Junior School, Luton Library, St Marys Boxing Club and the Dock Yard.
Of the nominations, The Arches [Hub] came out on top with 34 ‘likes’ followed by Town Hall Gardens
(27), the Brook Theatre (24), Luton Millennium Green (23) and the Magpie Centre (22). The others were
listed above.
Our Place Journal
For this activity we asked how our area used to be,
what it’s like now and what you would like it to be
like in 15 years’ time. We recorded people’s ideas by
asking them to place a blue flag on the map for
things they would like in 15 years’ time, and a green
flag on the map for things that were there in the
past. People spoke about things in the past including
the Driver Fountain at the arches, the stamp shop at
the bottom of Slickets Hill and the cinema at the top
of the High Street. For the future we recorded ideas
about creating a big green space on the site of Go
Outdoors, a community space near the bus station Drawings by local artist David Frankum

5
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

and lido/beach at Luton Road Shoppers Car Park. Here is a list of things that people valued from the
past:
Driver Fountain The Cinema Cinema
Flute Teacher Doctors Surgery Tesco
Carnival Floats Start The fountain Medway Paper
Stamp Shop Cinema
The in shops were good Fire Station

Here is a list of all the ideas for the future of the area:
Records/Music/Hifi Shop Merge the schools Luton Security light
More Community Policing Pay and display Boxing/Community Centre
More CCTV Cameras Outdoor play park (free) The fountain back
Big Green Space Soft play/youth centre More wardens
Making green Lido/Beach Internet/board game café
Improve management of No more flats Swimming pool
green areas Walking bus stop Nice department store
Council Space/Community Play park for children - toilets More football pitches
Space Forest school More police on the streets
Redevelop office/turned into New Cinema Litter wardens
homes Young childrens play Luton Arches brightening up
Redevelop Institute and space/group Less HMOs
Chelmar Road Bright play park Vegetarian café
Luton Arches gateway to Soft play/youth centre Heritage Centre
Medway One way street Flowing and painting
More planning enforcement Hanging baskets off street
housing lamps
It might be that these ideas need to be tested in future consultation events to see which are the highest
priorities for addressing either through the Neighbourhood Plan, a future Big Local Plan / investment or
else to be passed to someone else to action. For example, allocating sites for different classes of
development 2 is within the scope of the Neighbourhood Plan, and Arches Big Local might consider grant
funding hanging baskets but more policing or CCTV is in the gift of Kent Police or central government.
What’s stopping you
We asked people about the things that were stopping them from being more active in the area, to help
us address these barriers in the future. To do this we asked two questions: What would you like to do
and what’s stopping you. Some of popular things people said they would like to do were walking,
cycling, running, free gym and fitness classes, etc. Common things people said were stopping them were
not having enough time, not knowing anyone, fear about going out and really big hills. Here is a table
showing all the results:
What Would You Like What's Stopping You
Mother and child keep fit classes Really big hills
Walking No motivation

2
For example, shops are classified as A1, banks as A2 and hot food takeaways as A5. Planning permission is
generally required for a change of use between classes unless there is permitted change of use. For example,
between A5 Hot food takeaways to A1 Shops.

6
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

What Would You Like What's Stopping You


Cycling Not Enough Time
Outdoor Community Gatherings Lack of facilities outdoors/indoors
Picnicing Too busy
Allotmenting Traffic/danger
Community forest school Lack of meeting spaces
Swimming Perception of area
Running
St Marys Boxing Club Not cycling here - roads too dangerous
Walking used for fittness Time
Gym Too busy
Park run/running Wheel chairs/disability help
Walking Not knowing people
Small live music No childcare/money for childcare
Good play park for children to be safe and Not enough time
toliets
Swimming Times that fit around life styles for classes
Tackle Lonliness Not going out much/weather
Free fitness class No one to go with, don't want to go on own to
groups
Empty shops used for oldly people for classes Some too expensive and childcare
etc.
Learn languages with others No dance partener
Dancing Time
Cycling Too scared to go classes
Free fitness groups for teenagers Get fitter
Better pubs/dance hall More time
Mum/child fitness Time and don't know people
Luton football 5 a side Chatham leisure centre
Running Not fit with my time slots
More outside free gyms Cleaner outside gyms
Free transport to swimming/classes Places too far away
More swimming Not having the money for classes/gyms
Walking Lack of funds for swimming
Closer swimming centre More advertising and free activities
Running Working hours
Cycling Too much work
Zumba
Yoga/pilates
Dancing
As with the our place journal, these will need testing to see which have the most support, interest and
potential for example through further consultation events, workshops, focus groups or questionnaire.

7
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

Some could be addressed by allocating land in the Neighbourhood Plan for suitable facilities, by the
council making changes to vehicle, cycle and pedestrian provision in the area, improvements to
community safety or funding classes closer to where people live or work.
Big Tree Plant
This was another visually striking engagement
activity. For this activity we asked where people
would like trees to be planted in the area by getting
them place trees on the map in the places they
think they would look nice or were needed. In the
future we will use these suggestions where
appropriate and will aim to plant more trees.
Suggestions included: a row of trees along Luton
and New Road, a Forest School at Luton Junior
School playing field and lots more trees at the top
of the High Street. For a full list of tree planting
suggestions see Appendix A.

Postcard ‘Back from the Future’


We asked people to write a message on a postcard to themselves 15 years in the future, the duration of
the plan 2018-2033. Some of the messages that people wrote were:
• ‘Trees now stand where railings stood, green area’s flourishing, the area’s good. Shops are
aplenty with lots to do, changed with passion for me and for you.’ (Ian)
• ‘There is a lot more planted trees and cleaners areas, drug/alcohol crimes have gone down. A lot
more people are friendlier and happier.’ (Sophie)
• ‘I reckon in 2033, things in Luton will be cleaner and greener. People will be prouder and more
optimistic about their area and crazy old Granddads will tell stories about Luton being run
down.’ (Cameron)

8
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

See Appendix B for all of the suggestions. These will be used to inform a Community Visioning Workshop
in the May / June 2019.

Next steps and recommendations


The “road map” overleaf identifies the following activities over the period from January 2019 to end of
March 2020.
1. Getting started (Winter 2018-19)
2. Setting Neighbourhood Plan Area (Early 2019)
3. Establishing Neighbourhood Forum “qualifying body” and working / task and finish groups
(Spring 2019)
4. Engage and involve (Spring 2019)
5. Evidence gathering (Spring to summer 2019)
6. Vision, Objectives and Options (Summer 2019)
7. Writing the Plan (Autumn 2019)
8. Consulting on the Plan (Winter 2019-20)
9. Examination and Referendum (Spring and summer 2020)

9
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

The priorities in the short-term (before April 2019) are:


1. ESTABLISHING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN AREA / DESIGNATION – Feedback at the two events
suggested that while most people generally agreed the area proposed (see map on front page),
there were suggestions that it could be expanded to the south to include: the Luton Millennium
Green adjacent to and including Luton Infant’s School and Luton Junior School and playing fields
as far as Pheasants’ Road and continuing along the footpath. This would enable the
Neighbourhood Plan to assess the playing field, nursery, allotments adjoining the Millennium
Green for designation as Important Local Green Space. The Infant and Junior Schools are also
key schools for the residential area of Arches and will their inclusion will facilitate better
engagement with children and their families. Either the existing proposal can be submitted as it
is with an option to include the additional area, or a new proposal can be made to Medway
Council for the whole area as described.
2. ESTABLISH THE NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM – Neighbourhood Plans can only be developed by a
Forum that is designated as such by the Local Planning Authority in this case Medway Council. A
constitution has already been drafted (see Appendix C). Membership is open to anyone living
and / or working in the area including elected members (councillors) with at least one of each
(employers and councillors) a requirement. It is legally required to have at least 21 members
with its membership drawn from across the area and reflecting different sections of the
community.
a. Recruitment to the Neighbourhood Forum should continue until the threshold of 21 is
achieved and then an application for designation made to Medway Council.

10
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

b. Medway Council are required to undertake a formal consultation lasting six weeks
before designating the Neighbourhood Forum and complete the designation within 13
weeks of the application being made.
c. At present it is intended that the Forum should be unincorporated and so any grant
funding will be held on its behalf by Red Zebra Community Solutions.
3. ON-GOING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, CONSULTATION AND INVOLVEMENT – As mentioned at
2, it is essential if the Neighbourhood Plan is to progress that at least 21 members are recruited
to the Neighbourhood Forum. Community engagement should carry on until this point has been
achieved. However, progress can still be made on the following while the Neighbourhood Plan
Area and Forum designation process is underway:
a. In the short-term it makes sense to re-run the activities used at the two events on 26th
and 28th November.
b. It might be that participants are asked to prioritise or ratify some of the outputs from
the previous events particularly the results of the Our Place Journal. This could also be
done through an on-line or household survey.
c. It is important to build a qualitative evidence base of residents’ and business’s views
about the area alongside quantitative or statistical data or evidence such as houses in
multiple occupancy, or Road Traffic Accidents.
d. For the latter use will be made of OCSI’s Area Profiles which is made available for free to
Big Local areas by its national body Local Trust.
4. ONGOING LIAISON WITH MEDWAY COUNCIL – It is important that Neighbourhood Plan groups
liaise closely with Medway Council their Local Planning Authority (LPA) and develop this
relationship during the course of developing the Neighbourhood Plan. Ultimately the LPA will be
responsible for using the ‘made 3’ Neighbourhood Plan and its policies to decide on future
Planning Applications / Permission in the Neighbourhood Plan area. Medway Council are
currently developing their own Local Plan and the two documents will be co-dependent and will
both become part of the Development Plan for the area. A meeting should be held early in the
New Year with the Planning Policy team at Medway Council, in particular to discuss the
Neighbourhood Plan Area and Forum Applications, and that they are content with the draft
Constitution of the Neighbourhood Plan. And approximately every eight weeks thereafter.
5. DEVELOP VISION, OBJECTIVES AND OPTIONS – Dates should be set for community workshops to
develop the Vision / s, Objectives and Options for the Neighbourhood Plan in May, June and
July. Suitable venues can get booked up particularly on Saturdays which are the best days to
hold such events.

Report written by Jim Boot, Community Planner with photos and contributions from Liberty Taylor and
Stephen Perez from Arches Big Local and drawings by local artist David Frankum. 9th January 2019

3
Made is the term used for when a Neighbourhood Plan passes its final legal tests of Examination and
Referendum. However, even when only in draft, a Neighbourhood Plan can still be a material consideration in
deciding on planning applications.

11
The Arches Neighbourhood Forum

Appendix A: Tree Planting suggestions:


Where (street name / intersection / area) Number of trees
Long planters along Luton Road railings
(between) Stony Hill Footpath - overgrown plot
Either side of the arches 2
New Road - Avenue Side Lots
Luton Road - past Phesant Road 1
Castle Road
Millennium Green Lots
First Tiny Steps A few
Replant tree by Listmas Road 1
Waste ground Chatham Hill Investigate
New Road - along middle Lots
Luton Playing Field - Forest School
Playing Field Lots
Otway Street 1
Gordon Way 2
Castle Road 2
Magpie Hall Road 2
Luton Road Shoppers Car Park Around the
carpark
Castle Road Lots
High Street Lots
Luton Roads Row
Arches (Luton Road) Row
Luton Road
Luton Road/Bank Street Carpark
Henry Street 1
Listmas Road 1
Top of Bright Road/Bottom of Castle Rd
Outside the Arches 4
Luton Road
The base of footbridge/opposite unique 1
boxing
Luton Rd/Luton Junior School
Listmas Rd/Victoria Road

Appendix B: Postcards ‘back from the future’ – see attached.


Appendix C: Constitution – see attached.

12
Appendix B
Appendix B
Appendix B
Appendix B
Appendix C

Draft Constitution
1. Name
The name of the organisation is The Arches Neighbourhood Planning Forum (“the Forum”).

2. Aims and Objectives


a. To produce a Neighbourhood Plan to improve the social, economic, environmental and general
well-being of individuals living or working in the designated area and to further the spatial interests
and needs of businesses, voluntary organisations, faith groups and statutory services operating in
the same area who support the Neighbourhood Plan aims. It shall operate without distinction or
discrimination on the grounds of gender, disability, sexual orientation or race, or of political,
religious or other beliefs.

b. The Forum will achieve this by:

1. actively encouraging all the Members to participate in the activities of the Forum for the
promotion and improvement of the area.

2. creating a Neighbourhood Plan, giving due recognition to the complementary relationship and
conformity considerations between the Neighbourhood Plan and any other plan already adopted at
neighbourhood or borough level or regional levels.

3. considering the appropriateness and relevance to the area of taking up other rights afforded to
forums under the Localism Act 2011 and supplementary regulations

4. collaborating with existing local individuals, organisations and businesses in the neighbourhood
area which are relevant to the Forum’s purpose and taking account of their interests, preferences
and views

5. supporting community projects and other activities that are of benefit to the area

6. providing a forum for discussion of issues that may affect the cross-ward area for generating ideas
and proposals to enhance it.

Consider: aims around community infrastructure, services and public realm

Consider an aim relating to monitoring of the made neighbourhood plan and commenting on all
planning organisations (statutory right now once plan is made).

Power to re-apply for designation after 5 years (check regs).

3. Area
a. The Forum shall cover the area shown in the attached map, subject to any amendment as may be
agreed with Medway Council, acting in their capacities as the Designating Planning Authority.
Appendix C

4. Membership
a. Membership is free and open to all those who provide contact details for use by the Forum and
who fall into one or more of the following categories or who have a material and ongoing social,
cultural, economic or financial interest in or involvement in the area who support the purpose of the
Forum and provide the Secretary with satisfactory evidence of eligibility:

i. all individuals who live in the area

ii. all individuals who work in the area, whether for business carried on there or otherwise

iii. all community organisations which operate in the area, through their duly appointed
representatives (the term community organisation includes conservation societies, parks and special
buildings or amenities user groups, charities, churches and other religious establishments, welfare
organisations and other bodies which operate wholly or partly within the area and whose aims are
consistent with the purpose of the Forum)

iv. businesses, educational establishments or other entities which operate in the area, through their
duly appointed representatives

v. elected representatives from each local authority ward, the whole or part of which falls within the
area, as ex officio members

b. The Management Committee may refuse to accept, or may revoke, membership of any individual
or organisation which in its opinion fails to meet the criteria for membership or which acts in a way
inimical to the forum’s purpose. Any person or organisation whose membership is revoked shall
have the right to appeal to a General Meeting of the Forum.

5. Management Committee and Officers


a. The day-to-day business of the Forum shall be conducted by the Management Committee (“the
Committee”). Subject to decisions of any General Meeting, the Committee shall comprise up to 15
members elected by a General Meeting. The Forum shall strive for the Committee to reflect the
diversity of people eligible for membership. Every effort shall be made to include in any one year:

i. at least one person aged under 30

ii. members from local businesses

iii. at least one person from each of the tenure groups: owner-occupier, tenant of the local authority
or registered social landlord and private tenant

iv. members who are women

v. members who are men

vi. ethnic minority members

vii disabled members

viii at least two people from each of the wards which is included in whole or part within the forum
Appendix C

b. Councillors or others elected to public office for any part of the neighbourhood area shall not be
eligible for election, but one from each ward which is included wholly or partly in the forum area will
be encouraged to take an active part in the Committee.

c. The term of office of any member of the Committee shall expire at each AGM and members shall
be eligible to stand for re-election for up to a maximum of five years.

d. The Committee may co-opt up to five additional voting members for a term to expire no later than
the following AGM. The power of co-option shall be used inter alia to ensure that as far as possible
the Committee has the expertise it requires reflects the local community.

e. The Committee shall elect from among its members a Chair, Secretary, Financial Co-Ordinator,
Media Officer and other officers as it sees fit.

f. The Committee shall meet at least six times per year and a minimum of five members (including at
least one of the officers named in 5e.) shall constitute a quorum.

g. The Committee may appoint ad-hoc groups to carry out specific roles or projects as it sees fit and
shall co-opt such persons as necessary to enable any such group to perform its function.

h. The Committee will aim at making consensus decision-making where ever possible and where not
by simple vote in which event the Chair will have a casting vote.

i. The decision on the content of a proposed submission version of a neighbourhood plan shall be
subject to a majority agreement at a Special General Meeting of the Membership.

j. The Committee shall record its proceedings which shall be publicly available via the website.

k. Forum members who are not Committee members may request to attend Committee meetings
through application to the Secretary. Permission to attend and speak will be granted at the
discretion the Chair.

l. The Committee will elect the following officers of the Forum from its number: Chair, Secretary,
Finance Co-ordinator and a Media Officer

The Chair of the Forum Committee shall be responsible for:


• Chairing meetings of the Management Committee and General Meetings of the membership

• Exercising a casting vote on elections and resolutions at meetings of the Forum and its
Management Committee

• Taking decisions on urgent matters between meetings of the Management Committee, which will
be reported to the following meeting.

• Ensuring a vice-chair is available if the chair is absent

Initially all grants and funding will be applied for and held by the Arches Local Big Local Locally
Trusted Organisation which is currently Red Zebra Community Solutions, who will ring-fence the
funds for Neighbourhood Plan purposes only.

The Finance Co-ordinator shall be responsible for:


• Giving notification of all planned expenditure to the Locally Trusted Organisation before actual
costs are incurred.
Appendix C

• Maintaining the Forums’ financial records keeping a clear record of expenditure supported by
receipted invoices.

• Setting out a draft budget in the first year and subsequent year plus advising the Forum on staying
within its budget and will regularly review and update the budget in liaison with the Arches Local
Coordinator.

• Work together with Locally Trusted Organisation in preparing and presenting annual accounts, at
the Forum’s Annual General Meeting and arranging an independent examination of the accounts if
the turnover exceeds £5,000

• providing a financial update at each meeting of the Management Committee.

The Secretary shall be responsible for:


• Calling and organising the Forum’s Management Committee and General Meetings and
encouraging attendance.

• Ensuring the provision of a record of Forum meetings and making these publicly available.

• Maintaining a register of Forum members.

The Media Officer shall be responsible for:


• Maintaining and updating The Arches Neighbourhood planning group website

• Preparing and presenting draft materials for the promotion of The Arches Neighbourhood planning
group through its organised events and activities, and for promotion in the neighbourhood area e.g.
posters and leaflets

• Communicating with the local media including, local papers.

• Promoting and advertising The Arches Neighbourhood planning group via social media e.g. Twitter
& Facebook

6. Management Committee Code of conduct


a. The role of the Management Committee is to conduct the day to day business of the Forum in an
efficient, fair and responsive way. In taking decisions on behalf of the Forum, Committee members
must always be aware of their responsibility to all those living and working in the Forum area.

b. All Committee members must comply with this constitution and code of conduct at all times.

c. Committee members should conduct themselves in a manner which respects the views of others.
Racist, sexist, personalised or inflammatory comments are not acceptable.

d. Committee members must abide by collective decisions made and always represent the Forum in
a positive manner.

e. Committee members must never use their position to seek preferential treatment for themselves,
relatives or members of their household. Any pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests must be declared
at Committee meetings.
Appendix C

f. Committee members cannot receive any payment from the Forum, other than for bona fide
expenses as approved by the Finance Co-ordinator and submitted and recorded in writing.

7. General Meetings
a. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of all members shall be the controlling body of the Forum.

b. An AGM shall be held on a day to be appointed by the Committee not later than three months
after the end of the Forum’s financial year.

c. The business of the AGM shall include:

i. a report from the Chair on the activities of the Forum since the previous AGM and its plans for the
forthcoming year

ii. a report from the Finance Co-ordinator as to the financial position of the Forum

iii. consideration of and, if thought fit, approval of the accounts of the Forum for the previous
financial year together with an independent examination of those accounts if the turnover exceeds
£5,000 for the relevant year

iv. appointment of an independent examiner to report to the following AGM on the accounts for the
current financial year if the turnover is forecast to exceed £5,000 for the relevant year

v. consideration of any motion which has been submitted and seconded by at least 10 members of
the Forum in time for circulation with the notice of the AGM

vi. election of the Committee for the forthcoming year

vii. any other business as required by the Constitution or as directed by the Committee.

d. The Secretary shall give all members at least 21 days written notice of the time and place of the
AGM. Such notice shall include details of all business to be transacted at the meeting.

e. Nominations for election to the Committee shall be invited in advance of the AGM and must be
proposed and seconded in writing by members with the signed consent of the candidate.
Nominations shall be duly submitted to the Secretary of the Forum not less than 3 days prior to the
date of the AGM.

f. Election of members of the Committee may be taken by a show of hands of members present or if
requested by a majority of those members present by a secret ballot of those present at the AGM.
Voting shall be by ranking the candidates in order of preference and shall be counted by the Single
Transferable Vote method. The meeting shall agree to the appointment of one or more scrutineers
to act as returning officers and to advise the Chair on the results.

g. A member shall be entitled to appoint a proxy to vote on his or her behalf. Notice of appointment
of a proxy must be received by the Secretary not less than 24 hours before the meeting.

h. The AGM may, by a vote of not less than two-thirds of those members present, agree to consider
any urgent or important business which has arisen since dispatch of the notice of the meeting.
Appendix C

i. The Management Committee shall have power to call a Special? General Meeting as necessary (for
example to approve a draft Plan).

j. Other General Meetings of all members shall be called within 28 days of receipt by the Secretary of
a request in writing signed by no less than 21 members, stating the purpose for which the meeting is
required or when directed by the Management Committee.

k. 21 members (or one-fifth of the membership if fewer) shall constitute a quorum at a General
Meeting.

l. Voting at General Meetings shall be by show of hands of members, except as provided in


paragraph 6.f. for election of Committee members

m. A record of each General Meeting shall be produced and made publicly available.

n. Conflicts of interest must be declared. Members with a conflict of interest should withdraw from
discussion and voting on the issue in question.

8. Finance
a. The Forum’s accounting period shall be annual, ending twelve months after its inaugural AGM.

b. Accounting records shall be maintained for a period of six years. On winding up the Forum such
records shall be kept for two years. Records shall be available for inspection by any member on
giving not less than 10 days’ notice.

c. The Forum shall notify the Locally Trusted Organisation of any planned expenditure who with the
Finance Co-ordinator will maintain financial records in the name of the Forum where any
transactions shall be controlled by a mandate requiring the permission of the Finance Co-ordinator
and one other Management Committee member.

d. The Forum’s accounts shall be made publicly available within three months of the Forum’s
financial year end.

e. The Forum may raise funds by donation, grants, or other means to be used in furtherance of the
Forum’s purpose.

9. Constitution and Interpretation


a. In the event of any question arising where the interpretation of this Constitution is in doubt or
where it is silent, the Committee shall have the power to act according to its own interpretation and
at its discretion.

b. Other than as may be required by law, amendments to this Constitution may only be made by a
majority representing at least two-thirds of the members present and voting at a quorate General
Meeting.

c. Any requirement in this Constitution for notices or reports to be distributed to members of the
Forum shall be deemed to have been satisfied if such notice or reports have been sent to all
members by e-mail, by posting on the Forum’s website or by other electronic means. An individual
member may request hard copies and in such a case the Committee reserves the right to make a
Appendix C

charge to cover the extra cost incurred, with appropriate dispensation and regard for disability
requirements.

10. Term
a. The duration of the Forum shall be for five years from the date of adoption of this Constitution
unless it is previously wound up or extended by resolution at a General Meeting.

b. In the event of dissolution of the Forum any remaining assets shall be distributed to the
community organisations which remain as members at that date in proportions to be decided by the
Committee, which shall retain responsibility for completing such distribution for a period ending six
months from the date of dissolution.