New-look steering group for Neighbourhood Plan

The meeting papers for the next steering group meeting (12 September) are now online. They include information about new members; there may be others who are not yet on the list (eg, representatives of the landowners and of the Faversham society). They also include terms of reference (which suggest that only the four town councillors on the group will have full voting rights; votes of the other members will be “consultative” only) and standing orders (which indicate that meetings will continue to be conducted with all the formality of a full council meeting).

Are these the people who should be on the steering group? Are there others who should be included? Are there any who should not be included? Are the terms of reference and the rules for the conduct of meetings appropriate for a group of this nature to represent the broader community?

What do you think?


One thought on “New-look steering group for Neighbourhood Plan

  1. Harold Goodwin

    It is unclear to me why the Faversham Creek Consortium should be represented on the Steering Group particularly given the way their last annual meeting was run – the ideas of a few were rammed through by one or two people.

    It is right that the Town Council takes the lead on the Neighbourhood Plan, that was the way it was set up in Faversham. But there should be a properly functioning open consultative process with engagement from the wider community – not an effort to sell the ideas of a few to the many.

    I have talked before about the democratic deficit at the heart of this process – we need to put that right. You cannot run a consultative process using the standing orders of the Town Council,

    Some members of the steering group go on and on about the unrepresentative voices being raised in opposition to what the Steering Group says we should have, forgetting that some of those on the steering group are without any mandate and the consultation so clearly rejected their proposals. Consultation means listening as well as speaking.

    We need leadership from the Town Council and a genuine consultation process – the Neighbourhood Plan has to be acceptable to the Planning Inspector and the electorate. On current form the Steering Group is not competent to achieve that. I wait to see whether the new expanded Steering Group does any better – I hope it does, But it can’t elect a new people either – the Planning Consultant did the honourable thing and resigned – others should consider their position and resign.


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