12 Oct 2020 at 1830
1. SBNF Four Point Plan
2. Current Adur DC support
3. Key stakeholder support
4. Funding Requirements
In opening the meeting KB proposed it begin with Agenda Item 3 as this represented the main substance of the meeting. It was important that this item should be discussed first so it was covered in the time available. This was agreed.
Key stakeholder support
SBRA Committee members expressed their positions regarding the draft Neighbourhood Plan and SBNF’s finances and governance. The need to have a Neighbourhood Plan at all was questioned. JL emphasised that the criticisms of Forum governance and finance were fundamental to SBRA objections. JB, DJ and JW mentioned parts of the Neighbourhood Plan that they felt might be unacceptable to a majority in the referendum.
TW agreed that revising the Neighbourhood Plan would be a good way forward. MW pointed out that action to address SBRA’s areas of concern with the Neighbourhood Plan are part of SBNF’s Four Point Plan, as are actions to deal with Forum governance and finances. DC stated that governance and finance deficiencies were fully recognised by the Management Committee and are being addressed. KH said that while changes could be made to the Neighbourhood Plan a major rewrite was not practical as Adur Planning Dept had reviewed the current Neighbourhood Plan and that process would have to be restarted if major changes were envisaged.
JL asked where future Forum funding would come from and how much funding did SBNF require? KH said that the Council would receive new funding (£10,000) to support the Neighbourhood Plan on Redesignation and part of that funding could be given to SBNF to fund the final stage of producing the Neighbourhood Plan. DC stated that previous estimates for completion had been £1,550 but he felt that up to £4,000 might be necessary. JL requested more detailed costings.
Criticisms of Forum governance centre on compliance with the Forum’s constitution. Notably the lack of an AGM to elect SBNF Management Committee members, failure to invite members to three meetings a year and the lack of minutes for SBNF Committee meetings over several months. SBRA representatives felt an AGM should be held as soon as possible to correct this issue. KH was concerned that an AGM could not happen before the next Adur JSC meeting which is crucial to Forum Redesignation. The lack of SBRA support at that point could put that at risk. Without Redesignation the Forum would cease to exist and the Neighbourhood Plan would fail. Therefore some indication of support from SBRA in advance of the JSC meeting would be beneficial. It was agreed that an agenda for a virtual AGM would be produced and the meeting held online as soon as possible. SBRA would help publicise the meeting.
To get things moving forward, KB proposed that Terms of Reference for joint cooperation between SBNF and SBRA be agreed. SBRA would identify areas of the Neighbourhood Plan which it can’t support. SBNF would identify actions to address the criticisms of Governance. SBNF and SBRA would form a Joint Working Group to update the Neighbourhood Plan. The meeting unanimously agreed to this proposal subject to the subsequent agreement of the SBRA committee. Discussions between SBNF and SBRA are to continue via email, copying in KB to keep him up to date.
Meeting closed at 2030. It was agreed that a further SBNF-SBRA Joint Meeting should take place online at a date to be determined, potentially in the next three to four weeks.
Note: Agenda Items 2 and 4 were effectively covered during the discussion of Item 3. Item 1 will be covered as part of the ongoing email exchanges.
Kevin Boram (KB) Meeting Chairman
Dave Collins (DC) SBNF
Joss Loader (JL) SBRA
Kevin Hall (KH) SBNF
Joshua Baxendale (JB) SBRA
Tony Wallington (TW) SBNF
David Johnson (DJ) SBRA
Mike Whelan (MW) SBNF
Julia Watts (JW) SBRA
Image courtesy of http://www.schultzeworks.com/philcopc/