8.1 Report – Neighbourhood Plan and Play Area Refurbishment – Terms of Reference of proposed NP Steering Group and GDPR considerations

July 2021 Uploaded on July 15, 2021

20th July 2021
1.1 Your Council’s Neighbourhood Plan working group of members has proposed that a NP Steering
Group be formed, whose task will be to pilot the Plan through its processes. It is proposed that
the Steering Group (SG) will be composed of councillors and a small group of residents.
Essentially this group will lead and/or carry out the work involved in the preparation of the Plan,
though always in the knowledge that the Plan is the legal responsibility of the Parish Council as
a whole, and that key decisions on the Plan are for the Council to make. In addition, at a lower
level, it may be that it will be desirable to appoint task groups, to consider particular plan issues,
or (a) consultation group(s), to comment on planning issues that arise. The SG would be
responsible for establishing any such groups. The members’ working group has already issued
a request for volunteers from the Pickmere community to assist with the Plan, and several
residents have put forward their names. It is suggested that the members’ working group be
tasked with selecting 4 of the volunteers who have put themselves forward for membership of
the SG, on the basis of the criteria listed in the appended Terms of Reference. This is a process
that can only be carried out in camera since it will involve discussion of the personal information
provided by the volunteers. In addition, the members’ working group will form a Consultation
Group from residents who wish to help with the Plan but do not wish to join the SG.
1.2 The Terms of Reference (ToRs) seek to define the relative form, roles, and responsibilities of the
SG, and are put forward for Council’s confirmation. It is hoped that these ToRs will enable the
SG to work without constantly having to revert to full Council for decisions, thereby delaying
the Plan process, whilst ensuring that Council retains full control over matters of policy. Should
any difficulties of interpretation arise in the future that cannot be resolved informally, they can
be reported back to Council for consideration.
2.1 Both the Neighbourhood Plan and the Play Area refurbishment project require the involvement
of the local community. At this early stage of the two projects, communications are being or
have been distributed by the Council to all the households in the parish requesting different
forms of response, which are likely to include some combination of respondents’ personal
information, possibly including names, addresses, contact telephone numbers, email addresses,
etc. Later stages of the projects may involve similar activities. Some consideration is required
as to the GDPR implications of such processes. It is suggested that the following principles might
be adopted to supplement the council’s GDPR policies.
2.2 Where the information requested is in the form of a survey of some kind (e.g. for instance asking
for comments on the current play area and suggestions as to how the play area might be
refurbished, or perhaps the proposed request for volunteers to join the Neighbourhood Plan
Steering Group or subsequently formed consultation groups), the Council will seek to ensure
that personal information submitted by respondents is kept confidential within the Council.
However, clearly it may be necessary for such personal identifiers to be shared among members
of the Council (including the Council Clerk) to enable the responses submitted to be
appropriately considered in the context of the particular project.
2.3 This approach conforms generally to the Council’s GDPR policies, whereby necessary personal
identifiers submitted to the Council that relate to Council business (e.g. by email), may be
shared among council members (including the Clerk) to enable proper processing of the
particular matter.
2.4 As an extension of the above, where for instance volunteers are to be selected to join the
Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group or other task or consultation groups, it might generally be
assumed that such volunteers have, by implication, consented to their name being placed in the
public arena as members of such groups. However, for the avoidance of doubt, and to ensure
that GDPR principles are respected, the Council will endeavour to request each such ‘volunteer’
member of the public who joins any such group to sign a form to formalise such consent.
3.1 That Council adopt the attached Terms of Reference for the proposed Neighbourhood Plan
Steering Group, that Council nominates the Chair of that Group, and that the members’ working
group on the Plan be tasked to select resident members of the Steering Group and a
Consultation Group from the list of volunteers.
3.2 That Council adopt the above principles as a supplement to its GDPR Policies and Processes.
J Steel
Clerk to the Parish Council