8.2 Rept – Neighbourhood Plan Progress Report 210907

September 2021 Uploaded on September 2, 2021

7th September 2021
1.1 Since its previous consideration by Council, progress has been achieved on several aspects of
the preparation of the parish’s Neighbourhood Plan (NP):
 Government grant has now been received for expenditure required during the period
to 31st March 2022, in the sum of £6279. This grant is available for payment of fees to
the Council’s professional planning consultant, for printing etc. and any other costs
attributable to the preparation of the plan. Any balance unspent by 31st March will
have to be returned to Government, but this does not prevent a new application being
made to cover the year April 2022 to end March 2023, with the overall total maximum
grant award to the Parish Council being £10,000.
 Interviews have now been held with those residents who wished to volunteer for
either the NP Steering Group (SG) or the Consultation Group (CG). As a result, 4
volunteers have been selected for the SG, which by decision of the Council is
restricted to a size of 4 parish councillors and 4 residents. The CG has no limit on
how many residents may be included. In selecting the 4 SG volunteers, regard
was had to the types of skill, knowledge and outlook that would be required to
enable preparation of the Plan, and the qualities that have been incorporated in
the selection of volunteers including: knowledge of Pickmere and its functioning,
specific awareness and knowledge of how the large agricultural landowners in the
parish operate, and their particular needs, knowledge and experience of the NP
process itself, etc.
1.2 The next key step, once the ‘applicants’ have been notified of these decisions is to hold an initial
meeting of the Steering Group so as to commence the organisation of initial data gathering, the
establishment of timelines and milestones for the preparation process, etc.
1.3 An early requirement in this respect is the establishment of a ‘Zoom’ account to enable online
SG and CG (and perhaps other meetings), thereby facilitating efficiency in the use of time and
other resources. The cost is approximately £15 per month including VAT.
1.4 Such a cost was included in the Government grant application and is incorporated in the grant
figure referred to in paragraph 1.1. Accordingly your Clerk has authorised such expenditure in
accordance with the powers delegated to him by Council.
1.5 The report earlier on this agenda at item 7.3 referred to the inability to pay for a Zoom
subscription by BACS or by cheque, and the inconvenience this brings. For this reason it is
suggested that before any new ‘Zoom’ account is opened, other alternative providers be
investigated and used if considered appropriate by the Clerk in consultation with the Chair.
2.1 That the report be noted.
Jack Steel
Clerk to the Parish Council