2018-02-05 notes from meeting with CC Guy Thomas

Meeting with Guy Thomas, the Communities Area Manager at Cornwall Council
Monday 5th February 2018
Rory Jenkins & William Rogers from the Perranzabuloe NDP

Given the progress that Cornwall Council has accepted that Perranzabuloe has ‘Designated Area Status’ for a NDP, that we have a Steering Group and Focus Groups, it seemed appropriate to have an update with Guy Thomas. He will be one of our primary contacts in Cornwall Council for the duration of the project.

Rory (NDP Chairperson) and William (NDP Secretary) met Guy at the Cornwall Council offices in Truro.
From having been involved with many NDP’s around Cornwall Guy had the following advice:

  1. Spread the load. If the project is taken on by too small a group, this has elsewhere lead to it stalling or collapsing.
  2. St Agnes have stood out for their level of on-going information to their community. Their almost monthly updates to the community is yielding dividends with them typically getting around 20% respondent rates to their consultations. This is apparently high.
  3. Don’t attempt community consultation in the holidays. Spring and Autumn work well.
  4. Always keep evidence of all engagement and responses. Both the quantity and the quality. Without the final NDP being backed by evidence of being the wishes of the community it won’t get through
  5. If we feel we might need external experts, ask Guy and his team first. They might have the skills we need, for free or cheaper than elsewhere. Or they might know where best to get the best skills at the best price.
  6. Immogen and her team is their expert on policy. So not only can she help with what we can and can’t influence, she will also be there to help write up the NDP so that it fits with existing planning policy.

Progressing this, Guy suggested the following 2018 time scale.

Feb / March

Engage with the community to say that work has started on a NDP. Explain what this is. Say we want everybody’s views, input, help etc.  Give contact details. (Website, Facebook, email list, notice boards). Say that from the initial group and meetings, which we hope will grow as more learn about it, the initial TOP 5 issues are ……   Ask what they think about these. Ask if what issues, if any, they would put instead of any of these issues. Have it so that responses are dropped back to drop off points at local shops, pubs etc.

Late April / May

Have the first community engagement meetings. Having these where the community naturally meet apparently works well. eg a local pub.
This would involve the first questionaire to establish top concerns.

June

Get together events.

July & August

Consolidate and analyse the responses.

September

Use the analysed responses to start a second round of questions and engagement.

In relation to the overall plan and next stages, Guy in particular mentioned the  Consultation and Engagement Toolkit and the Project Plan links which are to a PDF and an Excel template:
Project Planning – PDF
Project Plan Template – Excel (which William has already started looking at)

2017 10 12 Meeting Notes – Launching our Neighbourhood Development Plan

2017 10 12 at 19:00 at the Parish Council offices in Perranporth.

We’ve had our first meeting to get things going.

Great turn out, clever questions and lots of enthusiasm.

A great presentation from Guy Thomas at Cornwall Council on what we need to do and how he and his team can help us. Guy is going to send us a PDF copy of his presentation, that I’ll link to from here.

Thankyou to Parish Councillor William Rogers for sorting the meeting out and the Parish Council for the use of their meeting room and the time of the other Parish Councillors who attended.

Notes of questions raised at the Meeting 

Q:- What is the difference between the Steering group Member and an Implementation Group Member?
A::- The Steering Group manage the Process, whilst the Implementation Groups examine and report upon one or more of the technical issues that are to be addressed within the Neighbourhood Plan

Q::- What are the expenses involved with the NP?
A:- Where the knowledge on issues pertinent to the Steering or Implementation groups is not available within the Steering or Implementation groups, professional assistance will need to be hired.
It will be necessary to spend upon communication (e.g. printing and distribution of newsletters, running surveys etc.).

Q:- Do meetings need to be held in Parish Council Offices?
A:- No they can be held in any meeting places that are easy to get to by parishioners.

Q:- What is Cornwall’s obligation to build houses?
A:- Cornwall CC is tasked to construct a minimum of 57,000 homes between 2020-2030. Perranzabuloe parish is expected to construct 1,100, of which 560 are already completed. There is no legal pressure to build beyond the prescribed number. However, there is no legal power to stop building works after the quota has been reached.

Q:- Have any population demographic analysis been undertaken?
A:- Yes in the previously published Local Plan. This covered for example Income grades, migration from the parish, skills growth and single parents. Similarly infrastructure (roads, water, sewerage, electricity) was addressed, as well as the adequacy of schools and health services.
This work will form a starting platform from which the NP can build and can be upgraded and progressed.

Q:- Does a Neighbourhood Plan have ‘teeth’?
A:- The NP have to be by its nature an enabling and permissive legal document that can influence the development within the area. Two immediate examples of its effect are the guidance for design to be in character and keeping with the surrounding area (Roseland Peninsula), and the policy regarding second homes in St Ives.

Q:- Is it possible to build when the infrastructure is not in place?
A:- That is the case at present! However Parish councils lean upon the statutory authorities to provide the necessary infrastructure. Also services such as Doctor surgeries will be aware of the need for adequate services, and hopefully plan for the increased load.

Q:- How does data protection affect the Steering Group’s handling of information?
A:- This will be investigated. However the accreditation of the NP through the auspices of the Parish Council will provide clarity on this issue.

Q:- Will environmental issues be included in the NP?
A:- Yes.

Q:- How will the balance of the Steering group be agreed?
A:- That is a duty of the Community to decide.

Q:- Can a Steering Group development its own scheme?
A:- This is up to the Community to decide.

Q:- How long did St Ives take to prepare their NP?
A:- 2 Years.

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