Minutes of the 4th meeting – 27th July 2016

Held at 15 The Knoll, Maulden, 20:00hrs

1. Present

David Bailey (Chair)

Julie Shepherd

Simon Barnes

Robbie Locke

Marilyn Caves

Cllr Philip Jackson }

Cllr Roger Ball } Observers (Maulden Parish Council)

Cllr Christine Inskip }

Cllr Paul Downing } Observer (Central Beds Council)

Mark Bingham } Observer (Baptist Church)

2. Apologies for absence

Jayne Walker (Observer, Maulden Parish Council, Planning Committee)

Andrew Draycott

Alan Plom (Secretary)

3. Introductions

  • Apologies for 10 minute’s delay
  • Welcome to visitors and guests.

4. Minutes of previous meeting

  • The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed and signed by the Chair.
  • These provide a useful summary of the purpose and status of the Group.
  • The Minutes will be available to Group members and observers (together with other reference documents, etc.) via the Group’s Dropbox account and via websites

5. Matters arising and actions carried forward

All matters and actions noted in the previous minutes have been completed with the exception of:

  • Creating a new Facebook page (still open for discussion, as it may be possible to use the current Maulden voice page.) [DB]
  • Creation of a phone number for contacting the neighbourhood planning group, [DB]
  • Contacting Liquid Designs and All Fidelity Print for services for posters and leaflets. [DB]
  • Collect examples of good questionnaires and file them so teams and work groups can look at them. [SB] [DB]

6. Lessons learned from Clophill NHP

By consensus this was moved up the Agenda to accommodate other meetings.

Cllr Paul Downing very generously shared the experience of our neighbours in preparing a plan.

The process started three years ago. The process picked up speed when they got semi-professional help, but it took somewhat longer to get the entire village involved. Once Central Bedfordshire Council got involved, things moved quite a lot quicker. They were put in touch with Navigus, a private consultancy, who provided advice and support.

Obtaining a grant was straightforward. The consultants gave some pro bono assistance, and a good library of questionnaire materials was assembled. Looking back, it is clear that designing the questionnaire to be statistically analysed from the very beginning is an important step. It is not easy to design a report that is interesting enough for people to complete, quantifiable, and still contains a balance of subjective answers.

Analysing the questionnaire results turned out to be very difficult for Clophill and this has delayed the delivery of the final report.

A key learning point from the team was that it is important to keep track of every single item of community involvement, as it goes to provide weight and balance to the final report.

A second learning point was that it is very important to respond to the community and engage them throughout the process, and especially to provide rapid feedback from the questionnaire, possibly at several stages, so that people are highly engaged in the outcome of the referendum.

The plans are not prepared on their own, as Central Bedfordshire Council is also preparing a local plan to a final deadline of September 2018. It is very important that any neighbourhood plan groups engage fully with CBC.

CBC is likely to provide support for Community Plans, which are, in many ways, a natural first step to a Neighbourhood Plan. Any groups preparing Neighbourhood Plans would be well advised to ensure they are capable of producing a Community Plan.

CBC also has an ongoing process by way of an “call for sites”, which has bought in around 800 sites that have been offered by their owners for development. Current thinking, is that only 5% will actually be needed.


  • Engage with cbc and request that they provide support [ap]
  • Build into our process opportunities for quarterly meetings with CBC space (especially in terms of housing and transport demand) [ALL] [AP]
  • Engage with navigus and find out how they can help, and what it will cost [db]
  • Structure our process to create a community plan as a partway product and ensure that our work plans are aligned to enable this to happen [ALL]
  • Engage more closely with our neighbouring villages and track what they are proposing in their plans [AP]
  • Ask Sally Chapman at CBC to help us with a presentation and some training on the best way of producing a plan [DB]

7. Feedback from work groups

Housing (Roger Ball)

  • Documents have been collected and filed. They are now available to share. These include the winner of the “best neighbourhood plan”.
  • A key finding is the requirement to prepare useful, thorough, but brief, statements of the current status of housing in the village; the “as is” part of the plan.


  • Contact Julian Smith
  • Contact Aragon housing
  • Prepare the draft skeleton of an as a statement for internal review by the next meeting (this work stream is quite advanced and will provide learning for all the other work streams to consider)

Business (Simon Barnes)

  • A small team is in place and Emma Jackson and Simon Ratcliffe have volunteered to assist
  • The process is at an early stage, but there is a large amount of information already available from the website and local directories.
  • An example neighbourhood plan has been selected that contains a good section on businesses in that community from which a template can be prepared

Social (Julie Shepherd)

  • A small committee has been created and has met
  • The social situation in the village looks like it is constantly complex and rapidly evolving as clubs, societies, and groups come and go
  • It is a major focus of the team to create the “as is” statement as soon as possible
  • There has been a very low level of response from organisations, especially the school, and advice and assistance is requested to assist in getting faster and better responses
  • A file has been created with all of the responses to date, and all of the community engagement steps have been collected as a diary into a single record, other groups thought this was a good example that they could follow.
  • A skeleton “as is” statement would be available by September meeting.

Infrastructure (Alan Plom)

  • Alan had sent his apologies for absence, but had submitted a written report which is filed and available to all the members. It shows expected progress at this stage. Key points:
  • Suggested members all contacted and engaged.
  • Contact details obtained from CBC for utilities and other organisations [nb. This list may be useful for other Working Groups too.]
  • Initial review of other NHP’s and sources of information carried out.
  • Aiming to draft ‘As is’ statement for next meeting – subject to advice from other NHP’s.

Environment (Robbie Locke)

  • Enquiries have been sent out to the major environmental groups, but, responses had not yet been received. A more detailed report will be available at the time of the next meeting.

Regulation (David Bailey)

  • Limited progress to date, a more detailed report will be available at the time of the next meeting


  • Have a look at the data protection requirements, and see if we can ride along with Maldon Parish Council’s regulation and status for data handling
  • Create a register of interests for all of the members of the neighbourhood planning committee

8. Communications

It was very clear to the group that we had to listen to the entire community and engage with them personally. A purely factual, or statistical approach would not enable people to express what they really thought was important about the village.

Councillor Philip Jackson explained that there was also a community liaison subcommittee of Maldon parish council, that would have some resources and the ability to reach into a wider network. (Led by Philip Allen and Yvonne Cole).

It was discussed and agreed that a general piece describing what the neighbourhood planning group was trying to achieve, what a neighbourhood plan would give the village, and how people could help, would be of some use in setting the scene as to what we are doing.

Specific places in which an article could be placed included:

  • the Fuddler
  • the Oracle
  • the church magazines
  • the noticeboards, parish council and other
  • the village hall
  • the local paper

It was also thought that having a poster that was available with simple details on what the plan was and who to contact would be of value

The committee learned that there is a street by street leafleting group available in the village, which might provide a way of delivering information to large numbers of households relatively cheaply and efficiently


  • contact the leafleting group via councillor Philip Jackson [AP]
  • action write a piece that can be placed in the above magazines. [DB]
  • Contact the above magazines and find out how to get articles placed. [SB]

9. AOB

  • JS was thanked for hosting the meeting and providing refreshments.
  • Cllr Downing thanked for his informative presentation


  • 3rd Weds in August, The George Pub Meeting Room

Meeting ended ~9:30pm.

Signed Date

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