Minutes of the 14th meeting – 28 June 2017
Held in the upstairs Meeting Room, at The George Inn, Maulden, 20:00hrs
Welcome, Introductions and Updates from the Chair (AP)
AP welcomed everyone to the meeting – including new ‘faces’ Rob Murphy and Harriet Lockey (very welcome as she is studying at Redborne School) + Ward Cllr Paul Downing [see his update at 4 below]. AP was pleased to report that David Bailey hoped to be available to help out again soon too.
Minutes of previous meeting (31/5/17)
The draft minutes were discussed and agreed – subject to changing Action under 6(i) [AP (not RB) to produce list of (active) members.].
[ACTION: AP/RP – Amended final version to be emailed and filed in Dropbox + website.]
3. Matters arising (Not covered on agenda)
Min 3.1 – AP tabled the up-to-date ‘Action Log.
[ACTION: Steering Gp members to read, check and update before/at next meeting.]
Min 3.2 – AP has looked at Julie Sheppard’s (JSh) notes regarding comments by children.
[ACTION: New Social WGp Leader to contact JSh for further information.]
Min 4.1 – CBC’s draft Local Plan (available next month) will be reviewed at the next meeting.
4. Village update (recent events or emerging issues)
Cllr Paul Downing (PD) updated us on CBC’s Local Plan and confirmed the draft will be out for consultation in July with a meeting for Cllrs on 18th. Fellow Ward Councillor Mike Blair is the contact with CBC for this aspect and another Councillor, Nigel Young, has experience in the development of a NP. PD also has contacts for the Silsoe and Haynes NHP teams.
[ACTION: PD to email details to AP.]
PD observed that Maulden’s NHP is further ahead than some others, although Clophill started theirs 3 years ago. They had found it difficult to get community engagement too, particularly the under 40 age group. AP has invited Gianpaolo Mantini and Steve Roddell from Clophill’s NHP team to attend a StGp meeting, asap.
PD has also had experience of working with specialist NHP Consultants (Navigus), run by a former local council town planner. They can assist with grant applications and follow a standard (acceptable, though detailed) formula for applying for funding. AP recalled DB contacted Navigus in the early days, but we were waiting until funding had been received before inviting them to a meeting to explain what they can do for us. PD confirmed that up to £9,000 can be available over a period of 3 years from CBC, to be spent in 6 month blocks.
[ACTION: AP/SB – The NHP Project Plan will be updated at the next meeting.]
PD reported on a meeting at Woburn with the Greensand County Partnership (GCR) and CBC (Claire Porter leads). Lottery money had been made available to make the GCR a ‘National Park’. AP and SB had met Greensand Trust staff involved at the recent CBC NHP Training session and would pass on their contact details to MNHP’s lead on Environment (Robbie Locke).
[ACTION: AP to contact and inform RL.)
Maulden Village Show (24 June)
The large ‘Call for Sites’ map was displayed in the Hall along with the analysis, and the new leaflet was handed out. Feedback was positive and several new volunteers offered to help, although quite a few enquiries came from other Parishes, eg a Cllr from Ridgmont, who was seeking advice on the process. AP thanked RP and NC for their help at the event.
The sale of the Parish Council land to obtain money to reinvest in the community was a popular option, as was providing parking near the school.
[ACTION: AP to post photos in Dropbox, eg for use in the final NHP Report.]
CBC NHP Training event (9 June)
AP and SB found the session helpful and an opportunity to meet others involved and at various stages. As Cllr Downing said earlier, we are more advanced than many. Other Village Plan Groups were facing similar problems in maintaining progress and are willing to share experiences
A speaker who had been involved in developing Meppershall’s Village Plan and now extending it into an NHP was very informative. She advised to avoid getting too wrapped up in spreadsheets – keep it simple! To raise their profile (at village events etc) they had invested in ‘NHP branded’ tee shirts, pens and stationary – even their envelopes were in ‘corporate’ orange.
[ACTION: ‘Branded’ items to be considered by Comms Team.]
MPC meeting (12 June)
RB reported that two applications had been received to join the Parish Council (including ex-NHP Vice-Chair Julie Sheppard) but the proposal to coopt them had been outvoted. This will be reconsidered at the next meeting.
The Group were surprised to hear that an application had been lodged to increase the properties at Branscombe from 4 to 6 and that there are no valid reasons for CBC to object to the revised plans under national guidelines. An NHP would be helpful and have to be considered in such situations.
In SM’s absence, SB reported that the MNP bank account was still to be set up (possibly as an account under MPC) and funding still to be applied for.
[ACTION: SM and SB to follow up.]
AP reported that consultants Woods Hardwick Planning Ltd (suggested by JSm) had not been able to help us due to a perceived conflict of interest (one lives in the village). We need to compare costs and what BRCC and Navigus (or other consultants) can do for us.
AP reiterated the rules for funding, i.e. funding of £3,000 x 3 years is available. Each bid must be supported by 2 quotes and spent within 6 months. CBC had advised these funds cannot be used to pay retrospective bills. NHP Project Plan to reflect this pattern.
6 Working Group Updates
Housing – Analysis of joint MNP and MPC consultation meeting (3 April)
NC presented a bar chart he had produced, more clearly illustrating the figures in the table summarising villagers ‘build/no build’ responses on the Call for Sites map.
NC to clarify names and locations of sites with AP. He will then merge the maps/names for consistent identification.
NC has requested a digital version of the Parish Sites map from CBC for further breakdown/ analysis. Julian Smith has ‘Promap’ software which can be used to digitally analyse the maps.
[ACTION: NC to follow up with AP, JSm and CBC/SV.]
DB had offered to analyse the responses in the questionnaires submitted to compare answers with preferred locations.
[ACTION: AP/SB to follow up with DB]
Other WG activities
SR introduced Harriet Lockey (HL) to the Group. She is willing to help and agreed to join the Communications Group with SB, NC and SR. She is a student at Redbourne School and will discuss with the English department if/how students could get involved with projects, eg. interviewing people, making a film about Maulden, covering the NHP in the School newsletter and. She also suggested wider use of social media.
[ACTION: HL to discuss at Redborne + SR will use his contacts at Alameda School too.]
Rob Murphy (RM) has lived in the village for 18 months and approached AP at the Village Show. His background is in Arts and Communications and the Environment. He agreed to join the Environment Group.
[ACTION: AP to inform RL.]
AP mentioned that The Greensand Trust had already worked on an ‘environment’ project with children from Maulden Lower.
[ACTION: NC to arrange for AP and himself to meet the School Head (Mrs Dwyer) to discuss involving the schoolchildren and parents.]
AP is also still trying to organise a joint meeting between the Infrastructure Working Gp, MPC, Safer Maulden and Speed Watch. The Safer Maulden Survey also needs to be updated before it can be distributed throughout the village.
No activities reported by the Environment Group.
[ACTION: AP to contact RL.]
The banner has not been purchased yet as we have no funds, but SB had kindly arranged for 5000 leaflets to be printed in time for the Village Show. Copies were handed out and SR and the Comms team were complimented on its appearance.
[ACTION: SB to put leaflet on website and Dropbox.]
However, AP pointed out that 5 sites had not been marked on the map on the back of the leaflet – in particular 3 at Hall End, another on Silsoe Road and the PC’s land near the school. He and RP had marked these on a number of leaflets for use at the Village Show. It was agreed it was not vital to amend them all, but the remaining marked copies should be issued at Hall End.
The Street Watch Team have started delivering the leaflets.
[ACTION: SB to produce a list of streets covered and a street map to be obtained.]
JSm took some few leaflets to leave in the bar and will also mention the NHP in The George’s e-Newsletter. He is also happy for the venue to continue to be used for any NHP meetings.
The website needs to be updated. HL mentioned her mother has been asked to give a talk on ‘Communications’ to the school and wondered if it would be useful for the MNP teams. HL also suggested setting up a Facebook page for communicating with villagers e.g. on the final questionnaire, and using Survey Monkey. Both need to be considered, along with other Social Media [Instagram, Snapchat, etc].
[ACTION: SB/Comms Gp to meet (with HL) to discuss options.]
7 What next?
7.1 Action log
AP handed out an up-to-date version of the list of outstanding actions from all previous meetings
[ACTION: Steering Gp members to read, check and update – for discussion at next meeting.]
7.2 MNP Constitution/roles and responsibilities
AP has started drafting the Constitution, but there is no standard model to base them. Caddington had been suggested but CBC do not promote a single format as they each need to reflect local circumstances.
[ACTION: AP and SB to discuss (+ with DP if possible) and table at next meeting, when CBC/SV will be present.]
7.3 Project Plan
This needs to be updated. It was suggested a ‘Project Manager’ needs to be appointed, and should not be the Chair.
[ACTION: AP/SB to update Plan (and discuss with DP if possible) + Steering Gp Members to find a Project manager.]
AP wondered if a consultant would perform this function. CBC/Siobahn Vincent has agreed to attend the next (July) meeting when our structure will be discussed.
Consultants will then be asked to attend a meeting to pitch their plans and costs for their work.
7.4 Project ‘Risk assessment’
[ACTION: AP to review/produce – based on the Project Plan.]
Dates of meetings
Steering Group/WGp members were happy to continue meeting on the last Wednesday of the month and hold an additional meeting for WGp Leaders before the Steering Group Meetings if necessary.
The next ‘interim’ meeting for WGp leaders will be on Wed 19 July at 8pm.
The same venue was agreed with JSm. Julian was thanked for hosting our meetings. Alternative venues, eg. the School Hall and/or the Village Hall were suggested to spread the meetings over more areas of the village, and enable/ encourage more people to ‘drop in’.
There being no further business, the meeting ended at 21:40pm.