Neighbourhood Plan Constitution

West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan

(A)       NAME

The West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan will be created as an output from the activities of the Steering Group. The Steering Group comprises of the elected Officers, Members and Associate Members, plus any co-opted personnel.


Subject to matters set out below the Steering Group and its property shall be administered and managed in accordance with this constitution by its members and officers, constituted by clause F of this constitution. The Steering Group must work in co-ordination with the statutory local council which has sponsored the development of the Plan, in this case West Bergholt Parish Council.

(C)       AIMS

The main aims of the Steering Group are:

(a)       To produce a Neighbourhood Plan for West Bergholt that fulfils the requirements needed for adoption of the plan by the relevant Local Authority.

(b)       To define neighbourhood planning powers to establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in the parish. These are described legally as ‘neighbourhood development plans’.

(c)        To obtain information as necessary to influence the statutory authorities and other decision-making bodies on planning considerations which affect, and/or are acceptable to village residents for future developments.

(d)       To allow all residents and businesses within the boundary of West Bergholt an opportunity to have their say on planning issues and considerations.

(e)       To operate within the prevailing Planning Guidance as laid down by the National Planning Policy Framework and within the provisions set out by the Localism Act.

(f)        To incorporate in the plan as appropriate other aspirations of the Parish in addition to those which cover the use and development of land as covered by planning legislation.

(D)       POWERS

In furtherance of these objects but not otherwise the Steering Group may exercise the following powers:

(a)       Power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions provided that in raising such funds the Steering Group shall not undertake any substantial trading activities and shall conform to any relevant requirements of the law.

(b)       Power to co-operate with other voluntary bodies, charities and statutory authorities operating in furtherance of the objectives of the Steering Group or for similar charitable purposes, and to exchange information and advice with them, subject to the controls of the Data Protection Act.

(c)        Power to undertake all such other lawful activities as necessary for the achievement of the Aims as stated above.


(a)       Membership of the Steering Group shall be open to the current residents of the Parish of West Bergholt, any member of the Steering Group moving outside the village boundary will be requested to resign from the Steering Group, having firstly handed over their activities and responsibilities to another member of the Steering Group.

(b)       Membership of the Steering Group shall be those persons elected to it at an annual meeting at which all current residents of the West Bergholt of shall be entitled to attend.

(c)        Membership may be to the Steering Group or as an Associate Member. Associate Members may attend meetings and partake in activities, but they do not have voting rights.

(d)       The Steering Group may, by majority vote and for good reason, terminate the membership of any individual; provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Steering Group, accompanied by a friend (who must themselves be a resident of the village) before a final decision is made.


(a)       The affairs of the Steering Group shall be managed by a subset of at least four people, comprising a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary; other offices may be required from time to time. The other members of the Steering Group are not set at a minimum or a maximum number and may flex in number from time to time but must in total be at least ten persons.

(b)       The election of these officers in (a) above shall take place each year at the Annual General Meeting and they shall take office at the end of that meeting unless they are re-elected from the previous year.

(c)        All elected officers shall retire from office at the end of the next Annual General Meeting held after the date on which they came into office, but any number of these persons may be re-elected or re-appointed.

(d)       The proceedings of the Steering Group shall not be invalidated by any vacancy amongst their elected officers, nor by any defect in the appointment or qualification of such.

(e)       No person shall be entitled to act as a member of the Steering Group, whether on a first or on any subsequent entry of office, until they have signed a declaration of acceptance and of willingness to act in the interests of the Group.


A member of the Steering Group shall cease to hold office if he or she:

(a)       is absent without prior permission of the Group from all their meetings held within a period of six months, and the Steering Group resolve that his or her office be vacated.

(b)       notifies the Chair in writing of a wish to resign.


(a)       The Steering Group shall hold at least four ordinary meetings each year. A special meeting may be called at any time by the Chair, or by any two members of the Steering Group, upon not less than four days’ notice being given to the other members of the Steering Group, and including outline details of the matter(s) to be discussed.

(b)       There shall be a quorum when at least one third of members of the Steering Group, or five such members, whichever is the greater, of the Steering Group present at a meeting.

(c)       The Secretary or their nominee (who must themselves be a member of the Committee) shall keep notes of the proceedings of Steering Group meetings. These notes will be circulated to all members of the Group and must be made available to the public on request.

(d)       Every matter upon which a decision is required as laid out in the agenda, shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Group present and voting on the question, but in the case of equality of votes the Chair of the meeting shall have the right to a second or casting vote.

(e)       A Notice of the Meeting must be published on notice boards and the website 3 clear days prior to the meeting taking place. Agendas will be circulated to members of the Group prior to the meeting.

(I)         FINANCE

(a)       The Treasurer will present the accounting position periodically throughout the year. Funds available to the Steering Group will be held by the Parish Council as detailed in (b) below.

(b)       A specific item line shall be identified in the Parish Council General Account for the Neighbourhood Plan.

(c)       At the end of the Financial Year, the Treasurer shall prepare final accounts showing the income and expenditure of the Group for the year, and a projection of funds required for the coming year.

(d)       The funds belonging to the Group shall be applied only in furthering the aims of the Group. Upon final completion of the Neighbourhood Plan, any surplus funds are to be disposed of as detailed in Section (L).


(a)       An Annual General Meeting of the Steering Group shall be held in the month of November each year, or as soon as practicable thereafter. 21 Three clear days’ public notice will be given of the chosen date of the meeting.

(b)       All members of the Steering Group shall be entitled to attend and vote at the Annual General meeting. Each member shall have one vote.

(c)       At least five of the existing Steering Group must be present to hold the meeting.

(d)       The Treasurer shall present to the Annual General Meeting the report and accounts of the Group for the preceding year.

(e)       Decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of those present and voting. In the case of an equal vote the chair shall have a second or casting vote.


The Constitution may be altered by a resolution passed by not less than two thirds of the Steering Group members present and voting at an annual general meeting. The notice of the general meeting must include notice of the resolution, setting out the terms of the alteration proposed.


If the Steering Group decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve the Group it shall call a meeting of all members of the Group, of which not less than twenty-one days’ notice (stating the reasons that Dissolution is proposed) shall be given. This proposal would be deemed endorsed and enforceable by a two-thirds majority vote in favour by those present and voting. The Steering Group would have the responsibility to realize all assets held by or on behalf of the Group. Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of any proper debts and liabilities shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the objects of the Group as members of the Group may determine, or failing that shall be applied for some other charitable purpose, subject to Grant conditions in force from time to time.


This Constitution shall take effect on the date of the first AGM and it will be deemed to have been renewed at subsequent AGMs unless alterations are proposed as laid out by (K) above.

Date amended constitution adopted 7th December 2016.

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