MOBBERLEY PARISH PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE
MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD AT THE RAJAR BUILDING ON
24 SEPTEMBER 2007, 7.30pm
Present: Stuart Nixon (Chairman) Ken Chantler (Vice Chairman)
- Gary Baron (Treasurer), Penny Braham (Secretary), Roger Gittins, Janet Cookson, David Swann and Matthew Martin-Bird.
- Ms Bron Kerrigan, Parish Plans Officer, Cheshire Community Council
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
- Apologies had been received from Alistair MacLeod and Eileen Toon.
- QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION WITH MS BRON KERRIGAN, PARISH PLANS OFFICER, CHESHIRE COMMUNITY COUNCIL
- Ms Kerrigan was welcomed to the meeting.
- Programme and grants:
- The Chairman explained that the meeting had been brought forward from the following night so that Ms Bron Kerrigan could attend and offer guidance to the Committee. It was now necessary to decide how to proceed and to revise the programme. He gave a synopsis of the history of the Mobberley Parish Plan and the intended programme of its production, a copy of which he gave to BK. He explained that the programme had been set out on the basis of taking advantage of opportunities during the year eg. To enlist help from the local primary school during the first part of the Autumn term, before they became involved in Christmas arrangements. It had seemed sensible to hold Focus Group meetings in the New Year and then distribute the Draft Plan. It had been considered imperative to have the final Plan adopted before the new proposed Unitary Authority came into being in 2009.
- BK did not agree that the proposed new Unitary Authority would make a difference to the adoption and overseeing of Parish Plans. Macclesfield Borough Council was the most active authority to be encompassed into the new Unitary Authority and was very eager for Parish Plans to be produced and followed.
- BK stressed the need to have the funding in place before the questionnaire was produced. Once the funding had been granted it could not be taken away.
- GB stated that the Steering Committee had been under the impression from previous meetings with BK that the application form for the starter grant of £250 would be more simple.
- BK replied that the system of grant applications under the Community Council was now entirely different from that previously in place under DEFRA, and, therefore, advice to the Steering Group from other Parishes who had already produced Parish Plans was immaterial. Also, Cheshire was the only place to have set up a starter grant, so the system was now different.
- However, BK felt that Mobberley was now in a position to submit an official grant application to the Community Council.
- The Chairman asked BK how the Steering Group could now ‘get back’ onto the programme and move forward.
- BK again stressed that the funding must be in place before anything else. The next meeting to discuss Cheshire Parishes’ grant applications would be held on 31 October. There would be no meeting in November and the next one after October would be held on 11 December.
- BK reported that a special Open Parish Meeting should have been held in Mobberley to discuss solely the production of a Parish Plan, whereas Mobberley had held Parish Meetings with the Parish Plan as only one item on the agenda. The Chairman informed her that the Steering Group had in fact attended many functions in the village eg the Village Society’s Open Gardens Day and the Farmers’ Markets.
- BK stated that research only should be carried out at the beginning of the production of the Plan, not a questionnaire. It was so important to have the funding in place before the Plan was advanced, as there was only one ‘bite of the cherry’ for the grant. The application for the starter grant asked only for brief details. Applications for the starter and the main grants had to be received from the Parish Council and not the Steering Committee.
- BK would take away a copy of Mobberley’s application for a starter grant and deal with this the following day. She would check it through and let GB know of any omissions. Hopefully the starter grant for £250 would then be sent this week to the Parish Council.
- The Chairman asked what the time scale was for the main grant application.
- BK reported that it was very important to read all the guidance notes. She handed over a full copy of these to GB and would email this also to PB. It was vital to prove a high criteria of 20 to 30 points to attain the main grant.
- In addition, BK needed copies of the Minutes of all the Steering Group meetings enclosed with the grant application.
- The Chairman asked BK how much more detail was necessary than the programme already provided. BK would let the Chairman have a full guide of the activities and points to go through. She advised that statements of support would also be useful from eg the Borough Councillor, MP, County Councillor, Police and Fire authorities, Highways and other stakeholders.
- The Chairman asked how long a grant application had to be submitted before a Cheshire Committee meeting. BK would check this, but she needed also to write a funding report so an application would have to be received at least a week before the meeting.
- The Chairman reported that in terms of forming the questionnaire to be generated by the community, firstly a 10x10 had gone out and then, taking other factors into consideration also, a draft questionnaire had gone out. The questionnaire had been raised mainly from comments in the 50 plus age group – in Mobberley there were not many people between the ages of 0 to 30. Planning issues had featured predominantly because the Parishioners had expressed a large interest in this topic. Contrary to BK’s opinion that the following topic should not have appeared on the questionnaire, no one had made comment on the question of church attendance/non attendance.
- The Mobberley Steering Group had opted to hold Focus Group discussions after the questionnaire results, when the contentious topics had been raised.
- However, BK reported that full Focus Groups needed to be shown to be operating before the granting of funding, not narrow groups instigated by the Steering Committee.
- It was also essential to explain who the Steering Committee were and the purpose of the Parish Plan programme.
- BK urged the Steering Committee to consider whether every question on the questionnaire would ‘pay its way’.
- The Chairman commented that it would have been helpful if feedback had been received, as requested, from BK or Cedric Knipe on the first draft questionnaire. BK reported that she had not given feedback as she had previously requested applications for funding, and not a questionnaire.
- There would be 12 months from the receipt of funding for the Steering Group to produce the Plan, although a time extension could be granted.
- BK would re-consider the guidance notes to try to ascertain why Mobberley’s confusion about the process had arisen. She would also complete her comments on the Mobberley questionnaire for the Steering Group to take advantage of her advice.
- On the question of the 11 to 17 age group, the Chairman informed BK that Mobberley did not have a secondary school, although it did have Scouts and Guides, the Cricket Club Juniors and the Spl@t youth club. A questionnaire for all age groups could not be afforded, but it would be possible to produce a flyer for the youth groups for insertion in the Parish Newsletter.
- Cedric Knipe had also promised his feedback on the questionnaire.
- The Steering Group was of the opinion that the application for the grant needed to be submitted for the 31 October Cheshire meeting, in order for the final questionnaire to be distributed early next year.
- Manchester Airport had not yet been asked for funding, as it had been thought more appropriate to ask them to fund the final document.
- BK gave advice that the Steering Group would need the Airport’s written interest to support the grant application.
- BK would investigate the Community Council’s freepost service as this could be a cheaper option for the Steering Group to use for postage of questionnaires.
- It was thought that printing would be the largest item on the costings’ list – Macclesfield Borough Council could provide graphics and printing, but would give less grant funding if their service was used.
- The Chairman thanked Bron Kerrigan for her attendance, and for the guidance and support she had given at the meeting and for her pledged future cooperation and help.
- BK left the meeting at 21-05 hours.
- 3. MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING
- The Minutes were agreed as a correct record.
- Committee membership – PB would contact Georgia Hoult to enquire about her health and whether she was fit to help. PB would also contact Mrs Sue Roberts to see whether she was able to help comment on the questionnaire with the Chairman when he was available.
- Input on questionnaire – Bron Kerrigan, Cedric Knipe and Sue Roberts to help.
- The Chairman would produce a further 10 x 10 for 11 to 17 year olds, with the results to be returned before the next Steering Committee meeting at the end of October. He would also produce a new Committee Contacts’ List
4. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
It was agreed to hold a Finance subcommittee meeting the following week, to further discuss the guidance notes and the grant application form.
The next full Steering Group meeting would be held on Tuesday 30 October, 7.30pm at the Rajar Building.
(PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS MEETING HAS NOW BEEN RE-ARRANGED FOR WEDNESDAY 31 OCTOBER, SAME TIME AND PLACE, DUE TO THE CHAIRMAN’S AVAILABILITY.)