Minutes published: Meeting of the Stone Neighbourhood Plan Directors held on 23rd June 2015

Minutes of the Stone Parish Neighbourhood Plan Directors Meeting held on Tuesday 23 June 2015, 7.30pm at Stone Baptist Church, 42 Hillhouse Road, Stone, Kent DA2 6HQ

DIRECTORS PRESENT:    J Burrell, G Johnson, K Kelly, J Mote, C Pearce, J Schofield, J Thilman, J Thomas, S Thredgle, P Winchester and V Winchester

IN ATTENDANCE:               E Mote – Council Coordinator for Stone Parish Council

18/06/15NP:   APOLOGIES

Apologies for absence were received from C Olney and J Bassett.


No declarations of interest were received.


The minutes were approved by the committee.


There were no matters arising from the previous minutes.

22/06/15NP:   PROCEDURE

  • To note resignation of W Sexton as Neighbourhood Plan Director

The committee noted the resignation of W Sexton as Neighbourhood Plan Director with regret.

  • Appointment of Finance Coordinator following resignation of W Sexton

In the absence of a volunteer candidate for the position of Finance Coordinator, K Kelly agreed to take on the role for the interim period until a permanent Finance Coordinator is appointed. Directors agreed to review this appointment to ensure the role remained transparent and independent from the council. It was agreed recruitment of additional Directors be promoted to visitors at the Neighbourhood Plan exhibition stand.

  • To receive an update regarding formal Neighbourhood Area Designation

JT informed the group that borough officers have confirmed a Cabinet decision on 23 July regarding designating the appropriate Neighbourhood Area. As previously noted, the Bluewater complex and some business sections of Crossways may be excluded as appropriate and are therefore unlikely to form part of the designated neighbourhood area. It is understood the borough’s Planning Policy Manager has not currently formulated his recommendations and it was also noted that members of the Cabinet may choose whether to uphold or reject the officer’s recommendations regarding neighbourhood area designation.

As the next meeting of Directors was scheduled to take place after the Cabinet meeting, it was considered this may prevent an opportunity to discuss and resolve a response, either in support or in refute of the recommendations, and as such the date should be re-considered. It was decided to move the meeting to Thursday 16th July to enable appropriate discussion.

Councillor Kelly also advised the meeting that both the Cabinet Advisory Panel and Cabinet meetings were open to the public and that, in addition to a written statement, Directors could consider attendance at the meeting.

  • To approve calendar of meetings from July to December 2015

The date of the July meeting was re-scheduled as above.

Future dates were confirmed as: Thursday 16 July; Wednesday 26 August; Tuesday 22 September; Wednesday 28 October; Tuesday 17 November and Tuesday 15 December.


  • To note the findings of the Stone Fete working party and resolve Stone Fete Exhibition content and activities from areas identified

JT informed the group that the exhibition trailer unit had been booked. One of the main aims discussed by the working party was to attract visitors by raising awareness and driving traffic to the new Neighbourhood Plan website, which would enable data capture for future communications. It is also the group’s intention to encourage sign ups and further survey response collection using tablets. The group agreed the purchase cost of items was justified to provide appropriate tools for consultation activities and data capture exercises and proposed costs could be covered through inclusion in the second funding application, due for submission within the next week. It was established that the purchase of 4 iPads would be completed with three for use at the exhibition stand and one as a back-up which would ultimately be used for the prize draw.

JT informed the meeting that sponsorship of £2,000 had been secured from the landowners of Stone Pit I, Land Logic. It was also noted that representatives from the company would be present at the exhibition stand to provide information and answer questions regarding current infill operations and future development of the site.

It was agreed that visitors to the exhibition stand would be encouraged to into a prize draw through signing up to receive email updates. The draw would remain open until Monday 31 August to enable subsequent sign ups after the Fete, with prizes including an iPad and a food and drinks hamper. Hard copies of surveys or questionnaires would be made available for those wishing to take them away. CP will continue to give consideration to breadth of respondents during the event in her capacity as Equality & Diversity Advocate.

  • To determine set-up, schedule and roster for Stone Fete

Directors confirmed their availability and it was agreed a rota would be formulated and distributed in advance.

  • Updates from Directors regarding recent activities/research of key areas

Following discussion, the group resolved it seemed extremely beneficial to invite local landowners to attend future meetings as appropriate to enable them to provide an update regarding proposed development of sites and to enable the Directors to provide information regarding local demand and needs that could shape delivery of associated infrastructure. It was felt that information or presentations by landowners will provide greater comprehension for Directors to understand how the Neighbourhood Plan can influence or contribute towards future planning applications and how key themes would be affected or addressed.


  • To review amended Communications Strategy and resolve adoption

Members received a tabled copy of the Communications Strategy and approved its adoption as presented.

  • To receive an update regarding the Neighbourhood Plan website, interactive mapping page and Director’s Forum

Directors have now been invited to join the Neighbourhood Plan Directors forum and comments on the usability and benefit of this were invited. Biography details provided have been uploaded together with portrait photographs but some information was still outstanding to enable a standardised overview.

CP had kindly provided the office with historic information to help populate the interactive mapping page. The group thanked Claire for her input and invited members with any relevant information for the mapping page to forward to the office.

25/06/15NP:   FINANCE 

  • To note decision for release of reserve funding from Stone Parish Council

JT informed the group of the Council’s decision to release reserve monies ahead of the next submission for neighbourhood plan funding to enable arrangements for activities for Stone Fete to be made as necessary. The Chairman thanked the parish council for making these funds available.

  • To resolve funding requirements for Stone Fete Exhibition

Directors noted that the skill set of the group was particularly strong and that much expertise existed where other Neighbourhood Plan processes may have been required to buy in. The apathy and expired goodwill of local residents regarding development was strongly noted and, as such, Directors agreed that the priorities of any funding would need to be the public engagement activities, as without the required response, the process was liable to failure.

  • To approve submission of funding application to support activities to final draft submission stage

With the above in mind, Directors agreed that the basis of the funding application should cover a strong level of public engagement and consultation activities and as such, that itemised costs should include printing, publicity, venue/exhibition trailer hire, and distribution costs.


Proposals for the next agenda to include: discussion regarding area designation ahead of Cabinet decision; debrief of neighbourhood plan conclusions from Stone Fete.

There being no further business The Chairman closed the meeting at 9:22pm.



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