Your Steering Group

Steering Group

The production of our Neighbourhood Plan is being led by a Steering Group which is made up of members of the community including local residents and members of the Parish Council.   It is a Sub Committee of the Parish Council working through the Council’s Planning Committee.  As such it is governed by the normal rules affecting Parish Council Committees and their members.  Its meetings are open to the public and usually take place in the Council Chamber at 7pm on the evening of the first or second Monday in each month.

As well as managing the production of the Neighbourhood Plan, a key part of the Steering Group’s responsibility is to ensure that the greatest possible consultation takes place with the community, so that the final plan is genuinely shaped by local residents and represents their views.   It is doing this by arranging community events, consultations and surveys and, of course, through this website.  The Steering Group will also need to iron out any conflict between different views, and to make sure that our plan is realistic and robust.

To ensure good practice and transparency, written Terms of Reference have been agreed for the Steering Group, which it has to adhere to throughout the process.  Amendments to these Terms of reference were agreed by the Steering Group in December 2014 and have been submitted to the Parish Council for approval.  When approval has been received, the updated Terms of Reference will be posted.  Members of the public are always welcome to  attend meetings of the Steering Group which take place in the Council Chamber in The Avenue, Lightwater.  The agenda is published on the Parish Council notice boards in Windlesham at least three full working days before each meeting.  Decisions may only be taken on matters included in the agenda.

To see the minutes of previous Steering Group meetings, click on the links below.  The link is created after the minutes have been approved at the following meeting.

2 Apr 20147 May 20149 Jun 201414 Jul 2014 4 Aug 2014; 8 Sep 2014; 13 Oct 2014; 3 Nov 2014; 8 Dec 2014; 12 Jan 2015; 9 Feb 2015; 9 Mar 2015;11 May 2015; 13 Jul 2015; 12 Oct 2015; 9 Nov 2015; 1 Feb 2016; 7 Mar 2016; 4 Apr 2016; 9 May 2016; 13 Jun 2016; 20 Jul 2016; 5 Sep 2016; 14 Nov 2016; 16 Jan 2017; 06 Mar 2017; 08 May 2017; 04 July 2017; 04 Sep 2017; 06 Nov 2017; 22 Jan 2018; 04 Jun 2018; 05 Jul 2018; 07 Jan 2019.

Future meetings of the Steering Group will take place on the following dates. The agenda and minutes will be available to view for the following meetings when links are visible:

Next meeting date is TBC

Working Groups

The Steering Group has established a Working Group to deal with the different aspects of the Plan.   It is the role of this group to: help identify what the main issues are; research the background to the issues; gather evidence to prove the issues; consider possible approaches to deal with the issues; consult with local residents and businesses and other stakeholders; canvass the community as a whole for their views; and to draft the sections of the Plan.  In order to produce a consistent approach to the issues and the production of the policies to be included in the Plan, guidelines on how the Working Group is expected to operate have been produced.  Meetings of the Working Groups are informal and not open to the public.

The Working Group has three areas to address:

The Built Environment.  This will deal with issues related to: Housing; Retail; and Employment.

The Natural Environment.   This will deal with issues related to: the Rural Economy; Conservation; and the Green Infrastructure (ie parks and gardens, natural and semi-natural green space; green corridors; outdoor sports facilities; amenity green space; children’s play areas; allotments and community gardens; and wildlife corridors.

Amenity & Infrastructure.  This will deal with issues related to: the Physical Infrastructure (ie roads & public transport; water supply; utility services; sewage treatment; land drainage; and waste disposal); and the Community Infrastructure (ie Health & Social Services; Nurseries; Schools; Further education; Children’s Centres; Community Halls; Churches; Cemeteries; Supported Accommodation; Theatres; and Indoor Sports facilities.

Working Group members will be involved in researching and collating all the evidence that has been gathered to support the content and policies to be included in our Neighbourhood Plan.

Minutes from meetings of the Joint Working Group can be seen here.


Adrian Ince

Under ‘All About/Vision the page says: Our proposed vision of what the Neighbourhood Plan should achieve for Windlesham is: “To maintain Windlesham’s rural character whilst responding to the needs of local people”.
That word ‘proposed’ is very important, for, as the site says plainly several times on other pages, the whole Plan is the plan of the community and it is for the members of the community to identify the topics which concern them and to formulate the overall vision, the aspects to be focussed on, and the specific policies to achieve what they want. To get things going by stimulating thought, the website gives, here and there, some ‘for instances’. But it must never become acceptable for the steering committee to adopt an attitude favourable to some proposals but unfavourable to others. The steering committee must have no opinion even though the individuals forming it will have. They are acting as social investigators. Their job is to find out what people like, want to preserve, to enhance, to see more of; and what they don’t like, want to reduce, want to restrict, to put a stop to. They must never allow it to be thought that to support the NP is to support some policies and not others. Those who are not taken with the policies being treated as the point of the Plan will be put off contributing to the Plan – they will see the Plan, and those managing its conception and birth, as just another stall in the marketplace.
Whatever the personal ideals the steering committee and the volunteers have, the ideal they are working for here is one level up in the hierarchy of morals – it is the ideal that everyone has a right to have his say in how his life is to be affected by rules made by others. The volunteers may be horrified by what some people think and want but they must agree to facilitate that person’s right to think it, and say it, and promote it and to keep their mouths shut (in their capacity as a NP volunteers) about what they themselves think.

Adrian Ince

Under ‘About All/Steering Group/ Terms of Reference clause 2 Purpose and Mission Statement it says: “The purpose of the WNPSG is to design and facilitate a process that will result in the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for the Windlesham area of the parish in order: ‘To maintain Windlesham’s rural character whilst responding to the needs of local people’ ” When this appeared on the ‘All About’/Vision page, the wording said: “Our proposed vision…”etc; and I wrote a comment on that page (see above). This page’s wording is in total contradiction of the principle of a community-led Plan. Please change this at once. ‘Our vision’ is irrelevant if you seriously want to find out what other people in the community think, and think they want. ‘Our proposed vision’ is as much as you are permitted by way of stimulating thought and response.

Windlesham Plan

The use of the word proposed was voted out of the TORs by the Steering Group when referring to the Vision Statement. It does not mean that the Vision Statement will not change in future as the policies become clearer following future consultations

David Howie

The process of producing a Neighbourhood Plan is meant to be open, inclusive and representative of the community affected. Regrettably, since the resignation of the Secretary in February 2015, no agendas or minutes for the monthly Steering Group meetings have been published, the Facebook page has not been updated since December 2014 and no newsletter informing supporters of developments has been circulated since May. The Chairman has claimed that this has been due to the failure to recruit anyone for any of the roles filled by the Secretary (ie Meetings Secretary, Website Manager, Newsletter Editor, Facebook and Twitter liaison) although no real attempt to notify the community of the need for such assistance has been made. It is no excuse for failing to keep the community informed of developments via the Parish magazine as there has been nothing in it from the Steering Group since the August edition. As a supporter of the Neighbourhood Plan, I find this situation disappointing. Any proposed plan will need the support of the community via a referendum if it is to come into effect and this means that the Steering Group should work closely with the community to help maintain their support or it could risk being the first Neighbourhood Plan to fail to achieve a majority in the referendum on whether or not to adopt the Neighbourhood Plan.

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