Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Forum
Public Meeting 10 September 2013 Grey Court School
Welcome – Maggie Bailey, Head Teacher Grey Court School, welcomed over 100 local people from Ham & Petersham attending the Neighbourhood Forum meeting. Mrs Bailey explained that she sees the school as lying at the heart of the local community, and gave the good news that this year Grey Court School had achieved their highest ever GCSE results with over 99% of students achieving 5 or more A-C’s – the highest of any state school in Richmond.
Format for the evening – Mrs Bailey explained that the evening was designed to do two things. Firstly, to enable those attending to share their vision for Ham and Petersham by joining a rotation of 3 short discussion groups, drawn from 13 topics of local interest. These ideas were put forward either during the discussions, or by attaching post-it notes to the facilitators’ feedback sheets. Facilitators would then collect all points raised, give a short plenary presentation of main items raised, and all contributions will be produced in a report of proceedings that will be circulated and appear on the Forum web-site. This document will then assist the ‘drafting group’ to prepare the first version of the Neighbourhood Plan. The second function of the evening would be to discuss and confirm the Constitution and elect the Forum Committee members.
Update on progress with the Forum application – Andrew Beedham
- The application was validated by the Council in April, and approval of the Area has been recommended. This is likely to go to the Cabinet meeting on 17 October.
- Ham and Petersham is one of 750 communities engaged in Neighbourhood Planning, and the number is going up by 100 a month. 400 Plans have already been designated.
- Neighbourhood Forums and Planning is a central government initiative to give more power over development to local communities. Our plan must be consistent with national and Richmond’s planning policy but we can also include our own local improvements. The Forum will improve co-ordination of local activities by linking our active voluntary / community sector with the paid service providers working in Ham and Petersham.
- An application for £7000 has been drafted to apply for government funding to support the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan. This will be submitted after the agreement of the constitution and Committee, and approval of the Area from Richmond council.
- The whole process, including a decision by an independent planning inspector, is likely to take 18-24 months and adoption of the Plan is decided in a local referendum.
The 13 facilitators each gave a 1 minute taster of the topic they would be covering,
- Open Space & Biodiversity
- Travel & Transport
- Energy & Water
- Street Scene & Heritage
- Shopping & Employment
- Education & Youth
- Recycling & Waste
- Major Projects
- Development Sites
- Community Safety
Everyone then spent 15 minutes at each of their 3 chosen topic tables, brainstorming ideas.
Feedback from the Topic group facilitators
The 13 facilitators then gave a short summary of the top issues that were discussed by all 3 of their visiting groups of people.
Constitution and election of Forum Committee
Andrew Beedham explained that the Constitution, which had been accepted as a draft at the first meeting, had been available for consultation on the website and in the library since the meeting and had not been revised. With regard to the membership of the Committee, it was noted that although the proposed structure had originally included 3 places for local representatives, since four people had put themselves forward to stand (including one ‘job share’), all should be brought onto the Committee.
The following concerns were raised regarding the proposed membership of the Committee:
- Ham Amenities Group had not been included in its own right – and its membership was to be represented by members of Ham United Group and the Ham and Petersham Association.
- Was it appropriate that the LA Councillor on the Committee had voting rights? – as this might lead to conflict of interest between the Committee and the Council.
- Was it correct to include the Star & Garter Home within the Ham & Petersham Neighbourhood Area?
These points were noted and the Chair put the Constitution and the proposed membership of the Committee to the vote. Both were passed with no votes against and only one abstention recorded.
Date of next meeting – Tuesday 10th December 2013
The meeting closed at 8.50pm and Mrs Bailey thanked all those present for their participation.
Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Forum web site: