HAM AND PETERSHAM NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM CONSTITUTION
1 Purpose and Objects
1.1 The Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Forum (‘H+PNF’) is a neighbourhood forum as defined in the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Localism Act 2011 (‘the Act’) and the Neighbourhood Planning Regulations in force 6 April 2012.
1.2 The purpose of H+P NF is to further the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Ham and Petersham Area as defined in section 2 below (‘the Area’) by acting for the Area under the provisions of the Act.
1.3 H+P NF membership will be open to residents living in the Area, individuals working or carrying on business in the Area, local representative groups and Borough Councillors representing the Area. H+P NF will aim for as wide a representation of communities in the area as possible.
1.4 H+P NF will monitor development management policy and its application in the Area and will produce and maintain a Neighbourhood Development Plan as defined in section 4 below.
1.5 H+PNF may initiate Neighbourhood Development Orders or Community Right to Build Orders, identify Assets of Community Value, or carry out any other permitted actions.
1.6 H+P NF will act in accordance with General Policies and Principles set out in section 5 below.
2 The Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Area (‘the Area’)
2.1 The Area shall be the area shown in the map in Annex 1 and will be finally determined on designation by the relevant authorities.
2.2 The Area includes all of the Ham, Petersham and Richmond Riverside ward with the exception of the area within Richmond Park and that to the north of Petersham Common and Petersham Meadows (i.e. ‘Richmond Riverside’). The area is clearly defined by the River Thames on the west, Richmond Park to the east and the boundary with the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to the south.
2.3 The Area falls entirely within the boundary of the London Borough of Richmond.
3 Membership and Organisation
3.1 Membership of H+P NF is open to:
- residents living in the Area, either as individual members or via representative bodies;
- local businesses, organisations and individuals who work in the Area;
- Ham Petersham and Richmond Riverside Ward Councillors.
3.3 A Committee of between 15 and 20 members will be elected at each AGM to carry out the day-to-day work of the Forum. A majority of the Committee members shall be residents of Ham and Petersham. The quorum for the Committee will be one half of the current membership.
3.4 The Committee will elect the following officers of the Forum from its number: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. Officers will serve for one year and be subject to re-election, and there will be no limit to the number of terms an officer may serve. The Chair (or the Vice Chair when acting as Chair) will have a casting vote at any Committee or General Meeting.
3.5 The Committee will direct and oversee the work of the Forum and will meet at least quarterly for this purpose.
3.6 Subcommittees or working parties may be appointed by the Committee to carry out specific tasks, to consider policies and to advise the Committee. Such bodies may be appointed from within or outside the membership of the Forum but will be responsible to the Committee.
3.7 The Committee may co-opt up to three additional members to the Committee in any year. Co-opted members will have the same voting rights as other Committee members. A co-opted member may be elected as an officer.
3.8 Councillors representing the Ham + Petersham Ward will be invited to all Committee meetings and will have the same voting rights as other Committee members.
3.9 The Secretary will make minutes of General and Committee Meetings available to the members of the Forum within three weeks of the meeting unless impracticable. Organisations which are affiliated to HNF will be encouraged to communicate such information to their membership.
3.10 Annual General Meetings will be held in May or as close to such date as practicable. An Extraordinary General Meeting may be called by decision of the Committee or by 30 members of the Forum applying to the Secretary. For all General Meetings, a notice of the meeting and details of any resolutions to be put to it will be sent to all Forum members at least 21 days before the meeting.
3.11 At any General Meeting each member present will have one vote. Where practicable, arrangements will be made to enable members unable to attend to appoint a proxy. Decisions of General Meetings will be by simple majority except in the cases set out in section 6 below. The quorum for a General Meeting shall be 30 members.
3.12 Notices to members will be deemed delivered if sent to the member’s last notified email address, or (where no email address is given) sent by post to the last notified address.
3.13 The Forum will have the power to raise funds as necessary for its activities, by grant, donation or any other appropriate means.
3.14 The Committee will open one or more bank accounts as necessary in the name of the Forum. All funds raised for the Forum will be held in such accounts. The Committee will nominate bank signatories.
3.15 The Committee will where necessary insure any assets it holds, and by insurance or otherwise indemnify its officers against liabilities arising from their work for the Forum.
3.16 Subject to funding, the Committee may commission advisory services, surveys or any other activity in support of the Objects.
Register of Committee Members’ Interests
3.17 The Secretary will keep a Register of Committee Members’ Interests detailing any financial interests in the Area or any other interest which could be deemed to have an influence on decisions likely to come before the Committee. Members will abstain from voting on any matter in which they have a financial interest.
4 Neighbourhood Plan
4.1 The Ham and Petersham Neighbourhood Plan (NP) will, in addition to setting out policies for the development and use of land within the Area, include a wide range of smaller changes, improvements and projects. As provided for in the Act, it will be subject to extensive consultation and examination, including where appropriate a referendum within the Area.
4.2 The NP will include, where appropriate, specific policies for identified parts of the Area, including conservation policies.
4.3 The NP will aim to:
- complement the Local Development Frameworks and Conservation Area Appraisals etc. as produced by the local planning authority to ensure that all development is sympathetic to the character of the Area;
- identify locations for potential sensitive development that will, within the Local Development Frameworks, include affordable housing, retail, business and community use;
- express aspirations for the future development of traffic and transport serving or passing through the Area;
- provide for the preservation and improvement of private and public open space;
- nominate Assets of Community Value for listing by the appropriate local authority;
- set a framework for the retail and business improvement of the Area;
- guide the Planning and Highway Authorities towards improvements in the public realm;
- pay due attention to sustainability, biodiversity and carbon reduction;
- pay due attention to the surface and underground water environment, flood and pollution risks and soil stability.
4.4 The NP will include policies aimed at generating employment in the Area and promoting business activity, including retail. It will aim to promote a good range of shops in the community with particular emphasis on encouraging smaller enterprises.
5 General Policies and Principles
5.1 H+P NF will promote policies to maximise social benefit, community links, services for young people, crime reduction and support for elderly and vulnerable members of the community.
5.2 H+P NF will aim for changes and improvements in the local environment directed towards carbon reduction and specifically retrofitting the existing housing stock.
5.3 H+P NF will take the distinctive character and heritage of Ham and Petersham into account in all its actions, and will aim to ensure that all development in the Area preserves or enhances this character.
5.4 H+P NF will operate respecting all differences including gender, age, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability and income.
5.5 H+P NF will encourage all interested residents and all representative groupings of residents or businesses in the Area to become members of H+P NF and to work alongside H+P NF to further their joint objectives.
6 Amendments and Dissolution
6.1 Amendments to the body of this Constitution will be by decision of a General Meeting carried out in accordance with 3.10 and 3.11 above, with the exception that such a vote will only be carried if supported by 75% or more of those voting.
6.2 H+P NF may be dissolved by decision of a General Meeting specifically called for this purpose and carried out in accordance with 3.10 and 3.11 above, with the exception that such a vote will only be carried if supported by 75% or more of those voting.
6.3 In the event of dissolution, any property or funds held by H+P NF will be
- subject to the agreement of the Members at General Meeting, allocated to one or more nominated organisations set up to continue the work of H+P NF, or
- in the absence of any such organisation and subject to any statutory regulations, distributed equally to the constituent local organisations who are its members (but not to individual members).
6.4 In accordance with the Act, a formal review of the functions and achievements of H+P NF will be carried out five years after its formation. Following such review, and consultation with its members, H+P NF will decide to continue, amend or dissolve itself as considered appropriate.