Constitution of the Burslem Neighbourhood Forum
20/12/2019 – Final Version (date approved by Stoke-on-Trent City Council)
The name of the Forum shall be the Burslem Neighbourhood Forum (the Forum)
Area of Benefit
The area in which the Forum will pursue its objects is the Burslem Neighbourhood Area, which is the area designated by Stoke-on-Trent City Council for which the Forum will produce a Neighbourhood Plan.
Any planning application submitted within the neighbourhood area will be assessed against the relevant policies contained within the neighbourhood plan.
• Publication of our intentions was made through local community groups and displayed in the Burslem School of Art as part of a drop-in centre. This engagement also included social media and communications through local community groups.
• Local politicians, businesses, residents, community groups, education providers, and the Middleport Neighbourhood group have been consulted.
• Ward councillors for Burslem Central, Burslem Park and Moorcroft have been consulted
The area is considered to be appropriate to be designated as a neighbourhood area as:
• The starting point for determining the extent of the Neighbourhood area was Burslem town centre.
• The boundary is within walking distance of local services within Burslem, including shops, Burslem Park and other facilities.
• The boundary focuses on an area that impacts the Burslem community, whilst striking a balance not to stray into other community areas where different objectives/interests that would benefit from adjacent Neighbourhood Forums.
• The operational area of Burslem-based community groups, including Burslem Regeneration Trust and Our Burslem, is covered by the area.
• The area includes the key strategic development sites for Burslem, including Nile Street, Bournes Bank, Navigation Road and Westport Road.
The plan area boundary:
• Neighbourhood areas cannot overlap and, therefore, the Western Boundary is aligned with the Middleport Neighbourhood area. This boundary lies roughly equidistant between Burslem and Middleport.
• The Easternmost boundary reaches Bank Hall road, enabling the inclusion of significant residential areas in the planning, whilst not encroaching too far into Smallthorne and other communities. The residences on Bank Hall road are included.
• The Northernmost boundary is located between the communities of Burslem and Tunstall, and includes Haywood High School.
• The Southernmost boundary has been extended past the Burslem Park Ward Boundary to include Hot Lane Industrial Estate and Sneyd Industrial Estate, supporting the input and direction from local businesses into the wider plan area.
The local planning authority was consulted in considering the extent of the site, particularly in relation to overall size and inclusivity of the Burslem community, along with key development sites.
The objects of the Forum clearly establish the express purpose of promoting the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area that consists of the neighbourhood plan area. They are:
• To prepare a Neighbourhood Plan for the Burslem area;
• To promote or improve the social, economic, health and environmental well-being of the Burslem area;
• To promote the cultural and heritage aspects of the Burslem area
In furtherance of its objects the Burslem Forum may
• Invite and receive contributions and raise funds where appropriate, to finance the work of the Forum, and to open a bank account to manage such funds;
• Publicise and promote the work of the Forum and organise meetings, surveys, training courses, events or seminars, etc.;
• Work with groups of a similar nature and exchange information, advice and knowledge with them, including cooperation with other voluntary bodies, charities, statutory and non-statutory organisations;
• Employ staff and volunteers as are necessary to conduct activities to meet the objects of the Forum;
• Take any form of action that is lawful, which is necessary to achieve the objects of the Forum, including taking out any contracts which it may see fit;
• Purchase, take on lease or hire property in furtherance of the objects;
• Pay reasonable out of pocket expenses to members and volunteers for costs incurred in carrying out the Forum’s business.
The Burslem Neighbourhood Forum meets the conditions contained in Section 61F(5), Schedule 9 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and regulation 5 of the 2012 Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations.
Membership is open to all individuals who live, work or are elected members in the neighbourhood area
The Burslem Neighbourhood Forum will comprise at least 21 individuals who live, volunteer or work in the Burslem Neighbourhood Area or who are elected members of Stoke-on-Trent City Council whose area falls within the Burslem Neighbourhood Area.
• More than 21 members have registered with the Forum, confirming that they either work or live in the plan area. Additionally, elected members (councillors for the 3 Wards covered by the plan area) have been consulted and are included in the Forum
Membership shall be drawn from different parts of the Burslem Neighbourhood Area and different sections of the community in the Burslem Neighbourhood Area.
Members shall be accepted by the Forum; resignations from membership shall be received by the Forum.
The Forum may for good and sufficient reason terminate the membership of any individual, provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Forum, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision has been made.
To ensure the forum will have a minimum of 21 members and its membership reflect the diversity, character and inclusivity of the area, the Forum will review the membership list at the AGM. New appointments for any resignations may be considered during the year.
a) The Forum shall be supported by Officers to be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting.
b) The Officers shall consist of a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer ('the Officers').
c) If vacancies occur among the Officers, the Forum shall have the power to fill them from among its members.
d) Officers shall retire from office at the annual general meeting following the date on which they came into office but they may be re-elected or re-appointed.
e) Declarations of interest and potential conflicts of interest of all members will be recorded and reported to the Forum annually and at every Forum meeting. (E.g. conflicts of interest could include where neighbourhood plan policy would affect the business interests of a forum member).
a) The Forum shall hold at least 6 ordinary meetings each year. There shall be a quorum when at least one quarter of the members of the Forum are present at a meeting.
b) Every matter shall be determined by a majority of the members of the Forum present and voting. In case of equality of votes the Chairperson shall have a second or casting vote.
c) Minutes shall be kept as a record of the proceedings of the meeting of the Forum and any of its sub-groups.
d) The Forum may appoint one or more sub-groups providing that all acts and proceedings of the sub-groups shall be fully and promptly reported to the Forum.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
a) There shall be an annual general meeting, which shall be held in April each year.
b) The Officers shall present a report and accounts of the Forum for the preceding year.
c) Nominations for election to the Officers must be made by members of the Association in writing before the commencement of the meeting.
d) The quorum at the AGM shall be one third of the members.
General and special general meeting
The Forum may at any time call a general or a special general meeting stating the business to be discussed. A special meeting may also be called by the Secretary if a written request is received from at least 7 members. At least 14 days’ notice shall be given for special general meetings.
a) All monies raised by or on behalf of the Forum shall be applied to further the objects of the Association and for no other purpose.
b) The funds of the Forum including all donations, contributions and bequests shall be paid into an account operated by the Treasurer.
c) All cheques drawn on the account must be signed by two Officers and must be approved by the Forum.
d) The Forum shall comply with the obligations for trustees under the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment of modification of the Act) with regard to:
i. The keeping of accounting records
ii. The preparation of annual statements of account
iii. The auditing or independent examination of the statements of account.
Amendments to the Constitution
Any amendment to the constitution shall require the approval of a two-thirds majority of those present and voting at the General Meeting at which it is discussed. Any resolution for the amendment of the constitution must be received by the Secretary at least 21 days before the meeting at which the resolution is to be brought forward.
a) The Forum may be dissolved at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose and must be advertised 14 days before the meeting.
b) Such proposals to dissolve the Forum shall take effect only if agreed by a two-thirds majority of members present and voting at the meeting.
c) Surplus funds of the Forum, if it is dissolved, shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institution or voluntary organisation having similar objects as the members of the Forum may determine or failing that shall be applied for some other charitable purpose.
The duration of the Burslem Neighbourhood Forum is 5 years from the approval date of 20th December 2019.
Notes – The Act sets out the 5 year life of a forum from the designation date. It could continue in a different guise after this time, but it would cease to be the neighbourhood planning body.