Forward Strategy Group
The Forward Strategy Group is a relatively informal advisory committee or “think tank” which conducts research for the Parish Council, so that the PC can then make better informed decisions.
How did the FSG come about?
At a PC meeting in May 2017, we were discussing the housing needs of the village, and came to realise that there was not enough time in a regular PC meeting to discuss things in sufficient depth. It was unanimously agreed therefore that we should set up a “Housing Group” to look into all the issues concerned and report back.
In November of the same year, it became clear that housing was not the only issue that needed wide-ranging research, and so the remit was broadened and the name changed to the Forward Strategy Group. The potential need for a community shop and a new pavilion were the other two main issues on the agenda of the FSG.
What is it?
The FSG is technically an advisory committee. The difference between a sub-committee and an advisory committee is that the former has executive powers (it can do stuff) and is subject to all the same regulations (agenda published in advance, public access, formal minutes etc) as the regular PC, whereas the latter is merely a discussion group with no executive powers. Only the PC can take actions, informed by the FSG.
An advisory committee can also include non-councillor members, does not have to hold its meetings in public, and does not have to publish minutes. As it happens, the FSG does minute meetings, and circulates these to the PC. In the interests of transparency, it has was decided in June that we would set up this page on the PC section of the website and publish future meeting reports here as well.
Role in Community Shop
The role of the FSG in the setting up of a community shop should also be clarified. It was the FSG that identified the need to be prepared in the event that the shop and/or pubs should cease trading, and the FSG organised the public survey about this in March on behalf of the PC. Any community enterprise that comes about however would not be run either by the PC or by the FSG. The first stage in determining the shape of any community enterprise is an independent Steering Group, which will eventually turn into a formally constituted Management Committee, answerable directly to the community.
As stated above, although the FSG was set up by the PC and reports back to it, it can and does include members who are not councillors. The initial members were Graham Gleed (chair), Sue Hembrow, David House, Sara Sollis, and Nick Sloan. Heather Venn and Gill Slattery were then invited to join, though Heather withdrew after a couple of meetings. As of July 2018 and the setting up of the Heart of the Village group, Graham stepped down as chair and Gill Slattery was elected in his place.
The ongoing membership depends very much on the issues that come before the group. The idea is to invite those who have an interest or expertise in whatever is being discussed.
Future of the Forward Strategy Group
The immediate reasons for setting up the group have now mostly turned into projects with a momentum of their own, and so the need for regular meetings has abated. The principle however remains as valid as before: whenever the PC identifies a problem that needs more thought or research than there is time for at a regular PC meeting, it can toss the bone to the FSG, and the FSG can meet to gnaw on it.
Minutes of meetings
[This page replaces the Future Planning page which is now archived here]