The Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum Board have agreed an Engagement report on the current progress of the plan.
Comments on the Engagement Report are welcome, click here to comment.
Part 1 – Introduction
1.1 Neighbourhood planning was introduced in 2011 through the Localism Act which gives local communities the ‘right’ to prepare a neighbourhood plan.
1.2 Neighbourhood planning allows residents and business to have a greater say on the planning of their area, through the preparation of a neighbourhood plan. A good neighbourhood plan will do the following:
- reflect the issues of interest and concern to local people
- find local solutions to local issues
- make a difference locally
- contain robust planning policies that will help determine planning applications
- include (secondary) community projects that are important to local people
1.3 Since 2012, neighbourhood plans have been successfully prepared for all types of communities around the country. However, this success has been less observed in neighbourhoods like Kirkstall, which lie close to a city centre and display a number of inner-city characteristics. Interestingly, there has been an exception to this in Leeds, where a number of neighbourhoods with some similar characteristics have been successfully preparing neighbourhood plans, such as Hyde Park and Little Woodhouse.
1.4 A neighbourhood plan can cover a wide variety of issues or only a few. That is a decision for the local community and will be led by the results of engagement, providing a ‘steer’ at the early stages of plan preparation. That is why this document is so important.
1.5 Of critical importance to the preparation of a neighbourhood plan is an awareness of the ‘basic conditions’ (see Appendix 1). These essentially outline the parameters of a neighbourhood plan, which in ‘a nutshell’ are general conformity with local strategic policies (that is, the Council’s planning policies within the Adopted Local Plan) and general conformity with national planning policies (the planning policies set out by Government that apply to all areas of England, referred to as the National Planning Policy Framework).
1.6 It is also important to be aware of the question that Kirkstall residents will be asked at Referendum, when local people will be asked to support or reject the neighbourhood plan. The question will be:
‘Do you want Leeds City Council to use the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Plan to help determine planning applications in the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area’
1.7 Anyone who lives in this area and is on the electoral role will have a vote at the Referendum to decide whether the plan should be agreed or not.
Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area
1.8 The Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area was designated on 20th November 2015 and broadly covers the area of the Kirkstall ward (see Appendix 2).
1.9 The neighbourhood area is extensive and varied with clearly defined boundaries. It is, in size terms, one of the largest neighbourhood areas in the country and includes a wide range of residential properties, extensive areas of greenspace, retail, main transport connections, employment uses and numerous leisure attractions (see ‘About Kirkstall’).
Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum
1.10 Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum was initially designated on 20th November 2015. The forum was re-designated on 3rd February 2021 and has 261 members. The board is made up of 12 members and is responsible for helping to deliver the neighbourhood plan and for the maintenance of the website (LINK).
1.11 Within the forum membership there is a wide variety skills and experiences that will help to drive the neighbourhood plan forward, with numerous members also involved in a wide range of effective local organisations.
Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum Constitution
1.12 The constitution for the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum (Appendix 3) sets out the purpose of the forum, who can be a member and how it will operate.
1.13 The constitution outlines the main purpose of the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum, which is to undertake the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Kirkstall that seeks to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area for the benefit of anyone who lives, works, studies or carries out business within this area.
About the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area
1.14 The designated Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area (KNA) is broadly the same as the area covered by Leeds City Council’s Kirkstall Ward. It is bordered by the inner-city Hyde Park area in the southeast, Headingley and Weetwood to the east, and Horsforth and the Leeds Ring Road to the northwest and north. The River Aire forms most of the western and southwestern boundary. The A65 trunk road runs through the KNA. It follows a similar route to the river, running between approximately 50m and 300m to its northeast.
1.15 Kirkstall Ward is not one of the most deprived wards in Leeds, but statistically, most indicators of deprivation suggest that it is less affluent than the average for the city. The population of Kirkstall Ward at the 2011 Census was 21,709. In March 2021, the number of registered electors within the Ward was 16,675. Housing in the area is a mixture of owner-occupied homes, social housing and privately rented properties. Terraced and semi-detached houses are well represented, along with a smaller number of detached properties, tower blocks, residential conversions and recently built apartment blocks.
1.16 Most of the historic community of Kirkstall lies within the KNA boundary. A small part of the area known as Kirkstall lies on the south-western bank of the river: this is not included within KNA. Within the KNA area, the district known as Kirkstall contains a large Morrisons supermarket, which attracts customers and traffic from a wide area, and a range of other retail outlets, mainly national chains in two shopping precincts. The Kirkstall Leisure Centre, containing two swimming pools and other sports facilities, is also located in this area.
1.17 At the crossroads on the A65 known as Kirkstall Lights, generally seen by residents as the centre of Kirkstall, a major building project is under way. The former site of the Kirkstall District Centre, built in the 1970s to house a supermarket and associated shopping parade, is being redeveloped as a residential complex, supported by a few retail outlets. Current plans envisage that building work will be completed in 2023.
1.18 Kirkstall’s best-known landmark is the ruined Cistercian Abbey and the surrounding Abbey Grounds, parkland that extends over both sides of the A65 and includes a large section of the river bank. Every year in July, the Abbey and Grounds host the Kirkstall Festival. This has now been running for 40 years. Attracting around 25,000 visitors annually, it is one of the largest community festivals in Leeds. Across the road from the Abbey is the Abbey House Museum, run by Leeds City Council’s Museum Service.
1.19 Major development is in progress at the site of the former Kirkstall Forge, on the western edge of Kirkstall between the A65 and the river. Kirkstall Forge may have been the world’s longest continuously operating industrial facility: a forge existed here from the Middle Ages to the early years of the current century. The site is now being developed with a mixture of residential and commercial buildings: part of the complex is the new Kirkstall Forge railway station on the line between Leeds and Bradford Forster Square.
1.20 On the valley floor between the A65 and the river is approximately 200 acres of woodland and agricultural land. The agricultural land is being farmed by Kirkstall Valley Development Trust, an organisation established to develop the area in a sustainable way that benefits the community. Elsewhere on the land are two dilapidated former mill buildings, currently owned by Leeds City Council. KVDT is seeking to secure maximum community benefit from any use that these buildings can be put to. A particular strength of many neighbourhoods in KNA is the number of third sector, voluntary and community groups that are active in the area. KVDT is one such, and has led efforts in the Kirkstall Ward to deliver material assistance and other support to people in need during the pandemic. Another body, Kirkstall Valley Community Association, runs the Kirkstall Festival and supports a range of initiatives to enhance the public environment, like the Kirkstall In Bloom gardening group. There is also a group called OWLS (Older Wiser Local Seniors) who offer support to older people in the Kirkstall and Burley areas. Churches throughout the KNA actively support their communities and have been an especially important resource during the Covid emergency – notably St Stephen’s in Kirkstall, St Matthias’ in Burley and St Mary’s and St Andrews in the Hawksworth and West Park areas.
1.21 Three primary schools serve the Kirkstall community – Beecroft Primary School, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School and Kirkstall St Stephen’s C of E Primary School.
1.22 The south-eastern end of the KNA is the part of the district of Burley lying to the west of the Leeds-Harrogate railway line. Most of this area is residential, mainly older housing dating from the late 19th and early 20th century. A number of retail businesses and leisure facilities are located along the A65, including the Cardigan Fields development (IMAX cinema, gym, trampoline park and hospitality outlets) together with some small-scale industrial units.
1.23 Burley St Matthias C of E Primary School and Kirkstall Valley Primary School are located in the Burley area.
1.24 Queenswood Drive runs for approximately 2km in a roughly northwest-southeast direction, in the eastern part of the KNA. Residential streets run off both sides of Queenswood Drive, for most of its length. Beyond the housing on the north-eastern side of Queenswood Drive lies the border of the KNA, and beyond that, the open space of Beckett Park. A few streets and blocks of flats on the north-eastern side of Queenswood Drive are outside the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area: these have been designated as part of the Headingley neighbourhood.
1.25 At the northern end of the designated area, adjacent to the A6120 Ring Road, lies the southwestern part of the community known as West Park. (The majority of the West Park area belongs to Weetwood ward and is outside the KNA.) These are predominantly residential districts: some streets originally laid out and built for owner-occupation, others originally built as council housing – the Moor Grange estate and the streets known as The Spens. A number of small retail businesses are clustered around the junction of Butcher Hill and Spen Lane, on the eastern edge of the Moor Grange estate. Abbey Grange Church of England Academy, the only high school in KNA, is located adjacent to the Moor Grange Estate.
1.26 Facing the Ring Road are two tower blocks – Clayton Grange and Clayton Court. These have undergone a major refurbishment in recent years.
1.27 A neighbourhood network called STEP (Supporting the Elderly People) supports older people in West Park and in the housing at the northern end of Queenswood Drive.
1.28 The Hawksworth estate was originally built as council housing in the 1920s, and is now a mixture of social housing, owner-occupied homes and privately rented properties, lying to the northwest of Kirkstall and extending to Hawksworth Wood, which forms the north-western border of the KNA. HAVA (Hawksworth, Abbeydales and Vespers Area) supports community projects in the Hawksworth area. A group called HOPS (Hawksworth Older People’s Support) offers assistance and support to older people here.
1.29 Hawksworth Wood Primary School is located on the Hawksworth Estate.
1.30 Just outside the KNA boundary, but significant in terms of local impact, is Headingley Stadium, the home of Leeds Rhinos (Rugby League), Leeds Carnegie (Rugby Union) and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. This is of course a world-famous sports venue, and does much to put northwest Leeds ‘on the map,’ but KNA residents can be seriously inconvenienced by traffic management problems and anti-social behaviour arising from stadium events.
Part 2 – Engagement
The Importance of engagement
2.1 Neighbourhood planning is all about ‘bottom-up’ planning, so the engagement that is undertaken during the preparation of the plan is one of the most important stages in the plan-making process. It is essential that local people feel that the plan that they will be asked to vote on at Referendum covers the issues that they think are important, but also that it is a plan that they feel that they have had an involvement in.
2.2 As well as setting out the issues of interest and concern in Kirkstall, the engagement undertaken by the forum has also an opportunity to raise awareness that a neighbourhood plan is being prepared and to encourage new members to join the forum.
2.3 Over 10 years ago local residents worked with the Council, business and other organisations to prepare an action for Kirkstall, ‘The Kirkstall Vision’. This was an innovative document, prepared a number of years before neighbourhood planning was introduced but without the rigorous processes of formal consultations, examination and Referendum as required by neighbourhood planning. As such, the document did not achieve everything that it set out to achieve as the contents were ‘community actions’ rather than statutory planning policy. Nevertheless, it helped to deliver many community priorities but it also sets out a helpful background for the neighbourhood plan as many of the issues highlighted are still relevant today. The broad themes of the document (greenspace, design, highways, community, safety, community and environmental) support the 2018/19 engagement findings.
The issues highlighted in the report that are still relevant today include:
- The need for a central community venue/protection of community spaces
- A65 safety, amenity and attractiveness (reference to a “community boulevard”)
- Opportunity to celebrate key entrance points to Kirkstall
- Kirkstall-wide connectivity opportunities for walking and cycling
- Accessibility by bus within Kirkstall highlighted as poor
- Protection of green spaces (Village Green legislation highlighted as an opportunity)
- Opportunities highlighted to retrofit key buildings to make them more sustainable and attractive
- General concerns about crime and safety
2.4 The engagement undertaken during 2018/19 took place by extensive leafletting across the neighbourhood area. A large part of the neighbourhood area was covered, using a simple and inclusive SWOT-style survey (Appendix 4).
2.5 With the help of a grant from Locality, extensive engagement was undertaken across Kirkstall during 2018 and 2019 focussed around SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), referred to in the survey as ‘What are the 3 best things where you live?’, ‘What are the 3 worst things?’, ‘What should we guard against?’ and ‘What needs improvement?’. 3,855 SWOT forms were delivered across the neighbourhood area by forum members, with a potential 6,638 residents reached and 515 schoolchildren. This equates to a total reach of 7,153.
2.6 Business were also included in the SWOT survey, with forms delivered to 60 food outlets (5 forms for each), 4 pubs (40 forms for each),the Kirkstall Festival (300 forms) and the Deli Market (300 forms over 2 markets).
2.7 The main focus of the SWOT engagement involved delivering the survey sheet to households and businesses across the Kirkstall Neighbo8rhood Area. This relied on the return of pre-paid forms, with 489 forms were returned, a high level of returns for a survey of this type.
2.8 For simplicity, the results conveniently split into ‘Issues of Concern’ and ‘Ideas for Improvement’:
‘Issues of Concern’
2.9 The ‘Issues of Concern’ identified during the engagement are split into ‘planning’ and non-planning’ matters. This is important as the primary purpose of a neighbourhood plan is to set out local planning policies that can be used to help determine planning applications (planning policy cannot control graffiti, litter, anti-social behaviour, for example). This does not mean that the ‘non-planning issues’ are not important, only that they need to be treated differently. They may form part of a ‘delivery plan’ for Kirkstall or simply be defined as ‘projects’ alongside the planning policies. It may also be that the neighbourhood forum seek to deliver community projects or lobby for other matters while the plan is being prepared.
|PLANNING ISSUES||NON-PLANNING ISSUES *possible policy exceptions, to be explored or opportunity for community projects in the neighbourhood plan|
|Development on green space||*Parking problems, congestion, speeding, rat-running|
|Cutting down trees||Litter/rubbish/dog mess/fly-tipping|
|Airport expansion/plane noise||Graffiti|
|Number of buy-to-let properties||Students and anti-social behaviour|
|Amount of traffic/congestion||Anti-social behaviour/Noise|
|Number of HMO’s/PBSA’s||Speeding|
|Under-utilised/lack of green space||Fear of crime|
|Climate change/loss of habitat||Regular road closures|
|Lack of community centre|
|Flood Risk/FAS||Poor public transport|
|Large house extensions||Messy unkempt housing/absentee landlords|
|Not enough affordable housing||*Air pollution|
|Not enough local shops, amenities and services||Too many leaflets|
|Empty/derelict buildings and sites (e.g. Kirkstall District Centre, St Ann’s Mills etc.)||Cold callers|
|Too many new developments/inappropriate developments||Poverty|
|Poor infrastructure for walking and cycling||Poor quality play parks|
|Too many hot food takeaways||Not enough family homes, too many HMO’s/rentals, transient population, scruffy properties, mess when students move.|
|Not enough play parks||Litter, fly-tipping.|
|Loss of family homes – spread of HMO’s/rentals/PBSA’s, students.||Problems caused by drugs/drug dealing.|
|Too many HFTs/fast food outlets.||No post office, no café, no corner shop, too many fast-food outlets/HFTs.|
|Too many large chains/big supermarkets – outcompeting independent units.|
‘Ideas for Improvement’
2.10 The ‘ideas for improvement’ are also split into to ‘planning’ and non-planning’ matters for the same reasons as outlined above. These could be important for establishing the Vision for Kirkstall as they are about what local people what the area to be.
|PLANNING SUGGESTIONS||NON-PLANNING SUGGESTIONS *possible policy exceptions, to be explored or opportunity for community projects in the neighbourhood plan|
|Speed calming measures to be included in new developments/infrastructure||Speed calming measures for existing infrastructure – cameras, speed bumps, one-way streets, Community Speed watch|
|New children’s play areas on major new developments||Better public transport|
|Mid-size supermarket for LS16||Better image for the area|
|Sufficient car parking in new developments||*More bridges (car & foot)|
|More riverside paths/connections/bridges|
|Improved access for disabled people||More community spirit/activities/action/street art|
|Safe and connected cycle and pedestrian routes (new development)||Improve children’s play areas|
|Development of vacant/derelict sites (include green space & appropriate infrastructure)||Reduce crime/antisocial behaviour, increased police presence|
|More affordable/sustainable housing, inc. social housing||Additional train stations, more trains from/to Kirkstall Forge|
|New community centre or civic centre||Parking – more double-yellow lines and restricted parking (permits for residents). Protect verges and pavements|
|More local services (banks, library, post office, healthcare, cafes) and shops – 20 minute neighbourhood||More free events and sport at parks|
|Dedicated site for Gypsies & Travellers||More youth activities|
|More youth hangout spaces||Match day parking – coning off streets|
|Match day parking – Park & Ride||Install renewable energy & retrofit insultation in existing properties|
|Inclusions of community gardens, orchards, nature strips, more hedging, public allotments etc. in new developments||Incentives to fill empty shop units|
|Include renewable energy and insultation etc. in new developments||Landlord tax, requirement to keep rental properties well maintained|
|Restriction on buy-to-let/HMO’s – Article 4?||Low traffic neighbourhood scheme, ‘play streets’|
|Car-free developments||More pedestrian crossings|
|Preserve historical/heritage buildings & features||Improve biodiversity in parks – nature strips, re-wilding, hedgerows, orchards. Also more footpaths, bollards to stop caravans/ASB vehicles|
|More trees, inc. street trees||More benches|
|Encourage use of porous/permeable surfaces||Better lighting|
|Limit number of hot food takeaways||More dog fouling signs, dog wardens|
|Protect, increase and improve green space||Neighbourhood Watch/Leedswatch CCTV|
|Better lighting and natural surveillance in developments||Newsletter|
|More electric vehicle charging points||Community volunteering (litter picking, graffiti removal etc.)|
|Protect and Improve Green areas (Abbey, River, Canal, various woods, nature reserve, street trees).||Clear drains|
|Protect and Improve heritage and history||More bins|
|Protect and improve local amenities||More free sports facilities|
|Limit hot food takeaways/fast food outlets.||Community cohesion – community centre/meeting place, funding.|
|Green space improvements – open up areas around the river and woods, more play areas, waste land improvements||access to organic/vegan food.|
|Improved riverside connections (connect Cardigan Fields to Kirkstall Abbey to the Forge)||Improvements for families|
|Better cycling and walking infrastructure|
|More independent food shops/restaurants/cafes|
What do people like about Kirkstall?
2.11 As with ‘ideas for improvement’, the results of this part of the survey are important as they assist in considering an appropriate Vision for Kirkstall, one that local people feel is relevant and can endorse, as well as being useful to assess which of the existing services/features/character/land uses within Kirkstall that people want to protect.
2.12 The first question people were asked in the survey was, “What are the three best things where you live?” This allowed participants to start the survey off in a positive mode and to help them think spatially about their neighbourhood.
|Environment/heritage (number of ‘likes’ 252) – Green spaces, trees, blue infrastructure, heritage/history, local walks.|
|Amenities (number of ‘likes’ 245) – Local amenities/facilities, shops, pubs.|
|Community (number of ‘likes’217) – Community spirit/friendliness, community projects and events, diversity, local art.|
|Links (number of ‘likes’ 171) – Proximity to City Centre, links to other areas, transport infrastructure.|
|Housing (number of ‘likes’ 122) – Affordable, spacious gardens, good schools, safe & quiet.|
Interpretating the results of the engagement
2.13 Engagement at this level is not scientific, nor is it intended to be. The results are intended to give a ‘steer’ to the neighbourhood plan and to help to agree a vision and a series of objectives for the plan. The results also help to consider the themes (or topic areas) that the neighbourhood plan could cover. Those listed above would be a good starting point for discussion.
2.14 This report will sit alongside the Kirkstall ‘Baseline Report’ which, together, will help determine the possible priorities for the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Plan. The ‘Baseline Report’ brings together more empirical evidence (statistics on population, employment, housing, the environment etc) and can be used as evidence to support the policies in the neighbourhood plan.
2.15 The engagement undertaken gives and excellent steer for the forum to progress with the next stages of plan preparation:
- Use the results of the engagement to help shape a Vision for Kirkstall
- From the Vision for Kirkstall, identify a series of objectives
- Split the objectives into ‘themes’ (this could be housing, design, greenspace etc)
- Identify policy and project options for each theme
- Identify the evidence available to support each policy option, or otherwise
- Agree preferred policies/ideas (based on evidence and the ‘basic conditions’)
- Prepare a ‘Policy Intentions Document’ to test and endorse the Vision for Kirkstall, objectives and emerging policies and projects with a representative group of local people.
Part 3 – Appendices
Appendix 1 – Neighbourhood Planning Basic Conditions
3.1 Only a draft Neighbourhood Plan or Order that meets each of a set of basic conditions can be put to a referendum and be made. The basic conditions are set out in paragraph 8(2) of Schedule 4B to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as applied to neighbourhood plans by section 38A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The basic conditions are:
- having regard to national policies and advice contained in guidance issued by the Secretary of State it is appropriate to make the order (or neighbourhood plan). Read more details.
- having special regard to the desirability of preserving any listed building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest that it possesses, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders. Read more details.
- having special regard to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of any conservation area, it is appropriate to make the order. This applies only to Orders. Read more details.
- the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) contributes to the achievement of sustainable development. Read more details.
- the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) is in general conformity with the strategic policies contained in the development plan for the area of the authority (or any part of that area). Read more details.
- the making of the order (or neighbourhood plan) does not breach, and is otherwise compatible with, EU obligations. Read more details.
- prescribed conditions are met in relation to the Order (or plan) and prescribed matters have been complied with in connection with the proposal for the order (or neighbourhood plan). Read more details.
Appendix 2 – Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area
Appendix 3 – Constitution of the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum
Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum – Written Constitution
- Name and Area
1.1 The name of the Forum shall be the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Forum.
1.2 The area covered by the Forum shall be the area as shown on the attached map, known as the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area.
2.0 Aims and Objectives
2.1 The aims and objectives of the Neighbourhood Forum are to:
a) Promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area;
b) Undertake the preparation of a Neighbourhood Plan for Kirkstall from inception through to adoption of the Plan;
c) Identify ways, in consultation with relevant authorities and organisations, of involving the whole community in the preparation of the Plan and gathering, analysing and presenting their views and opinions to ensure the Plan is as comprehensive and inclusive as possible;
d) Work in partnership with Leeds City Council in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan;
e) Work closely with other supporting organisations, including the voluntary sector, to ensure they play a key role in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan;
f) Take responsibility for planning, budgeting and monitoring expenditure on the production of the Neighbourhood Plan and associated projects, including identifying possible sources of funding;
g) Ensure the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Plan conforms with local and national planning policies;
h) Ensure the Forum shall not be affiliated to any political party or organisation;
i) Continue working for an improved Kirkstall and continue the Forum as deemed necessary beyond the adoption of the Neighbourhood Plan.
3.1 In pursuance of these aims and objectives, the Neighbourhood Forum will:
a) Produce a Neighbourhood Plan on behalf of the community within the designated boundary referred to in Section 1.2;
b) Maintain a Neighbourhood Forum website giving details of the Forum, including a map of the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area, the contact details of the Chair and Secretary, this Constitution and policies agreed by the Forum, notices, agendas and minutes of meetings;
c) Organise at least four Open (public) Meetings or other equivalent events per year, including an Annual General Meeting (AGM), to which all Forum members will be invited;
d) Raise money or apply for funding as necessary;
e) Employ paid staff or recruit volunteers;
f) Buy or rent premises/equipment/employ services as required;
g) Conduct research;
h) Carry out anything else within the law necessary to reach the Forum’s aims and objectives.
4.1 The Forum and its Board members aim to follow the ‘Nolan Principles’ of public life. That is, they aim to act with:
and seek to promote these values by leadership and example.
4.2 The Forum will comply with all relevant equality and anti‐discrimination legislation and shall not discriminate against any persons on grounds of race, nationality, gender, sexuality, religion, or age.
5.0 Annual General Meetings (AGM)
5.1 The first AGM will be held once the Forum has been officially designated. Information on elections to the Board (including how to stand) will be sent out to Forum members prior to the AGM, along with an agenda. Future AGM’s will be held within six months of the designated end of the financial year and will be called with at least 14 days notice.
5.2 The agenda for each AGM will include:
a) Consideration of any business announced in the AGM agenda;
b) Consideration of the Annual Report of work done by the Forum;
c) Election of a Board of no fewer than 7 and no more than 12 members who will work as described in this Constitution to run the business of the Forum and to make decisions on its behalf between AGM’s (see Section 6.0);
d) Submission and adoption of independently examined accounts for the Forum, consisting of a statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet for the previous financial year;
e) A review of the rules and policies of the Forum, including of this Constitution.
6.0 The Board
6.1 A Board will be appointed at the Forum’s AGM, which will be responsible for the day to day business of the Forum and will meet at least 6 times a year.
6.2 The Board will comprise no fewer than 7 and no more than 12 members, the majority of whom will be members of the Forum and be resident in the Neighbourhood Area.
6.3 The Board will appoint a Forum Chair, Secretary and Treasurer at its first meeting and thereafter at its first meeting after every AGM.
6.4 The Board may co-opt up to 3 additional members who will retire at each AGM.
6.5 The quorum for any Board meeting shall be at least 50% of the Board.
6.6 Notification of Board meetings and the agenda will be sent out at least 14 days before the date of the meeting to all Board members.
6.7 The Board may dismiss any Board member at a Board meeting at which this is an agenda item if two thirds of Board members present vote to do so.
6.8 Any Board member absent for three consecutive meetings will be deemed to be dismissed (even if apologies are given) and the next Board meeting will be informed of any dismissal.
7.0 Rules at Meetings
7.1 The following rules apply to all meetings, including Open Meetings, Board Meetings and the AGM:
a) Chairing – each meeting has a chair. The chair of the meeting ensures that the business of the meeting is transacted in an orderly and respectful way.
b) Decision Making – the Forum endeavours to make decisions by consensus, but in the case of a vote, decisions are made by simple majority of those present and entitled to vote. When the vote is tied, the chair of the meeting has a second, casting, vote.
c) Speaking – all members are entitled to speak at meetings and, at Open Meetings, all members of the public are entitled to speak. The chair of the meeting has the power to impose time limits on speeches.
d) Quora – the number of people who need to be present at Board meetings in order to carry out a vote is laid out in paragraph 6.5. There is no quorum for Open Meetings or the AGM.
8.1 Membership of the Forum shall be open to all residents living in the area, all those who work or carry out business in the area, and elected members for the area.
8.2 All applications for membership shall be made in writing to the Secretary of the Neighbourhood Forum.
8.3 Applications can be made by individuals, corporate bodies or voluntary groups. Corporate bodies or voluntary groups which are accepted into membership must designate an individual empowered to represent them. Applicants under this category must specify the body or group they represent, the nature of its work within the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area and the individual’s role with that body or group.
8.4 Members must be over 16 years of age, can attend Forum meetings and are eligible to vote on proposals put forward by the Forum.
8.5 There must be a minimum of 21 members made up of the following:
a) Individuals who live in the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area Boundary;
b) Individuals who work in the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area Boundary (whether for businesses carried on there or otherwise);
c) Individuals who are elected members of the City Council whose area falls within the Kirkstall Neighbourhood Area Boundary.
8.6 The initial list of members will be tabled at a founding Open Meeting of the Forum and deemed accepted if a majority of those voting at the meeting approve them.
8.7 Subsequent applications for membership will be tabled at any Open Meeting of the Forum and deemed accepted if approved by a simple majority of members present.
8.8 All members of the Forum have a duty to declare at application stage any financial interests or associations through party political or other organisations, employment or land ownership that could have an impact on their, or the Forums work.
8.9 Membership of any individual, corporate body or voluntary group can be terminated at an Open Meeting where this has been specified as an agenda item and two thirds of members present vote in favour of termination.
8.10 Any member who wishes to resign must provide the Secretary with written notice stating with either:
a) Immediate effect
b) A time frame deemed acceptable by the majority of members
8.11 The Chair will have the casting vote on matters relating to elections and resolutions, and all voting will be determined by a show of hands.
8.12 Non membership is open to individuals who do not meet the requirements in 8.1, but have an interest in assisting the Forum to achieve its aims and objectives.
8.13 There are no age restrictions on non-membership.
9.1 Any monies acquired by the Forum shall only be used to help achieve the aims and objectives of the Forum as set out in Section 2.0 of this Constitution.
9.2 The treasurer shall keep a proper account of the finances of the Forum, where necessary supported by receipts or invoices, and shall ensure that the Forum has a bank account in its own name.
9.3 All transactions in any format must, without exception, be authorised by at least two of the following three Board members – the Treasurer, Chair and Secretary.
10.1 Any complaints about the behaviour of a member of the Forum or sub-groups, in relation to the work undertaken shall be made in confidence, in writing to the Secretary unless the complaint is about the Secretary in which case it shall be made to the Chair.
10.2 The elected officers of the Forum will investigate the complaint and decide on action as appropriate. If the complaint concerns the officers themselves, other members of the forum will be appointed in their place.
10.3 Appeals will be held by three members of the Board who have not been involved in investigating the complaint or determining action.
11.0 Alteration of Constitution
11.1 This Constitution can only be changed at an AGM or SGM of the Forum. Any change to the Constitution requires a simple majority of votes of the members present and who are entitled to vote.
12.0 Disbanding of Forum
12.1 The Forum can only be disbanded at a duly advertised Special General Meeting called for the purpose of deciding whether to disband, to which all Forum members shall be invited. The decision to disband the Forum shall be taken if supported by two thirds of members at the Special General Meeting.
12.2 If the Forum is disbanded, any assets held in the name of the Forum (after payment of all debts and liabilities) will be disposed of to other organisations having similar objectives to those of the Forum as agreed by a majority of remaining members.
13.0 Extending life of Forum
13.1 The Forum is designated for a period of five years. However, the Forum can apply to have the designation renewed.
Appendix 4 – SWOT-style Survey
Are you a SWOT?
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a quick way to look for common ground. If you want us to get back to you then please give some contact details below, but you can take part anonymously if you wish. Please give your postcode and fill in the four boxes on the other side. Don’t worry if you can’t fill all the boxes, just put down the most important issues for you. We will not share your personal details with anybody else.
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Please give your postcode
|What are three best things where you live? |
|What are the three worst things?|
|What needs improvement? |
|What should we guard against|