The Terms of Reference set out how the Town Board is organised.
Terms of Reference – Crewe Town Board
1. Key Objectives of the Crewe Town Board
The primary objective of the town board is to provide oversight and scrutiny of the Town Investment Plan and the subsequent Town Deal for Crewe.
The role of the Board is advisory to Cheshire East Council and it is to:
• Develop an evidenced based Town Investment Plan
• Develop a clear programme of interventions
• Provide oversight and scrutiny of this programme, and
• Coordinate resources and influence stakeholders
In addition, the Board will:
• Build on the Crewe regeneration framework and the town investment plan to inform a vision and strategy to secure the long term economic, physical, environmental, cultural, and social development of Crewe.
• Inform an action plan, which includes the short and medium-term actions required to deliver the Vision and Strategy
• Inform any key investment and funding decision to be taken by any individual stakeholder in the town
2. Main responsibilities of the Crewe Town Board
• Inform the long-term vision, strategy and plan for Crewe
• Review and advise on any partner strategies and plans that relate to economic, physical and social development in Crewe.
• Consider and advise on funding applications that support the key objectives of the Board
• Influence new proposals so that they maximise their contribution to the key objectives of the Board.
• Influence the development and delivery of sub-regional and national policies and programmes that have a bearing on the key objectives.
• Work with partners to promote and market the town to residents, partners, businesses, inward investors and visitors (existing and potential)
• Build and maintain strong effective relationships with key local, sub-regional and national stakeholders to help secure further investment and ensure a positive impression of the town.
• Ensure appropriate engagement arrangements are in place with all stakeholders
• Specifically, to ensure the voice of all groups is fed into the vision and its strategy and delivery e.g., young people, vulnerable groups, people from ethnic minority backgrounds (current govt guidance, see: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/style-guide/writing-about-ethnicity).
3.1 The focus of the Board will be on the urban areas of Crewe. However, in some instances it may be appropriate to consider Crewe as having a wider economic geography extending across south Cheshire and/or the CW postcodes.
3.2 The Board’s remit shall encompass oversight of the economic, physical, environmental and social development of Crewe. For purposes of clarity this should include the following:
Physical development including buildings and infrastructure
The retention and creation of jobs and increased productivity through Crewe’s employers
The skills, education, aptitudes, and experiences of people that live or work in Crewe
The physical built and green environment of Crewe
The public health and broader welfare of Crewe’s residents.
4.1. The Board will comprise up to 17 members, reflecting the different types of stakeholders required to support effective working whilst representing the different interests of the town. These will include the MP for Crewe & Nantwich and representatives from Cheshire East Council, Crewe Town Council and Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership.
4.2. Organisations represented on the Board will determine and review their own appointments in accordance with their internal arrangements.
4.3. Individual members of the Board will be responsible for the induction of new members as appropriate.
5. Chair and Vice Chair
5.1. The Chair and Vice-Chair will, unless otherwise agreed, be elected for a period of three years but this will be reviewed annually by the Board.
5.2. The annual review by the Board for the Chair and Vice Chair review will follow this process:
5.2.1. The current Chair will email the Board on an annual review basis to ask if anyone wishes to put themselves forward as Chair or Vice Chair and if the current elected representatives are happy to continue in their roles.
5.2.2. Should further nominations be received for either positions, this will result in an anonymous vote by the Board conducted by either the current Chair or Vice-Chair, dependant on the role being considered.
5.2.3. The Chair or Vice-Chair will collate the votes and communicate the results.
5.2.4. The Chair or Vice-Chair elected will take up their position upon announcement of the outcome.
5.3. The Chair should normally be a private sector representative.
5.4. The Vice-Chair may be from any sector.
5.5. If the Chair resigns or is otherwise unable to continue in office, the Vice-Chair will perform the functions of the Chair until the Board has elected a new Chair.
5.6. Similarly, if the Vice-Chair is unable to continue in office, the Chair will prompt an election for a new Vice-Chair.
6. Lead Authority and Accountable Body Arrangements
6.1. Cheshire East Council will be the Lead Authority and will carry out the role of Accountable Body for the Towns Fund.
6.2. Cheshire East Council will take responsibility for ensuring that decisions are made by the Town Deal Board in accordance with good governance principles.
6.3. The Board will provide an annual update to the accountable body on the work of the Board and progress that is being made by projects.
7.1. Cheshire East Council will provide secretariat support for the meetings of the Board.
7.2. The Executive Director of Place or the Director of Growth and Enterprise of Cheshire East Council will act as Secretary of the Board for the purpose of co-ordinating advice to the Board.
7.3. The Head of Democratic Services and Governance of Cheshire East Council will be responsible for providing secretariat support for the Board.
7.4. The Director of Finance and Customer Service, as Section 151 Officer, will sign off project business cases and summaries to be submitted to the government for projects finial assessments.
7.5. The S151 officer will also provide government with a comprehensive set of data relating to each Town Deal project, including both total and forecast spend, and output metrics in line with the Towns Fund guidance Agendas and reports will be published at least five clear working days in advance of a meeting and sent to all members of the Board.
7.6. Agendas, reports and minutes will be published on the Council’s website, and will be publicly accessible documents, subject to the requirements of confidentiality.
8. Board Meetings
8.1. To be quorate, two thirds of members must be present, of which two must be from the private sector. No decisions may be taken by the Board if a meeting is inquorate.
8.2. Substitute members at a meeting will not be permitted NOTE – substitutes do not provide good continuity of oversight and do not demonstrate best practice as substitution is habit forming.
8.3. Meetings are to be held at least four times per year.
8.4. Minutes of the meeting will focus on actions rather than provide a record of all discussion points
8.5. The Board may invite appropriate organisations/individuals to give presentations on priority issues
8.6. At every meeting, the Chair will confirm: all decisions taken; actions agreed; and media messages.
8.7. Where a decision is required, the Board will try to reach a consensus view. Where this is not possible, there will be a vote. Each member of the Board will have one vote and matters will be determined by a simple majority of those present at the meeting. In the case of an equality of voting, the Chair shall have a second or casting vote.
8.8. A matter needing board approval can be considered by exception by correspondence if the matter is time critical. Most of the Board will have to approve the matter and copies of emails confirming the position and any comments will be kept by the Secretariat. The matter will then need to be formally ratified at the next board meeting and minuted.
8.9. The Board will make its governance structures, profiles on key stakeholders, meeting agendas and minutes (in accordance with the Local Government Act 1972) evidence and any supporting documents for Town Investment Plans publicly available (e.g. through the website of Cheshire East Council).
8.10. Where is it necessary for a matter to be dealt with in confidence, all relevant papers will be marked as confidential and shall not be disclosed outside the Board.
9. Declarations of Interest and Conduct of Members of the Board
9.1. Members must declare a personal, pecuniary, prejudicial or other interest in any matter under discussion at a meeting and this must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
9.2. Declaration includes stating the nature of the interest.
9.3. Where a pecuniary or prejudicial interest is declared, the member in question must absent themselves from the meeting for that item and take no part in the discussion or voting.
9.4. Elected members of Cheshire East Council who sit on the Board are bound by the Council’s Member Code of Conduct.
9.5. The Board will establish a register of interests to be completed by all members of the Board. The register will be maintained by the Lead Authority.
9.6. All members of the Board are expected to adhere to the Nolan Principles: The Seven Principles of Public Life:
10. Changes to the Terms of Reference
10.1. These terms of reference will be reviewed annually or sooner if deemed appropriate.
10.2. Any changes to the terms of reference must be approved by a majority of the Board’s membership.
Annex 1 : Board structure and membership
The number of positions on any board has to balance the need for operational efficiency in considering issues and taking decisions, with the need to be inclusive of a wider range of interests. Given that Crewe Town Board’s remit is principally advisory, rather than decision-making, and that development of Crewe covers such a wide range of issues, the Board has been established with 15 ‘fixed’ positions.
The Board comprises the following mix types of members:
Sectoral (5)- to address requirements of the Towns fund requirements and to ensure that key strategic decision-makers are well-placed to advise and act upon the advice of the Board.
Thematic (7) – to ensure that all key issues relating to Crewe’s functioning as a ‘place’ are considered, with a key focus on how these impact on its people, with relevant professional inputs from a range of local organisations (may be public, private or voluntary sector).
Skills-based (5) – to ensure it is utilising the broader skills/knowledge of the local business community. This should include the Chair of the Board.
In addition, officers from relevant organisations will also be invited to attend Board meetings as advisers, where appropriate.
The Board therefore comprises
Category A – Sectoral
1. Member of Parliament
2. Cheshire East Council: Elected Cabinet Member
3. Crewe Town Council: Leader
4. South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry
5. Cheshire & Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership
Category B – Thematic Representatives from
6. Education & Skills
7. Environment, housing, infrastructure and transport
9. Sport and Leisure
11. Local community
12. Young people
Category C – Business/Commercial
Up to five individuals with skills from industry such as commercial operations, marketing, property, retail and hospitality.