A History of the Vanguard Board Steering Group

A history of Vanguard Board involvement with Uppingham Town Council.
1.      The Vanguard Board started life as the Shadow Vanguard Board in March 2016 when it was first suggested by Gareth Bradford of the Cities and Local Growth Unit.  Mr Bradford was the Civil Servant who had played a major role in the drafting of the Localism Act that gave rise to Neighbourhood Plans.  He subsequently became an advisor at No 10 Downing Street and visited Uppingham on at least two occasions in connection with our status as a Neighbourhood Plan Front Runner.  At the meeting in March 2016, of the Town Centre and Business Zones Plan (TC&BZ Plan) Working Group, when his suggestion was reported and debated also present were the CEO of the Local Enterprise Partnership and Tony Mathias (then Deputy Leader of Rutland County Council).  Uppingham Town Council was represented by the then Mayor Cllr Dave Ainslie who was one of the two authorised representatives of the Town Council for this group (the other was Cllr Cornelius Vincent-Enright). 

The intended purpose of the Shadow Vanguard Board initially was to be a representative steering group for the final construct and delivery of the TC&BZ Plan. source Town Centre and Business Zones Plan Working Group minutes dated March 22nd 2016.

2.     This meeting and suggestion for a Shadow Vanguard Board was reported to Uppingham Town Council at their meeting of 6th April 2016 and resolution 009/16 authorised Cllr Ainslie to expand his role as representative on TC&BZ Plan to also represent the Town Council on the “Shadow Vanguard Committee”.  source minutes of Uppingham Town Council Meeting held 6th April 2016.

3.     The appointment of Cllr Ainslie as representative on TC&BZ Plan was renewed at the Annual Meeting of Uppingham Town Council held on 18th May 2016.  source  Resolution 061/16 (g)

4.     The first meeting of the Vanguard Board didn’t actually take place until 8th June 2017 by which time the TC&BZ Plan was about to be published (this was done in August 2017). UTC had already decided in August 2016 to refresh the Neighbourhood Plan.   There was a period when the TC&BZ Plan Group and the refreshed Neighbourhood Plan Committee (as it then was) were both running concurrently and there is evidence of the NP Committee discussing how to incorporate the work done by the TC&BZ Plan Group into the NP refresh.  source minutes of Neighbourhood Plan Committee 25th July 2016.

5.     Following the inaugural meeting, the Vanguard Board seems not to have met again until 24th July 2018.  At that meeting an update was given on the progress of refreshing the UNP.  Concerns were raised over the continuing impasse and disagreements over the leadership of the UNP Working Group.  This resulted in Jane Lang (Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Group) joining the next Vanguard Board Meeting on 27th June 2019 to speak directly with the developers.  source minutes of Vanguard Board meeting of 27th June 2019.

6.     At the Vanguard Board meeting of 13th August 2020 Chris Merricks was being introduced as the new Chair of NPAG. source Vanguard Board Minutes 13th August 2020.

7.     Following the ending of the TC&BZ Plan Group there has not been any formal arrangement in place between the Vanguard Board and Uppingham Town Council for interactions, although as can be seen, there have been informal contacts through two different Chairs of NPAG.  This means that any feedback from the Vanguard Board to the Town Council (and vice versa) have been at “arm’s length”.
Recommendation:  Given that we are now at Regulation 16 with the refreshing of the Neighbourhood Plan there is unlikely to be a need for the Vanguard Board and the Town Council to interact in the immediate future.  This would therefore be a good time for the Town Council to decide if it would like to have a more formal tie up with the Vanguard Board, perhaps by once again suggesting a formal representative for when meetings resume in the future.

Paper provided to Uppingham Town Council By Cllr D Ainslie – August 2023