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Branches and Regions Handbook Introduction


A Guide to Functional Roles

August 2010







Minute Taker


Magazine Editor


Publicity Officer


Events/Meetings Officer


Sales Officer


Recruitment Officer


Planning Officer




Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Introduction This handbook has been provided as introduction to new Branch and Regional Officers to the duties they are to undertake. It will also be of use to other IWA officers and members as a point of reference and general guidance on IWA procedures. Branch Organisation Each branch must have a Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary but how branch functions are assigned to individuals is up to the Branch concerned (although the role of Chairman and Treasurer may not be combined see IWA Branch Byelaws) and a similar situation occurs at Region level (see IWA Region Byelaws). For the purposes of this handbook the following roles have been identified: Chairman Secretary Treasurer Minute Taker Magazine Editor Publicity Officer Events/Meetings Officer Sales Officer Recruitment Officer Planning Officer Webmaster Descriptions of each of these roles and their functions can be found in A Guide to Functional Roles later in this handbook. One Committee member may fill several roles and (except for the roles of Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, which are defined in the Byelaws) the job descriptions and role titles may be changed to suit local requirements and personnel. Legal Framework IWA is a Company Limited by Guarantee and not having a Share Capital and is therefore subject to the Companies Acts. It is also a Registered Charity and subject to the jurisdiction of the Charity Commissioners for England and Wales as well as being subject to the general Health & Safety, Accounting and other legislation that applies to all organisations. Anyone acting on behalf of the IWA must be aware of the various laws to which they are subject. To this end IWA issues various policy documents and guidance notes as part of the IWA Manual to ensure that officers have the information that helps them operate within the law. These will be referred to from within this Branches and Regions Handbook. IWA Objectives The stated purpose of IWA is as follows. • •

to advocate the conservation use maintenance and development of the inland waterways of the British Isles the works relating thereto and any craft or buildings or structures now or previously associated therewith. to advocate and promote the restoration and the maintenance in good condition of such waterways and associated craft and buildings and structures. 3

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

• •

to advocate and promote their fullest use for appropriate commercial and recreational purposes. To educate the public and other bodies about the use and benefits of such waterways whether by the production of leaflets, magazines, the conduct of seminars or workshops or such other means as the Association may from time to time determine. • To promote and commission research into inland waterways and publication of the results of such research. IWA Organisation The IWA is governed by the Board of Trustees who determine policy and delegate the authority for day to day decisions and operations to other parts of IWA, e.g. to Head Office, National Committees, Waterway Recovery Group,, Inland Waterways Association Festivals, Regions and Branches. The Role of Regions and Branches Regions and Branches are the local arms of IWA operations and are there to further IWA objectives in their own area. To a large extent the success of a local branch depends on the number and quality of active members. This, in turn, depends on the branch being active enough to encourage more members to take part. To succeed Regions and Branches need to be run in a professional manner by well motivated people. The Branches and Regions Handbook is a guide to achieving this.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Chairman The role of the Chairman is to preside over Committee Meetings, Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and Extraordinary General Meetings (AGMs). Before doing this the Chairman will have read the IWA Branch Byelaws and IWA Region Byelaws as appropriate to ensure that the meetings conform to the byelaws. Committee Meetings These are the regular meetings that decide the policy and operations of organisation. These meetings should address the following areas. Serving Members – This can be done in various ways (magazines/newsletters, talks, social events, raising members concerns with appropriate authorities or allowing members to become part of a waterways campaign). Recruiting New Members – to IWA nationally and locally. Representing IWA – at a local level by engaging with local waterway authorities and interest groups, with local government, local businesses, the press and public. See also Guidelines for Representatives. National Policy Coordination – This is the rolling out of national policies at a local level and may include a wide variety of policies such as waterway clean-up weekends, local gatherings to support national campaigns and formulating branch input to national policy making or information gathering. Reviewing the Threats and Opportunities for Local Waterways – by keeping in touch with what is happing on, and beside, local waterways. This includes the examination of appropriate planning applications. Local Campaigns – In many ways these are the life blood of a healthy local organisation. We know our members want to support our campaigning and we need to fulfil this need. Organising a Committee Meeting The Agenda – The branch should have a standard agenda format that can be varied to meet the current topics under consideration. Items should be numbered and the same numbering used in the minutes. A typical agenda will have the following items: 1 - Welcome and Apologies for absence. 2 – Minutes of previous meeting. 3 – Items of new business. 4 – Reports from officers 5+ other agenda items and at the end Any other business Date of next meeting 5

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Choosing Agenda Items It is important that the agenda covers all the important items without over running the time allotted to the meeting. It is also important that the whole meeting is not taken up by routine matters and that new ideas longer term issues can be discussed. For many of the routine items the time spent in the meeting can be minimised by the provision of documents before the meeting, email or postal discussions before the meeting or the use of sub-committees. Chairing the meeting The rules for conducting meetings are long established by tradition and best practice but this does not stop meetings descending into chaos if the chairman fails to enforce them. The rule for meeting attendees is that they should address their remarks, not to each other, but to the chairman. Although this rule is often not enforced, especially with smaller groups who known to one another, the chairman must be ready to remind the meeting of this convention when necessary. The Chairman’s objectives in the meeting are to: Welcome those attending and record apologies for absence; Get agreement to, and sign the minutes of the previous meeting (if any); Ensure that everyone has a chance to contribute; Keep the speakers to the subject that is being discussed; Prevent disagreements becoming personal attacks; Conduct votes when required. Summarise the decisions of the meeting for the participants and the minute taker; Assign action points wherever an item is to be progressed; Finish the meeting at the due time; Thank the participants for their attendance. Any Other Business This is usually the last item on the agenda so very little time can be devoted to them at the meeting, however, the points raised are often new ideas, problems or situations that should be given serious consideration. If the business can not be easily settled at this meeting someone can be assigned to investigate it further and/or it can be put on the agenda of the next meeting, or it can be assigned to a sub-committee, or it can be discussed in e-mail/correspondence. Leadership As well as chairing Committee Meetings, AGMs and EGMs the Chairman inevitably has to represent the IWA at various events and will be looked towards for leadership by his or her organisation. This may be a daunting prospect for many people but this does not mean they could not be a very good leader, indeed anyone who has no doubts about their leadership abilities is probably the wrong choice as a Chairman in IWA. If you have some management experience it may stand you in good stead so long as you remember the one huge difference with a voluntary organisation – you can’t hire or fire and no one has to do as you say. On the other hand “a volunteer is worth ten pressed men”. Instead of pondering your leadership abilities it is probably better to establish what needs to be done and get on and do it. This may seem easier said than done but don’t forget you have a committee to 6

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

help you. A leader is not required to have all the ideas or all the knowledge but does need to be able to work with other people. Public Speaking Some people are already confident public speakers but most of us feel a little (or a lot) nervous about public speaking and this is no bad thing – most leading actors are nervous before a performance – it just means we want to do well. Being prepared is half the battle. Know what you want to say, who your audience are and their likely area of interest. Some people like to have full notes of what they are going to say others prefer just some brief headings to keep the talk on track. In either case it is important that the talk sounds interesting and not like someone reading a shopping list. Enthusiasm is the key to an interesting speech, the personalities of the speakers may vary greatly but an enthusiast and knowledgeable speaker can make any subject interesting. Structuring your talk is important. The speech is made up of three parts; the introduction, the body and the summary (or ‘tell them what you are going to tell them’, ‘tell them’ and ‘tell them what you have told them’). The Body of the speech must also have a structure that is:Logical to the listener; Built on what went before; Relevant to the purpose of the talk. Using Visual Aids – ‘one picture is worth more than ten thousand words’, according to the ancient Chinese proverb, and it is still true today. What we see and hear together is more memorable than what we just hear. There are a wide variety of visual aid techniques available including PowerPoint presentations, projectors, flip charts, white boards, models, film and video. Which (if any) you choose to use will depend on:Your subject matter; The equipment that can be made available; The venue to be used; The expectations of your audience. Delivering the speech is the culmination of all your preparation but it is no good if the audience cannot hear you. When speaking without a microphone to an audience for the first time most speakers tend to be inaudible to those at the back. To get over this problem it is necessary to project the voice (rather than shouting) by speaking at a slightly higher pitch, a female voice has an advantage here, and by directing your voice to the people in the back row rather than those at the front. Avoiding Irritations to the audience that could distract form your message is also important. We all have some mannerisms that are part of our normal speech and personality and these are all fine unless the audience find them distracting. Avoid:Repeated meaningless words and phrases such as ‘err’, ‘you know’, ‘do you see’; Fiddling with notes, glasses, clothing, etc; Moving about pointlessly; Tapping your fingers or feet.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Secretary The role of the Secretary (unlike the roles of Chairman and Treasurer) has no specific duties assigned by IWA Branch Byelaws or IWA Region Byelaws but is normally responsible for the bulk of incoming and outgoing communications to the Branch or Region and for the keeping of non-financial records. Committee, AGM and EGM Minutes It is the responsibility of the chairman to ensure that minutes of all committee meetings are provided to Head Office in electronic form within twenty one days of the meeting, and that for AGMs and EGMs that the minutes and contact details of all members of the committee are provided within five weeks. These tasks are usually delegated to the Secretary as are:The production and distribution of meeting agenda; Note taking at meetings (although a separate note taker may be employed); The production and distribution of minutes to the members of the Committee and Head Office. Working with the Chairman Because there is no clear dividing line between the work of the Secretary and that of the chairman these two individuals must work closely together. For example a communication may be sent to either or both of these officers. It could be embarrassing if neither or both replied, especially if both replied and the answers were substantially different. It is important that an understanding of who does what is reached and that there is a good line of communication between the two when necessary. There will often be cases where they need to consult on day to day issues that arise between Committee meetings and when they take action, either individually or jointly, without consulting the Committee. These will normally be on routine or minor issues but in any case significant actions will be reported back to the Committee no later than the next meeting. The division of work between the Chairman and the Secretary is matter for them. Decisions will be based on personal preferences, skills, knowledge and inclination. Managing Branch Communications The Secretary will be familiar with IWA House Style Guide and will ensure that it is used by all branch officers in their public communications. He or she will also ensure that copies of correspondence to and from the branch are filed appropriately so that they can be referred to as and when required. This does not imply a central register or file of correspondence if there is a clear system for the distribution of documents between locations or officers. For example all correspondence relating to venues for talks and to speakers may be held by the Events/Meetings Officer.


Branches and Regions Handbook – November 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Treasurer The Treasurer is one of the three main officers (together with Chairman and Secretary) defined in the IWA Branch Bylaws and is a post that cannot be combined with the post of Chairman but can be combined with any other roles. The objectives of the Treasurer are to: • • • • •

Ensure all branch income and expenditure is recorded; Operate the branch bank account and reconcile it with the branch accounts; Record all branch assets; Ensure that branch finances are operated within the various legal and IWA policy restraints; Make the necessary returns of accounts and supporting documents to Head Office.

Although the objectives of the Treasurer are fairly static the details of how his or her work is performed are ever changing due to alterations of IWA policy, Charity and Company law and variations of taxation and financial regulations. To help the Treasurer in this ever changing situation IWA provides Guidelines for Branch Accounts and various forms for both Branch and Region use. The current guidelines provide all the information needed for the role of Treasurer and details on how income and expenditure should be allocated to account headings in returns to Head Office. These guidelines will be reissued to reflect changes as they occur, and Branches will be notified of such changes, it is therefore unnecessary, and potentially confusing, to repeat such details in this document.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Minute Taker This is a general guide for those taking notes at meetings and producing draft minutes in the appropriate format. Preparation Before the meeting starts make sure you have a copy of • the agenda and • a copy of the previous meeting minutes, if any. The Contents of Minutes Minutes should record the following details: • • • • • • • • • • •

The title of the meeting; The venue; The time the meeting started; Those present, Apologies for absence; A summary of matters discussed; The reasons for decisions that were made; Action points and to whom they were assigned; A list of any documents to be attached to the minutes; The time the meeting closed; Time , date and venue of the next meeting(s) .

Taking Notes If you are not familiar with the names of some, or many, of the people attending the meeting it may be a good idea to do a rough plan of the meeting room layout and write in names as people are introduced, but if you find you cannot identify a speaker during the meeting do not hesitate to ask the Chairman at the earliest opportunity. The Note Taker at meetings must have liberty of interrupting the meeting where necessary to ensure the accurate recording of proceedings. If you are not clear about the conclusions reached, or action points assigned, do not hesitate to ask the chairman immediately. You may not be the only one who is not clear on the point, perhaps just the first to be forced to clarify your thoughts. Format of Minutes If the meeting is already established follow the pattern already used for numbering items within the minutes and numbering action points (if required). The general style for layout, headings, paragraphs, etc, should also be followed. Minute Format Design If you need to set or revise a format for meeting minutes the following points need to be considered; 10

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Numbering of Items is essential so that easy reference can be made to items referred to in the meetings. The method of numbering may be varied to suit the type of meeting. The following systems may be considered; o Items numbered from 1 upwards at each meeting. Good for one off meetings but can cause confusion at regular meetings when several sets of minutes could be discussed. o Items numbered from 1 upwards from the start of a regular series of meetings or from the start of each year with a prefix of the year, e.g. the first item of the meeting in 2009 is numbered 09/1. o A numbering system that aligns with the Agenda Item numbers, e.g. items relating to agenda item 6 are numbered 6/1, 6/2, etc.

Control of Action Points also needs to be considered. For many meetings it may be sufficient to clearly mark action points in the body of the minutes. This is satisfactory so long as the points are sufficiently emphasised so that follow up review of them is not missed at the next meeting. For meetings that generate a lot of action points, or which have action points that are progressed over many meetings, it may be better to have a separate list of action points attached to the minutes. The action points can then be easily review at the next meeting and marked as completed, carried forward or dropped. A numbering system for action points should also be considered. Caution is required if action points are assigned by initials rather than by name. Duplicated initials often occur and can cause confusion.

Approval of Minutes Notes taken at meetings are formed into Draft Minutes in the appropriate format and are normally sent to the meeting Chairman for approval before circulation to meeting attendees and others on the meeting minutes circulation list. The minutes remain as “Draft” until they are approved at the next meeting. There should be an item on the meeting agenda for “Minutes of the Previous Meeting”. At this point the meeting may • Approve the minutes, • Approve the minutes subject to certain amendments, • Refuse to agree the minutes, a highly unusual step that would in effect nullify the entire previous meeting. Once the decision has been taken it should be recorded in the notes with particular attention to the precise words to be used for any amendments to previous minutes.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Magazine Editor The Benefits of a Magazine for a Branch or Region are: • Makes members feel valued • For the majority of members it is the only communication with IWA locally • Can encourage more local members to become activists • Can help to promote IWA with local organisations The main considerations in producing a magazine are as follows. Format can vary from simple A4 sheets printed in black and white to a booklet with full colour printing. The selection of format will have an effect on the look and feel of the magazine, its appeal to readers and its production costs. Contents are the most important part of the magazine and need to be informative and interesting. Local news must be a part of the contents, so a busy branch has the best chance of creating a good magazine, but all sorts of other items can be included such as:• Articles and Photographs • Puzzles and quizzes • Questionnaires • Editorial Comments • Jokes and cartoons • Book reviews • Advertising Style and Layout covers things such as the typeface font and size, the use of colour, the use of columns and images within a page. All these factors encourage recipients to read the magazine by the use of • An attractive front page, • headings and images to break up the text, • logos and column headings for regular features, • a consistent feel throughout the magazine. Make-up is the process gathering all the individual pages into a format that can be sent to the printer. What exactly you need to do for this process will depend on the formats that your printer will accept and what software (if any) you have to help in the process. Digital printing is now the norm and many printers will accept a variety of input formats. See also the later section on Desktop Publishing Software. Production of the final magazine includes the printing, collating, folding, stapling and enveloping. It is possible for you to do the whole of this yourself but it is very rarely worthwhile as modern printing and paper handling equipment usually means that a commercial printer can do the job quicker and often cheaper than can be achieved on standard office equipment, especially where colour printing is concerned. Dispatch, including labelling and postage, are the final tasks in publishing an edition of your magazine. The six copies are to be sent to Head Office to be distributed to national committee chairmen within IWA. Labels with the names and addresses of members of all selected branches can be obtained from the Membership Officer at HO. 12

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Branches are also encouraged to send a further six copies to the agent for the national libraries ( Publishers and distributors in the United Kingdom and Ireland have legal obligation to deposit published material in the six legal deposit libraries which collectively maintain the national published archive of the British Isles. The five Libraries which support the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries are:Bodleian Library, Oxford Cambridge University Library National Library of Scotland Library of Trinity College Dublin National Library of Wales Costs and Advertising will be an important consideration in making decisions about the magazine. Branches and Regions producing their own newsletters can currently claim Per Capita payments from Head Office towards the cost of producing and distributing their newsletters see Per Capita Payments. An attractive magazine can draw advertising from many waterway related businesses including boat builders, marinas, boat hire, pubs and restaurants. The magazine can also be used to promote IWA if these businesses are willing to have a few copies of the magazine available for their customers. Desktop Publishing Software Word Processors Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect and similar programs include formatting facilities (fonts, text alignment, paragraphing, etc.), spelling and grammar checkers as well as basic page layout facilities such as the inclusion of images. They will serve for the production of most simple magazines but if you require to flow text around complicated arrangements and make changes quickly you may want to consider an application designed specifically for publishing. Page Layout Programs These are desktop publishing programs that can handle book-length documents and allow for the integration of text and images on the page, easy manipulation of page elements, creation of artistic layouts and can be used for multi-page newsletters and magazines as well as books. Highend features include fine typographic controls and features used by publishing professionals. Some, but not all, of these packages are expensive and difficult to learn. Choosing your software If you are doing everything you want to do with your existing word processing program then there is no point in changing to different software. If on the other hand you find you are limited by layout constraints or find it cumbersome to flow page contents from one page to the next when they are to be printed on separate sheets (this can be a problem if, for example, you have sixteen A5 pages to be printed on four A4 sheets) then you need to look for a more suitable software package. A personal recommendation of such a package is always a good starting point but failing this you will find that there are many packages available, some at very little cost as shareware or even free. Many of these, and other more expensive applications, are available on-line and can be downloaded for a free trial. Before you buy make sure that: • it will run on your computer and operating system, • it provides all the facilities you need, • you are happy with the user interface (i.e. the way you can use the software), 13

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

it produces files in Portable Document Format (PDF) or in a range of output formats that are accepted by most printers – pdf is almost universal but tiff, jpg, eps and others may also be used.

Keeping it Interesting This is the constant challenge for all editors, amateur or professional and worldwide. Content is a major part of this, readers will pick up and read a magazine if they think it will be interesting. If however, they find the content was not as interesting as they expected they will probably not read very far and may be reluctant to read the next issue, no matter how attractive the cover and layout may be. Most editors can judge how interesting their readers find their magazine by the sales figures. We do not have this advantage and we have no firm idea of whether our magazine is avidly read or promptly “filed”. The search for relevant articles interestingly written is our constant task. Whatever articles we do receive can be made more attractive by; • the use of sub-headings to break-up the text, • the inclusion of appropriate images, • editorial introductions, e.g. “In this issue Joe Bloggs recalls the fascinating …”, • editorial tailpieces, e.g. “In our next issue Joe will ….”. The Front Cover We can learn a lot from commercially produced magazines but bear in mind that our objectives are not always the same as theirs. The front cover is case in point, for the commercial magazine visibility on the magazine stands is the primary motivation, we don’t have to compete for sales but we do have to entice our members to open and read our publication. Ideally the front cover should be; • Recognisable as being our usual local IWA magazine. This is usually addressed by a standard heading giving the publication name, the name of the branch and IWA logo. • Look different from other issues. Is achieved by an issue number and/or publication date but has more impact if accompanied by a different cover image. • Highlight the most interesting contents. This is the point most likely to be omitted by local IWA magazines but which is almost universal practice for commercial publishers Magazine Style The purpose of the magazine style is • To unify all sections of the magazine into a consistent whole – this is done by using common typefaces, font sizes, etc in paragraphs and headings. Any changes must occur for a clear purpose so that it does not look as though the magazine is made up from snippets cut from various sources. • To differentiate features within the consistent style of the magazine. Regular features may have distinctive headings, photographs or drawings that mark out to the reader that they have reached the particular feature. Similar techniques can be used to emphasise a one off feature. A good supply of Clip Art images is invaluable in this, but if you can find an artist among your members you may be able to produce some locally focussed images.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Relaunching the Magazine However good a magazine is, it can sometimes benefit from a change of look. Fashions change and even the best of formats become tarnished by years of constant use. You may consider if the time is right to give your publication a new look. The advantages of this are – • It encourages readers to look anew at the magazine, • It shows that the local IWA is innovative. The disadvantage is – • Some people will not like the new look (a lot of them will probably be the same people who did not like the ‘old’ look when it was first introduced). If you do have a relaunch avoid it being a half hearted affair. The things you should consider are the • page size (this is a fundamental change and needs careful consideration). • look of the front cover – essential for any relaunch. • name of the magazine. • arrangement of columns on pages. • fonts style and sizes. • use of colour. • order of the contents. • use of images. • The position of advertising.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Publicity Officer The functions of IWA Publicity There are many and various reasons for needing to publicise our organisation and our work, each of which will need a different approach according to the objective and the audience addressed. These functions can be put into the following broad categories. Campaigns : supporting local or national campaign objectives will normally require publicity before, at and after the event to get people to take part, draw attention to the event as it happens and to ensure that the event is widely reported. Regular Meetings and Events : open to the public are held by most branches and need to be publicised to increase awareness of waterways and IWA, and to increase attendance at these events. Waterway Education : making people and organisations aware of canals and rivers and how they can benefit individuals, the community and the environment. Raising IWA Profile : this is a public relations role aimed at increasing the knowledge of who we are and what we do, amongst the general public and other organisations. To do this we need to open up channels of communication with local government, businesses, individuals and other groups who could be helpful in advancing our cause. Planning Publicity In order to maximise the effectiveness of our publicity while minimising the costs the Publicity Officer needs to be aware of the local situation and the resources available. These can be categorised as follows;Local Media including newspapers, magazines, radio, television, websites, notice boards. National Media, as above, but likely to include the specialist waterway media and other niche media that may have an interest in a particular issue, e.g. Planning, heritage, walking, etc. Local Organisations who may be interested in talks or articles about waterways. These may include engineering societies, local history, ramblers, anglers, rowers, boat clubs, canoeists, or organisations with more general interests such as the Women’s Institute, Rotary Clubs etc. Policy Formers are the people or organisations that have an influence in decisions affecting waterways. These include not only the obvious candidates such as local authorities and navigation authorities but also the Environment Agency in their roles beyond navigation, Natural England, Regional Assemblies, Water Companies, MPs, businesses, voluntary organisations and many more. IWA Resources are available and include a range of leaflets, a small range of equipment that IWA branches and regions can borrow (including mobile display stands) intended to support the attendance at events and shows. There are also grants for boat trips and resources available for Wild Over Waterways (WOW)– see the sections at the end of the Officers’ Handbook. 16

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Having reviewed the communication channels available to us the next step is to review how they can be used to further the functions of IWA policy listed at the start of this section. Campaigns, - whether local or national, will normally need to be publicised in the local press and other media as appropriate. If it is an event that requires a good number of people to attend then an email or other communication to remind appropriate IWA members will also be required. Numbers may also be increased by contacting boat clubs or other local organisations. The effectiveness of any of these actions will to some extent be dependent on the relationships built with them previously (see Raising IWA Profile below). Regular Meetings and Events: open to the public should be published in the local press, IWA websites, other websites that carry local events and on local notice boards that are willing to carry the local branch programme. Notice boards in local libraries, boat clubs or waterway related businesses may offer this service. Waterway Education is a very wide category and will, to some extent, include almost anything that brings waterways to the attention of the public. More particularly it will include articles published (in print or electronically) or talks given to the general public either at IWA events or by IWA speakers at other events. To do this it is necessary to establish a source of IWA speakers who are willing to give such talks. Wild Over Waterways (WOW) is an important way of introducing the subject to children and should be considered as part of IWA events. Raising IWA Profile is a category that, in some degree, embraces all the others and that is the most strategic part of publicity. It is a process that can only be progressed over a long timescale and which depends on forming relationships with various people and organisations. We consider this in later paragraphs. How we make friends and influence people Influencing someone is not often achieved at one meeting and the greater the influence we wish to exert the longer the timetable is likely to be. It is true that there are the occasional instant conversions but these are the exceptions so it is better to plan for the long term and base our strategy on steady progress built on a firm basis. Press Releases Are the normal way of releasing information for publication to various news media and should follow the format of IWA national press releases and have the following elements:• A title that is clear, concise and to the point; • The story in a form that could be published, using quotes from named people to express opinions; • The name and contact details of the person to whom enquiries should be directed; • An explanation of the role of IWA – see a national IWA Press Release for an example; • Other background information as appropriate, e.g. the role of BW for non-waterway press; • Photographs or directions to the source of relevant photographs when these are available. The needs of the media will vary, for example while newspapers and magazines may be happy to take and print your story and pictures, television coverage will largely depend on cameras being present at the event. Some newspapers may also wish to send their own photographers. You will need to assess the likely appeal of your story and decide whether press releases both before and after the event are necessary. In case of doubt do both. 17

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Relationships with the press need some consideration. The waterways press are generally natural allies so make sure they get all your press releases and that photos are included whenever possible. The local media may not be “waterways aware” or sympathetic to the particular cause we are promoting so it is important to build up a relationship with them. To do this they need more than the occasional press release and a list of Branch Meetings, they need to hear from us on a regular basis. “Localising” a National Story is one way of more often getting IWA into the press, or of bringing IWA to the attention of the press if the story is not published. Doing this is a matter of finding a local angle to a national news item, for example “Local man helps to reopen canal” or “Council shuns annual canal cleanup”. Publicising Business as Usual is another way of improving our public awareness. AGMs provide a time for a review of achievements and of the challenges ahead. A punchy précis of the Chairman’s Report should provide a suitable piece for publication especial if it touches on the waterside environment or other issues of general interest. Such expressions of our policies and views need not be confined to AGMs but can be released as and when appropriate. Worthwhile Press Releases are what we want, which does not mean that only Press Releases that are published are worthwhile. Some news days are busy others are not; stories that would have been published yesterday may be spiked today. We need to make sure that all our Press Releases have some real substance so we become recognised as a regular source of interesting material. Public Relations The task of raising IWA’s profile and reputation in the eyes of the public means that we must address three different groups: The general public who need to be educated about waterways and who provide us with potential new members. Organisations that we need to influence and/or that we may work with in alliance. These will include national and local government, QANGOs, businesses, waterway organisations, other voluntary organisations with whom we may work. Opinion Formers are individuals who can be powerful allies or opponents, such as MPs, local leaders and other people in prominent positions who can help our cause. The methods of presenting IWA to these groups are limited only by our imagination and abilities so there can be no hard and fast rules, but instead we offer a few pointers to these tasks. Engaging with the public needs to be done based on a well thought out plan with a clear objective. We do not want to be an organisation that thrusts pieces of paper into the hands of passers-by. We want to start dialogues with individuals that will inform them about waterways and IWA, which may in the long-term lead them to IWA membership. The first things to decide is where are we going to meet our public and how are we going to attract their attention. The where and how go together because the venue will only be suitable for a certain range of activities. One of the main decisions is whether to create your own event or to attend an event that is already organised, for example a local or national show. The cost of attending events must be balanced by the expected advantages of the publicity. Sometimes the costs of having stands at an event 18

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

are offset by an income from sales. For more about running sales stands see “A Guide to Functional Roles : Sales Officer”. Whatever venue is chosen due regard must be given to the “footfall” i.e. the number of people that will pass your stand or exhibit, and to the “profile” of the people passing, e.g. if you are at a waterside location you will expect that a high number of people passing will have an interest in waterways. Your stand or exhibit must be something that will attract people to stop and look (having due regard for any competing attractions) and which can provide a start point to a conversation. It could be a model boat, a display of goods for sale or just a map of the waterways system. As a minimum requirement your display should include: • • • • •

IWA Logo A brief explanation of who we are A stock of current appropriate IWA leaflets (contact IWA HO for details of what is available) Membership forms Corporate clothing for those manning the stand is also preferable.

Starting a conversation with someone who has stopped at your stand requires a good starting question. Avoid asking “Can I help you” or a similar question that can easily be dismissed with the reply “No thank you”. Try to base your question on whatever the person is currently looking at. For example if they are looking at a map of the waterways system then ask “What waterway are you interested in?” or if they seem interested in an old view of the canal then ask “Do you know the history of this canal”. Avoid starting the conversation with the question “Do you have a boat” as it suggests that we are an organisation for boat owners only. See also IWA Officers Handbook - Recruitment Officer for more about recruiting new members. Engaging with other organisations is something we do for a range of reasons: To influence decisions – for example as members of user groups, or advisory bodies see Guidelines for Representatives; To work together with canal societies, boat clubs, navigation authorities or any other organisations that can assist our objectives. To keep a watching brief of the activities of an organisation which may have an impact on the waterways but is not yet at the point where we want to influence or cooperate with the body, In all these circumstances we will endeavour to present IWA as an expert, effective, experienced and resourceful voluntary organisation. Engaging with opinion formers is something IWA has done from its earliest days and has continued to the present day. Although Members of Parliament are not the only opinion formers they are a very important group in that they bridge the gap between local and national government and have a direct input into legislation. For that reason this section concentrates on engaging with MPs but can be applied to other opinion formers. The Parliamentary Waterways Group is a cross party group of MPs who have an interest in the waterways. Over the years their help has been invaluable to our cause. We need to encourage all MPs 19

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

to take a greater interest in waterways. One way of doing this is to encourage all our members to write to their MPs on waterway issues and to ask them to sign specific Early Day Motions that we support. Anyone writing to their own MP will get a reply and letters to MPs do make a difference. Introducing MPs to waterways is the first step to recruiting them as a supporter and ultimately as a members of IWA. There is no better time to do this than when they are first elected as a constituency MP and are first getting to know their patch. At this point an invitation to “see their constituency by boat” may have attractions. With more established MPs a trip on the water may also be welcomed if aligned to a suitable local issue. Organising a VIP boat trip demands a high standard of planning and execution. The first thing to consider is how many VIPs you are going to invite. It may seem a good idea to invite a number of leading council officers and/or elected leaders on the same trip but the danger with this is that they may all spend the time talking to each other and our message will be lost. The plan for the trip must ensure that the IWA message gets through to everyone. The type of boat used should offer a good outside and inside viewing area so the trip can take place in all weathers. Suitable catering facilities should also be available. A trip boat may be a suitable choice and grants are available to help Regions and Branches with the expense of hiring such a craft – see Boat Trips for IWA Campaigns. How long the trip lasts must depend on how long the VIP is willing to spend. One approach that has proved successful is to invite the MP for a whole day but to make it clear that he was free to leave at anytime and that transport would be available to take him back to his car. This overcomes the fear of being trapped on a boat with a lot of boring people, or finding that boating was not as enjoyable as expected. Once a VIP has accepted the invitation all the practical issues must be addressed so that IWA is seen as a competent and enthusiast organisation that is prepared for the unexpected. In particular thought must be given to the messages we want to convey and how they relate to the interests of the VIP.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Events/Meetings Officer The main work required of this role is to provide a programme of regular meetings for members and members of the public who may wish to attend. This role may be extended to include organising other events, such as visits, walks, trips etc. The purpose of these activities is: To engage members in local activities and communication within the branch or region, To educate IWA members and the public on the subject of waterways. Planning the meeting schedule Most local meetings are scheduled so that there are fewer meetings in the summer months when many people are on holiday. The exact dates and times are normally agreed by the local committee having regard to local circumstances. Very often a set time, day and venue are used for each meeting, e.g. 7.30pm on the second Wednesday of the month at the Social Club. This has the advantage that it is easy to remember the dates of meetings and fit meetings into ones schedule, although it has the disadvantage that for some members the day and/or venue will never be convenient. The choice of venue, or venues, is a particular problem for Branches that cover a wide geographical area. Having set the schedule of meetings and the venue (or venues) the next step is to fill the slots with an interesting and varied selection of events. The type of events you may consider include:Waterway Talks covering cruising, history, boats, crafts etc. for both UK and foreign waterways. Waterway Related Demonstrations are an extension to a pure talk and sometimes allow for some hands on audience participation. Areas covered include canal-ware painting, fender making and rope-work, songs of the waterways, etc. Non-waterway Local Talks can include local history, talks on local wildlife and nature reserves, local industries, etc. Miscellaneous Talks and Demonstrations include speakers who do not include anything waterways or locally related but who give interesting presentations. Local Visits are often available to places of interest that are not open to individual members of the public but which are open to organised groups. Locally Produced Activities include such things as quiz or games evenings and other types of meeting that do not depend on an outside speaker. It is a good idea to have such an item available in case a speaker should fail to arrive – thankfully a rare event but one that does happen. Budget Considerations The Events/Meetings Officer must have a budget, for speakers and other expenses, that is agreed by the Treasurer. It must also be clear as to what is included in the budget, e.g. is the cost of the venue included, and are any payments or contributions made at the meeting to defray expenses to be added to the budget? 21

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Payments to Speakers The fee that a speaker charges should be ascertained before booking the speaker and it should also be clear as to whether a speaker will expect travelling expenses in addition to the fee. Remember that travelling expenses can be higher than the speaker’s fee. Publicising the Programme Once the schedule is complete the meetings must be published, usually in the local IWA magazine, on a programme card, IWA website, and in the waterway and local press. Consult with the Publicity Officer and the Magazine Editor about this. Check all publicity to ensure it identifies it as coming from the Inland Waterways Association and appropriate region and branch together with;• Date, time and venue of each meeting, • The title and description of each talk, • Any charges or entry restrictions, • Contact details for further information. Finding Speakers There are various sources of speakers such as: Previous speakers who may give several different talks, Speakers recommended by other IWA branches and regions, Waterway Society and boat club recommended speakers, The Women’s Institute speakers list is very large and varied. Useful if you can get access to it, Web Searches can provide other lists and details of other speakers, including lists held by local authorities and other local organisations. Generally a local speaker who has been recommended is the best choice but there is not an inexhaustible supply of these and every new speaker must start somewhere. Booking Speakers Before booking a speaker it is a good idea to know what can be provided at the venue, either as part of its standard equipment or free from other local sources. It is also necessary to have an idea of the position and number of power points when discussing the use of any electrical equipment the speaker may require. The possession of a long extension cable may ease this type of problem. When the booking is made agree with the speaker, and confirm by letter or email, the following;• The fee and expenses that can be claimed; • The time, date and venue of the meeting; • The title and description of the talk. • The equipment that will be provided for the speaker. Also at this time or at sometime before the meeting you should:• Send details of travel to and location of the venue if this is required by the speaker; • Provide assistance with overnight accommodation if required; • Provide the speaker with the IWA contact name and telephone number, 22

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Ensure that a cheque for payment will be available at the meeting, unless other arrangements have been agreed.

Health & Safety For each venue used there must be a formal Risk Assessment – see Guidance on Risk Assessments For Branches and Regions On the day of the Meeting Ensure that:• All the necessary equipment is present and working at the venue, • That someone will arrive early at the venue to welcome the speaker and offer any assistance required, • That the speaker is provided with suitable refreshments and introduced to the appropriate people, • That the speaker is formally introduced to the audience, • That the speaker is thanked after the talk, • That the speaker is paid and assisted with any dismantling and packing. Other Events In additions to the regular programme of meetings and activities there will be occasions when other events will need to be held to support such things as:• Raising funds • Supporting IWA campaigns • Recruiting members • Promoting IWA and waterways. Although an event may concentrate on one particular aspect our other objectives should not be forgotten. For example a branch may run a social weekend at a marina with entertainment, games, food and a beer tent to raise funds. This may attract a good number of members and non-members who use the marina or who are based nearby but the fund raising effort will be increased if there is a display explaining how the money will be used to benefit the waterways. Such an event should also be used to promote IWA and is part of the process of recruiting new members. These events will normally involve all the local committee, as the roles of Treasurer, Magazine Editor, Publicity Officer, Sales Officer and others will contribute to the planning and operation of such an event.


Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Sales Officer The role of Sales Officer is only required if a Branch or Region decides it needs to sell goods. There are two main reasons why IWA sells goods. To promote IWA by attracting people to our shop window. People are comfortable with the idea of window shopping so are more likely to stop to examine goods for sale than to approach a display that has nothing to browse. Once people are looking at our goods we have a chance to talk to them about our cause. This opportunity for communication applies to our mail order and web shop as much as it does to national or local branch sales. To raise funds from the goods sold. Practical Considerations Before a decision is made to trade in any type of goods the following points need to be addressed. • • • • •

Capital required for the purchase of stock and any ancillary equipment needed to trade. Storage of trading stock and equipment. Accounting Procedures – see Guidelines for completing Branch Accounts for details of handling VAT and making returns to Head Office. Transport of goods between the storage place and the point of sale. Your Market i.e. what are you going to sell, to whom and where.

The Business Case As would be the case with any other enterprise, we should have a firm business case stating the costs and benefits of trading. This will address the practical considerations listed above and will demonstrate what return we will make from our investment. To do this you need to calculate the following – 1. Annual value of sales based on a realistic estimate of the money you expect to take at the “till”. 2. Average Mark Up on sales - that is the average percentage difference between the purchase and selling price of the goods. 3. Gross Profit on Sales is the total annual difference between the cost price and the selling price of goods sold based on the figures at 1 and 2 above. 4. The Cost of Sales i.e. the money spent on selling. This includes all cost related to sales such as, expenses claimed, lost and damaged stock, costs of sales stands, transport etc. 5. Net Profit or Loss i.e the amount at 3 minus 4. Once these purely financial calculations have been made it will then be necessary to consider whether trading contributes to meeting your objectives. The following issues should be considered – • How much would sales contribute to the promotion of IWA and/or the recruitment of new members? • Are there more cost effective ways of achieving your objectives? These decisions usually depend on having a clear set of objectives that go wider than the simple economics of sales. There are normally questions of promoting IWA and recruiting members (which are the subjects of separate functional roles) so it is only if sales are intended purely as a means of fund raising that they can be assessed only on the profits they will yield. 24

Branches and Regions Handbook – December 2008

Planning a Sales Stand There are various places where IWA can sell goods from local branch meetings to major exhibitions. The decision of where to trade is usually a local committee decision, as the roles of many different officers have a part to play, particularly as the combination of sales stands and promotion of IWA at events can be mutually beneficial. In any case the sales stand at public events should never be “purely” for sales, to meet the requirement to promote IWA there should at least be:• • •

Prominent display of the IWA logo; Information about the aims of IWA; Membership and other appropriate leaflets.

Where possible there should also be:• • •

Display panels on various aspects of IWA’s work; Display panels for any local initiatives; A map of the waterways system.

Selecting Stock for sales events Ideally the stock taken to any event should be targeted to interests the people attending that event. Consider also the number of children who may be attending and try to attract them with some appealing and affordable items, where children go their parents will usually follow. Regions and branches can buy stock from IWA or from any other supplier they choose. Displaying the goods However good the stock you have is, it will not attract customers unless it is properly displayed. This can be a particular problem when the basis of the display is a trestle, or similar, table. Goods displayed flat on these are only seen properly from a fairly close distance – especially in the case of books. What is needed is some form of support or shelving so that the display has a greater height. Although this increases the amount of equipment to be transported it can also considerably improve the impact of the display. The look of the display is also important so goods should be displayed in a neat and logical order with prices visible. Covers for tables that go close to the ground on the public side of the “counter” also improve the look of the display. Protection of stock The following dangers need to be considered:Damage during transit – plastic boxes or other suitable containers will help prevent this. Water Damage – from rain or damp from the ground seeping into the stock at outdoor venues can be prevented by groundsheets, clear plastic sheeting to cover counters and water proof storage containers. Wind damage at outdoor locations can sweep stock onto the ground thus soiling goods and ripping pages of books. Weights and counter covers can help. Handling damage can not be entirely prevented but give some thought to the positioning of the more valuable items and keep an eye on how they are handled by the public. If an item shows some signs of wear it might be a good idea to nominate it as an “examination copy” or test item in the hope of protecting more pristine items from damage. 25

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Theft of stock can not be entirely prevented either but some of the precautions mentioned under “Handling damage” can also help prevent stock theft. Theft of cash is a different matter and measures should be taken to minimise risks, for example:• Fixing tills or cash boxes to the counter, • Not leaving tills unattended, • Making arrangements for overnight storage of cash, • Banking money as soon as possible. Stock Control Every business buying and selling goods must pay attention to stock control. Too few items in stock can lead to missed sales but too many can mean:• capital that could be earning interest is tied up in stock, • some items may be superseded by newer products, • items may become completely unsalable. To control your stock effectively you need to know for each stocked item:• the quantity of the item in stock, • the cost price, • the number sold in the last period(s) or at the last events. With this information you can identify items that are slow sellers and decide whether the selling price should be reduced to clear the item. You can also identify lines that sell well and ensure that your stock is sufficient for future demand – remembering that the past is not always a good guide to the future. New products that have been widely advertised may sell well but sales may decline sharply afterwards. Although keeping basic stock control records will assist you in having the right goods in the right quantity it is not a substitute for understanding your products and the market into which you sell them. Keep an eye on the competition No trader can expect to sell much if someone round the corner is selling the same thing at half the price so obviously we need to be aware of what our competitors are doing, but there is a lot more valuable information we can get from them. Take some time off from selling to have a look at what else is happening in your market. Look at who is trading to see:• What is being sold at what prices? • Do their “shop fronts” look good? • Have they got good advertising ideas? • Are the attracting customers? If you find some good ideas from your competitors you can either “go one better” or just copy them, as demanded by time honoured business practice.


Branches and Regions Handbook – November 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Recruitment Officer The following notes are intended to assist branch and region officers and other members to help recruit new members. • Direct Debit is most cost effective way to manage membership • Direct Debit requires action to resign your membership • What are we selling? Membership of a well respected national waterways charity which works to ensure that existing waterways and their surroundings are conserved and maintained in the best possible condition and are developed sensibly to suit present and future needs and actively supports and promotes new waterways and waterway restoration. What are our selling points? • • • • •

IWA is managed and funded by its members - we are democratic IWA is independent and impartial - we are not in anyone's pocket IWA provides voluntary labour and equipment for restoration projects - e.g. wrg is part of IWA IWA gives financial aid and expert advice - we are talented and share our knowledge! Encourages the carriage of freight on suitable waterways - IWA is green

What makes us unique? • • • •

only membership charity fighting for inland waterways only waterways charity with a network of local committees monitoring planning applications only campaigning group with a nation-wide voluntary restoration work force only membership charity undertaking work of benefit to all users

Who should we target? • •

members of our corporate members ie members of canal societies/trusts and boat clubs users within the waterway corridor; ie boaters / walkers / cyclists / anglers / riparian owners / lovers of wildlife / lovers of heritage and architecture / photographers / holiday makers

How do we want to be perceived? • • •

as an independent and active charity as enthusiastic and friendly fellow members as volunteers who act in a professional way

How do we recruit widely? • •

campaign for everyone who cares about our waterways benefit all who have an interest in the waterways

Retention 27

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• •

retention rate is good / we keep members on average for 10 years retention is a cheap and effective way to have a good membership base

What influences a member's decision to renew? • • • • • • •

IWA policies IWA's image subscription levels information from the centre - Waterways / Head Office Bulletin / web-site quality of welcome - both national and local quality of local communication - branch magazine / programme card / personal touch opportunities - wrg / walks / getting involved / knowing others

Is it easy? Is it quick? • • • •

NO - it requires patience, charm, effort and not a little faith many other good causes bidding for their cash and commitment upset them and they will not renew - and they'll tell their friends! bully them into joining and they leave after a year - and you won't get a second chance!

Filling-in forms • •

provide form / pens / clip board or hard surface / table and chair there are 4 critical details to cover 1) personal details 2) type of membership 3) method of payment- we want Direct Debit whenever possible 4) the added value of Gift Aid - it costs them nothing and gains us 28p per pound

Last but by no means least • • • • • • •

remember you are an enthusiastic, committed volunteer wear IWA corporate clothing your sales / display stand is a vehicle for promoting the IWA and for growing membership be prepared to share your enthusiasm / knowledge remember that retention is easier than recruitment accept that recruitment requires the drip, drip, drip process and then one day someone will walk up to you and say "I've come to join!"

Further help and advice is available from Jo Gilbertson at IWA Head Office.


Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

A Guide to Functional Roles : Planning Officer The Planning Officer is a role that is sometimes split between people in a branch so that people can examine Planning Applications that relate to their local area. Many branches cover a wide geographical area and therefore may deal with a substantial number of local planning authorities. Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 various bodies are listed as having planning authority including:• A county planning authority. • A district planning authority. • The Joint planning committee for Greater London. • National Parks. • The Broads. • Enterprise zones. • Urban development areas. • Housing action areas. Objectives of a Planning Officer IWA is concerned with the conservation, use and development of our waterways, including the waterway environment. The task of a Planning Officer is to support this aim by:• Examining all planning applications for developments in the vicinity of their waterways. • Assessing the impact of such developments on the waterway’s use and environment, • Drawing any potential problems to the attention of the IWA local committee. • Raising issues and objections from the IWA local committee with the planning authority. See also Local Development Framework Guidance Finding out planning applications After a planning application has been made, the local planning authority will post notices near the site and/or write letters to those closest to the proposed development, inviting comments. Larger developments will also be advertised in a local newspaper. In some cases, local authorities also keep local civic and environment societies, including IWA, informed of all applications in the area. The details of the proposals, including architects' drawings, will be available for inspection at the local council offices. Make sure that your local planning authorities are sending you all the relevant applications for developments close to your waterways. Assessing the impact on Waterways Various aspects of a planning application can impact upon the waterways and the adjacent environment. Applications should be checked for the following:• Any aspect of the work that could cause temporary or permanent restrictions to navigation or other users of the waterway or any towpath. • The demolishing, alteration or change of use of any waterside buildings. • Changes to green spaces or recreational facilities near waterways. 29

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• •

Any proposed development that might adversely impact on the waterway environment. Any development that might cause drainage problems or increase flooding risk.

Planning Applications which meet any of the above criteria should be considered by the local IWA committee to decide if the development is desirable and if there are any concerns which need to be raised with the planning authority. Some developments may be acceptable, or desirable, but may cause problems during the works that need to be raised with the planning authority. Bridges across a navigation or works close to the banks could cause long stoppages of the river or canal traffic, or restrict towpath use. Making your views known There will be a limited amount of time in which to send comments to the local planning office. It is very important to meet any deadline or your submission may not be taken into account. As public opinion plays a part in the planning process the local IWA committee will need to consider if they need to consult with other organisations or individuals about the planning application and whether they should act in unison or separately from these other parties. In many cases the outcome of an important planning application is determined by local politicians, so good knowledge of the local situation and some past successful local IWA public relations will be of advantage. It is possible to attend committee meetings dealing with planning applications. In many cases members of the public can speak briefly to ensure that the committee is aware of their views. However, only elected members of the council can vote on the application decision itself. After the local authority decision is made In England and Wales it is not possible for a third party to appeal against a local planning authority's decision. Complaining about planning decisions In some cases, complaints about how a local planning authority handled a planning application can be referred to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman cannot investigate a complaint about a planning decision just because the applicant and the local authority do not agree about it. The Ombudsman has no power to alter the decision, even if the local authority administration has not been entirely correct. However, in cases where the Ombudsman decides that the local authority has acted incorrectly in handling a planning matter, the Ombudsman can order the authority to pay damages to the complainants


Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

Glossary of Planning Terms This glossary of planning terms is intended to provide a simple guide. It is not a statement of, nor an authoritative interpretation of, the law. Adoption is the final confirmation of a plan as a statutory document by the local planning authority. Advertisement Control The process whereby a local planning authority decides whether an advertisement which is being displayed, or about to be displayed, is acceptable in terms of amenity and public safety and is being displayed in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations. Amenity The pleasant or normally satisfactory aspects of a location which contribute to its overall character and the enjoyment of residents or visitors. Appeal The process whereby an applicant can challenge an adverse decision on an application by means of written representations, an informal hearing or formal inquiry proceedings. Appeals can also be made against the failure of the planning authority to issue a decision, against conditions attached to a permission and against the issue of an enforcement notice. Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Area designated by the Countryside Agency or the Countryside Council for Wales where the primary purpose is the conservation and enhancement of natural beauty including flora, fauna, geology and landscape Area of Special Control of Advertisements An area which is specifically defined by the local planning authority because they consider its scenic, historical, architectural or cultural features are so significant that a stricter degree of advertisement control is justified in order to conserve visual amenity within that area. Such areas can only be designated with the approval of the Secretary of State. Article 4 Direction An order made by the Secretary of State, the National Assembly for Wales or the local planning authority, requiring a planning application to be made where normally permitted development rights would apply. Article 14 Direction is issued by the Secretary of State or the National Assembly for Wales to restrict the grant of planning permission by a local planning authority, either indefinitely or for a specified period, normally to give the Department time to decide whether to call in the application. BPEO (Best Possible Environmental Option) The option that provides the most benefits or the least damage for the environment, as a whole, at acceptable cost, in the long term as well as the short term. (defined in the 12th report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution) Betterment The amount by which the value of land is increased by development or by the grant of planning permission, or because of the development of neighbouring land. Bio-diversity A measure of the number and range of species and their relative abundance in a community. Breach of Conditions Notice A notice served by a local planning authority where they suspect that a planning condition linked to a planning permission has been breached. 31

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Brown-field Site Land which has been previously developed, excluding mineral workings or other temporary uses. Building Preservation Order A notice under Section 3 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 to protect buildings of special architectural or historic interest from demolition or alterations that would affect their interest. Cadw A government agency supporting the preservation, conservation, enhancement, interpretation and appreciation of historic buildings and monuments in Wales. Change of Use A change in the way that land or buildings are used Planning permission is usually necessary in order to change from one 'use class' to another. Community Forests A joint initiative between the Countryside Agency and the Forestry Commission to promote the creation, regeneration of well-wooded landscapes around major towns and cities. Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) A notice issued by the government or a local authority to acquire land or buildings for public interest purposes. Conditions Stipulations attached to a planning permission to limit or direct the manner in which a development is carried out. Conservation Area Areas that have been designated because they are considered to be areas of special architectural or historic interest whose character or appearance should be preserved or enhanced.. Conservation Area Consent is required from the local planning authority before demolishing an unlisted building in a conservation area. Consultation Procedures for assessing public opinion about a plan or major development proposal, or in the case of a planning application, the means of obtaining the views of affected neighbours or others with an interest in the proposal. Countryside Agency The organisation responsible for advising government and taking action on issues affecting the social, economic and environmental well-being of the English countryside. Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) The government agency promoting the interests and wellbeing of rural Wales. Deemed Consent This allows the display of certain "specified classes" of advertisement without first having to make an application to the local planning authority. Under the Control of Advertisements Regulations there are 14 Classes, all of which are subject to strict conditions and limitations. Detailed/Full Application The most common type of planning application is one that seeks full or detailed planning permission. It should contain all the information needed for the LPA to reach its decision, but the LPA may seek further information. Determination Local planning authority process to decide whether a proposed development requires planning permission. 32

Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

Development The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or land. Development Brief A document providing detailed information to guide developers on the type of development, design and layout constraints and other requirements for a particular, usually substantial, site. Development Control The process whereby a local planning authority decides whether a planning application meets the requirements of planning policy, particularly as set out in development plans Enforcement Procedures by a local planning authority to ensure that the terms and conditions of a planning decision are carried out, or that development carried out without planning permission is brought under control. Enforcement Notice A notice requiring the discontinuance of an unauthorised use and/or the removal of buildings, including restoration of land, where development has been begun without permission or in breach of a condition. English Heritage (Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) A national body funded by the government to promote and give advice on building conservation matters. English Nature A national body funded by the government to promote and give advice on the conservation of England's wildlife and natural features. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) The Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/293) require an EIA to be carried out for certain types of development. The EIA process evaluates the likely significant effects of a development on the environment and examines mitigation measures to remove or reduce these effects. The information is assembled and reproduced as an environmental statement (ES). A local planning authority must take the ES into account and comments on the ES from the public and statutory consultees before they reach a decision on whether to grant development consent. Established use A use which does not conform to a plan but against which enforcement proceedings cannot be taken, often because of the length of time a use has been in operation. Established Use Certificate These were issued by a planning authority before July 1992 where it could be shown that a use of land or buildings had existed since before 1964. It gave immunity from enforcement action. Since July 1992 these have been replaced by Lawful Development Certificates. Express Consent is needed to display an advertisement, which does not benefit from deemed consent under the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements Regulations). Full Application A planning application seeking full permission for a development proposal, with no matters reserved for later planning approval. General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 grants rights (known as permitted development rights) to carry out certain limited forms of development without the need to make an application for planning permission.


Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

Green Belt A specially designated area of countryside protected from most forms of development in order to stop urban sprawl and the coalescence of settlements, preserve the character of existing settlements and encourage development to locate within existing built-up areas. Infrastructure Permanent resources serving society's needs, including roads, sewers, schools, hospitals, railways, communication networks etc. Integrated Transport Strategy The integration of land-use and transportation planning to allow transport provision and the demand for travel to be planned and managed together, balancing the use of different modes of transport to encourage easy transfer between them and reduced reliance on the private car. Land Compensation concerns the assessment of compensation where land, or some other interest in land, is being acquired, either compulsorily, or by agreement, by an authority possessing compulsory purchase powers. Lawful Development Certificate A person who wishes to establish whether a use, operation or activity is lawful in planning terms may apply to the Council for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). Listed Building Buildings are listed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport if they are considered to be of special architectural or historic importance. The listing is normally permanent, and gives the building legal protection against demolition and alteration. Listed Building Consent A permission required for the alteration or demolition of a listed building. Local Nature Reserve (LNR) An area designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 as being of particular importance to nature conservation and where public understanding of nature conservation issues is encouraged. Local Plan Statutory development plan prepared by a local planning authority setting out detailed policies for environmental protection and development. Local Planning Authority The local authority or council that is empowered by law to exercise planning functions. This is normally the local borough or district council, but in National Parks and some other areas there is a different arrangement. Mineral Planning Guidance Notes (MPGs) A series of documents issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) (previously Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR)) setting out government policy and advice on planning issues relating to mineral resources. Minerals Planning Policy Wales A document setting out the policy of the Welsh Assembly Government in relation to short and long term future use and safeguarding of mineral deposits. National Assembly for Wales The Government body in Wales that debates and approves legislation and holds the Welsh Assembly Government to account. National Nature Reserve An area designated by English Nature to protect and conserve nationally important areas of wildlife habitat and geological formations and to promote scientific research; in Wales it is an SSSI that the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) has designated of national or 34

Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

international importance for nature conservation. (Note: on the CCW website I noticed that they also refer to National Nature Reserves, as well as SSSIs). Outline Application An outline application is appropriate where a person or company wants to have permission IN PRINCIPLE for the erection of a building, before going to the expense of having detailed plans prepared. Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest (GSHI) Parks and gardens containing historic features dating from 1939 or earlier and registered by English Heritage in three grades as with historic buildings. Permitted Development Rights Rights to carry out certain limited forms of development without the need to make an application for planning permission, as granted under the terms of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. Planning Gain The principle of a developer agreeing to provide additional benefits or safeguards, often for the benefit of the community, usually in the form of related development supplied at the developer's expense. Planning Obligations and Agreements Legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer, or offered unilaterally by a developer, ensuring that certain extra works related to a development are undertaken, usually under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Planning Policy Guidance Notes (PPGs) A series of documents issued by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) (previously Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR)) setting out government policy and advice on planning issues such as housing, transport, conservation etc Planning Policy Wales a document setting out the land use planning policies of the Welsh Assembly Government. Proposals Map An obligatory component of a local plan showing the location of proposals in the plan on an Ordnance Survey base map. Protected Species Plant and animal species, including all wild birds, protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats and Conservation) Regulations 1994, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and subsequent amendments, or other species protected under legislation specific to them. Public Open Space (POS) Land provided in urban or rural areas for public recreation, though not necessarily publicly owned. Public Realm Outdoor areas accessible to the public. Public Right of Way A way where the public has a right to walk, and in some cases ride horses, bicycles, motorcycles or drive motor vehicles, which will be designated either as a footpath, a bridleway, a road used as a public path (RUPP) or a byway. Ramsar Site An area identified under the internationally agreed Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as waterfowl sites and as Sites of Special Scientific Interest focusing on the ecological importance of wetlands generally. 35

Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

Regional Planning Guidance Notes (RPGs) Policy guidance and advice issued for each region in England by the Secretary of State. Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) Non-statutory sites of regional importance recognised by English Nature and local authorities. Regulation 7 Direction A Direction made by the Secretary of State to remove from a particular site or defined area the benefit of deemed consent normally provided by the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations. Reserved Matters An outline permission is not a permission to start work on site. The permission notice states which matters have been reserved for later approval. Work may begin on site when all of the reserved matters have been approved. Rural Development Area A priority area for economic and social development. Rural Diversification Activities undertaken on surplus land to support farming incomes, including, for example, forestry, leisure and tourism. Scheduled Ancient Monument A structure placed on a schedule compiled by the Department of National Heritage in England and Cadw in Wales for protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act. Section 106 Agreement A binding agreement between a council and a developer associated with a grant of planning permission and regarding matters linked to the proposed development. Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) An area identified by English Nature or Countryside Council for Wales for protection by reason of the rarity of its nature conservation or wildlife features. Statutory Undertakers/Statutory Utilities Providers of essential services such as gas, electricity, water or telecommunications. Stop Notice A notice served in respect of land subject to enforcement proceedings prohibiting the carrying out or continuing of specified operations which are alleged to constitute a breach of planning control and designed to stop work going on pending the outcome of an appeal. Structure Plan A statutory plan setting out key strategic policies which provide the framework for more detailed policies in local plans. Sui Generis Uses of land or buildings which do not fall into any of the use classes identified by the Use Classes Order, for example theatres, launderettes, car showrooms and filling stations. Supplementary Planning Guidance Additional advice issued by a local planning authority expanding upon its statutory policies. Town Centre Management A partnership of local organisations, businesses and individuals to promote the common good of a town by developing, managing, promoting and improving facilities, the useful resources, the economy and the environment of a town centre.


Regions and Branches Handbook – December 2008

Transport Policy and Programme (TPP) A statutory document setting out a transport authority's bid for the programming and funding of transport measures, produced annually for submission to central government. Tree Preservation Order (TPO) Direction made by a local planning authority that makes it an offence to cut, top, lop, uproot or wilfully damage or destroy a tree without that authority's permission. Unitary Development Plan A local plan produced by certain unitary district authorities and London boroughs which have responsibility for the full range of local authority services. Use Classes Order The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 puts uses of land and buildings into various categories, planning permission not being required for changes of use within the same use class. In practice changes between use classes are likely to require planning permission. Village envelope The boundaries defined on a map beyond which the local planning authority proposes that a village should not be allowed to extend. Wildlife Corridor A continuous area facilitating the movement of wildlife through rural or urban environments.


Branches and Regions Handbook – August 2010

A Guide to Functional Roles : Webmaster The role of the webmaster is to edit the branch and/or region pages on the Association’s website, Webmasters login to the administrative part of the website – the ‘back-end’ by going to: and entering their username and password. This password is an extension to their website member login, and is administered by the Operations and Information Systems Manager at IWA Head Office. Please contact: Further guidance on the standards to be used on the website are variously contained in the ‘Website Style Guide’, the ‘Website Editors Guide (Guide to the Content Management System (CMS))’ and the ‘Website Image Editing Guide’. The latter guide includes sections on PDF creation (for newsletter publishing to the web), and a guide to using the screen reader for uploading the newsletter once created, to the on-screen viewer. These guides can be viewed by following the links on


Branches and Regions Handbook  

Information for IWA Officers

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