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Proposals for the principles and working methods which should guide the work of the reference group.

The reference group was established by the First Minister to provide advice to the Welsh Government on matters relating to the development of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. The purpose of the group as set out in the terms of reference is:

to provide stakeholder views to Ministers, as required, on issues arising from the Hinkley Point C project that are relevant to Wales and the people of Wales and maximising individual and community wellbeing by reducing harm to people and the environment.

The terms of reference also make clear that the group will meet on an ad hoc basis. To facilitate this monthly meeting slots have been arranged for the group to meet via Microsoft Teams. It will be for the group to determine whether all of those slots are required.

The group’s work will be guided by the principles of transparency and accessibility combined with a commitment towards confidentiality surrounding individual contributions.

Transparency and accessibility

Individuals may contact the group via its dedicated email address HinkleyGroup@gov.wales. This address will be highlighted on the group’s website. The agenda for each meeting of the group will be published on the website ahead of each meeting as will a brief note of matters discussed.

Members will have their attention drawn to representations received.  This will normally take place at each meeting but could be more directly as required.

Members should feel free to refer to the work of the group in general terms but any requests for formal statements should be directed at the chair.

Members are appointed as individuals and because of their particular expertise. They are not appointed as representatives of organisations. It will be for members to determine whether they face any conflicts of interest arising from matters discussed by the group. Should such a conflict arise this should be declared and arrangements for managing such conflicts should be agreed with the chair.

Because members are appointed for their individual expertise substitutes are not required. Members should feel free to submit written contributions to meetings they are unable to attend.

Confidentiality

In order to provoke the widest possible discussion and debate the discussions of the group should remain confidential to the participants.  Whilst a brief note of the group’s proceedings will be published this will not draw attention to views expressed by individual members.

Any advice the group makes to Ministers will be published.  Members are encouraged not to refer publicly to such advice ahead of publication.  That should not preclude providing their own advice or comments on those same issues.

Members should feel free to brief wider stakeholder groups on the work of the group though such communications should focus on meeting notes and other published material.

Co-ordination

In order not to cut across the appellate role which Welsh Ministers have with regard to National Resources Wales (NRW) consenting arrangements any queries from group members to the Welsh Government or NRW regarding the group’s work should be directed via the Secretariat. Any sensitivities to which this may give rise should be discussed with the chair.

These working methods will be kept under review by the group as its work proceeds.

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