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Thanks for the update on the difficulties you are experiencing in your area regarding LPA engagement in plan making.
Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (As Amended), local authorities do have a duty of support to help groups producing neighbourhood plans in their areas. Have a look at the planning practice guidance from the government here: http://planningguidance.communities.gov.uk/blog/guidance/neighbourhood-planning/the-role-of-the-local-planning-authority-in-neighbourhood-planning/. That might be helpful to try to get an understanding of the duty of a local authority.
Although there are not a lot of champions in the Norfolk area, there are a lot of champions in other areas who may have the same experiences to share, so the champions event will be a great opportunity to pick up some contacts for the future.