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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet: 23rd July, 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To appoint a Council Member to sit on the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum.

Recommendations

That Cabinet appoint a Member to be the Council's representative on the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum for the lifetime of that Forum (three years from 22nd February 2012 (the date of the initial meeting)).

Reason for the Recommendation

To comply with the provisions of Regulation 6(1) of the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001.

 

Background

2.             The above Regulations require "Appointment Authorities" (AA) (National Park Authorities within National Parks and Highway Authorities elsewhere) to establish Local Access Forums (LAFs).  A statutory LAF must consist of a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman and between 10 and 20 members.  Regulation 6(1) stipulates that an AA must appoint one member (but not more than one member).  The Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum has been in existence since 2002.  The Forum has recently commenced its fourth three year term.

3.             The previous Council representative was former Councillor A.M. Ernest.

4.             When the Forum was first established (with former Councillor M.R. Harvey as Chairman) Councillor Mrs. V.M. Hartrey was duly appointed to the Forum (in February 2003) as the Council's representative.  This was due to the provision within the Regulations that such a Member can occupy one of the (up to) 20 places which can be filled on the Forum in addition to the position of Chairman and Deputy Chairman.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Councillor Hartrey has continued being a member of the Forum.  In addition to the above, Councillor R.L. Traherne has served on the Forum since its inception, his membership of the Forum preceding by some considerable time his becoming a Member of the Council.  Both Councillors Traherne and Mrs. Hartrey applied to continue to be members of the re-appointed Forum and have been duly re-appointed.  Both Councillors serve because of their individual interests and not as representatives of the Council.

6.             The criteria to be used for selecting members (as set out in the Countryside Council for Wales Guidelines) are as follows:

It is essential that a LAF member will:

·               be committed to the function of the Forum as stated in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, viz

The function of a Forum will be to advise the local authority, the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) `and others "as to the improvement of public access to land in that area for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area".

·               be willing and able to play a full part in all aspects of a LAF's work - persons who are only willing or able to represent a narrow specific interest may not be suitable members.

It is desirable that a LAF member will:

·               have a wide range of experience of access issues in the area;

·               have experience of working on, and contributing to, similar forums or working groups in the past;

·               reside in, be particularly familiar with, or have any other interests especially relevant to the area of the Forum;

·               be able to network with a wide range of organisations and individuals, with an aim to advising on their views and disseminating the LAF's work.

7.             Both Councillors Mrs. Hartrey and Traherne have shown their commitment to the Forum and have played an active role throughout.  Whilst the Regulations clearly state that the AA must appoint only one member and only if that member is subsequently elected Chairman or Deputy Chairman, may the AA appoint a further member, CCW advice in January 2009 confirmed that the interpretation of the Regulations was the prerogative of each LAF.  Members of the LAF unanimously agreed in January, 2009 that the status quo in relation to membership be agreed.

8.             Cabinet is asked to note that Regulation 5 allows an AA to appoint further (non-Council) members to the Forum in due course but that the views of the Forum on any such appointment must be sought.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

9.             There are no resource implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.        The Council is required to comply with the Countryside Access (Local Access Forum) (Wales) Regulations 2001 in determining its membership of the Forum.

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.        None as a direct consequence of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.        The function of a Forum is to advise the local authority, the Countryside Council for Wales and others "as to the improvement of public access to land in that area for the purposes of open-air recreation and the enjoyment of the area".

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.        The work of the Forum complements the aims of the Council.

Policy Framework and Budget

14.        This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.        Given the internal nature of the appointment process, no consultation has been necessary.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

16.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2011

Report to Cabinet: 4th January 2012

 

Contact Officer

Jeff Wyatt, Operational Manager - Democratic Services, (Tel: 01446 709408)

 

Officers Consulted

None.

 

Responsible Officer:

Mr. J. Maitland Evans, Chief Executive

 

 

 

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