(c) Verbal Update on Current Issues - Mr. Bob Guy, Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Projects -


The Group was provided with an update on the restructure of the Countryside Service and copies of the new establishment for the Service were circulated at the meeting.  There had been a long consultation and re-design process involved with the restructure of the Service and Mr. Guy confirmed that the new structure was now in place.  The new structure brought together all the Countryside and Environment Teams, including the Country Parks, Commons, Heritage Coast Project, Landscape Architecture, Ecology and Public Rights of Way with the aim of providing a more integrated service.


The new structure included a Countryside Service Team Leader role, held by Steve Pickering, who was present at the meeting and introduced to the Group.  One of the objectives of this role was to facilitate the integration of the service.  The Rangers and Assistant Rangers would now work as a single unified service with just one Site Ranger specifically allocated to each of the main countryside sites, which would enable flexibility across the service in order that other staff could be allocated across the different sites as required.  A new post of Commercial Opportunities Officer had been created; one of its main responsibilities would be to enhance the commercial activities across the countryside sites. 


The Group was informed that Natural Resources Wales had been provided with more funding for coastal access programmes; therefore the Vale of Glamorgan’s Coastal Access Programme would be getting a significant investment.  The Group was provided with a summary of the approved and unapproved investment work coastal access projects.  The cost of the approved projects totalled £17,500 in 2015/16 and £19,500 in 2016/17.  There would also be additional funds to maintain the Wales Coast Path.  Mr. Guy advised the Group that if there were any queries in relation to these projects they should contact either himself or the Public Rights of Way Officer. 


The Group was informed that a request had been received that a representative be sought from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association to the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group.  Mr. Guy expressed the view that the request highlighted a gap on the Group from the Tourism sector and such representation would fit well with current priorities. 


Following consideration of the request, the Group


AGREED - T H A T a request be put to Cabinet to recommend to Council that a representative be sought from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association for the Glamorgan Heritage Coast Advisory Group.


Reason for recommendation


To enable a representative from the Vale of Glamorgan Tourism Association to be appointed to the Group