The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 15 June, 2015
Report of the Leader
Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum: Appointment of Council Representative
Purpose of the Report
1. To appoint a Council Member to sit on the Vale of Glamorgan Local Access Forum.
1. 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 whenever the initial meeting of the new Forum takes place).
Reason for the Recommendation
1. To comply with the provisions of Regulation 6(1) of the Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2001.
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 completed its fourth three year term and, following advertisement for expressions of interest and the receipt of applications, will now be commencing a fifth three year term. The applications were considered by the Operational Manager (Democratic services) in his capacity as Secretary to the Forum and the Operational Manager (Countryside and Economic Projects). The new Forum will comprise of a combination of returning, and new, members who reflect a suitably wide range of interests as the relevant Regulations require.
3. The current Council representative is Councillor Eddie Williams, who has served for the most recent three year term of the Forum.
4. The Regulations provide 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. In addition to the above, Councillor Rhodri 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. Councillor Traherne has applied to continue to be a member of the re-appointed Forum and been re-appointed. He serves because of his individual interest and not as a representative of the Council. The role of Cabinet is to appoint a Member to be the Council's representative on the Forum.
6. 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, the AA may appoint a further member, advice in January 2009 from the former Countryside Council for Wales (now Natural Resources Wales) 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.
7. 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.
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)
9. There are no direct implications arising from the report.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
10. There are no direct implications arising from the report.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
11. 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
12. None as a direct consequence of this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
13. 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".
14. The work of the Forum complements the aims of the Council.
Policy Framework and Budget
15. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
16. Given the internal nature of the appointment process, no consultation has been necessary.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
17. Economy and Environment
Countryside Access (Local Access Forums) (Wales) Regulations 2011
Jeff Wyatt, Operational Manager - Democratic Services (Tel: 01446 709408)
Operational Manager (Countryside and Economic Projects)
Jeff Wyatt, Operational Manager - Democratic Services