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Agenda Item No. 8

 

 

VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL ACCESS FORUM:  20TH APRIL, 2011

 

 

REPORT OF THE SECRETARY

 

 

SYNOPSIS TAKEN FROM THE MEETING NOTES OF THE NAFW HELD ON 8TH MARCH 2011

 

TOPIC

OUTCOME/RESULTANT ACTION

1.   Glastir

A written update was distributed at the meeting and dealt with by J. Bulbeck, CCW. 

 

To date there had been just under 3,000 applications for the All Wales Element (AWE) of the scheme.  As issues had been raised by stakeholders regarding accessibility of the scheme, an independent review had been commissioned, which had been due to report in late March 2011.  Depending on the recommendations of the review the first contracts with land managers were anticipated to be signed shortly.  Visits to land managers wishing to sign up for the Targeted Element (TE) of the scheme were scheduled for the Summer, although this would depend on how the AWE timetable progressed. 

 

A new woodland grant scheme was being developed under Glastir, with Local Access Forums to be consulted in due course.

 

2.   Forestry Commission Wales

The meeting received a presentation from Mr. D. Liddy, Visitor Management Advisor, Forestry Commission Wales.  The presentation addressed various ongoing initiatives which could affect how the Forestry Commission operated in future years.

 

3.   Access to Inland Water - Code of Conduct

J. Roberts, CCW Recreation Policy Officer, outlined the process involved in developing the proposed Code of Conduct for Users of Inland Water, a copy of which was distributed at the meeting.  A draft Code had been issued for consultation at the beginning of November 2010 with the subsequent responses used to develop the proposed Code.  Comments had been invited from NAFW members by the end of March 2011.

 

4.   Abolition of British Waterways

The meeting received a presentation from Mr. A. Stumpf, British Waterways, providing an update on developments concerning the organisation’s transition from the public sector to charity status.  It was considered that charity status offered the best way of finding the additional £30m per annum required to maintain the United Kingdom’s waterways to their current standard.

 

5.   Impact of Spending Review on Local Authorities’ Public Rights of Way (PROW) and Access Work

Discussion took place regarding the impact of the spending review on organisations such as the Institute of Public Rights of Way, National Parks and Local Access Forums.  General trends included reductions in staffing, recruitment freezes and an acknowledgement of the need to access new sources of funding such as the Rural Development Fund.  In general terms, the meeting had concluded it was difficult to assess the full impact of the spending review at present given ongoing reorganisations and the fact that budgets and grants for 2011/12 had not yet been decided or confirmed.

 

6.   Health and the Environment

The meeting received a presentation from Mr. M. Ward, Public Health Wales, on health and the environment and how a poor environment could lead to poor health.  It was noted that CCW were developing an Outdoor Health Forum which could look at ways of engaging with local communities.

7.   ROWIP Funding

L. Swannell, CCW, informed the meeting that this issue was being looked into with figures still being collected from some Authorities.  It was agreed that information on extra funding that ROWIP had been used to draw down would be circulated in due course by L. Swannell.

 

8.   News and Updates from Members

During the discussion it was agreed that contact details for Mr. Gwyn Smith, Sustrans, would be forwarded to LAF Secretaries should they wish to contact him to give a presentation on the work of Sustrans in their area.

 

9.   Any Other Business

 

(i)   Wales Coast Path / Coastal Access Zone

 

 

 

In response to a specific question, CCW indicated there was no intention on the part of the Welsh Assembly Government to bring forward an area-based right of access to the coast as they were fully engaged in carrying out the development of the Wales Coast Path.  It would be up to individual organisations to lobby should they wish such access to be implemented in Wales.  The Chair indicated that the current Coastal Access Improvement Programme encouraged Authorities to improve rights of way in the coastal zone.

 

 

 

Members are asked to note that a full copy of the draft meeting notes are available upon application to the Secretary.