To liaise with other Biodiversity Champions across Wales and share in the promotion of regional activities relating to conservation and biodiversity generally
4. The Biodiversity Champion will be provided with support from the Council’s Ecology Unit and the Wales Biodiversity Partnership in the form of advice, guidance and workshop events.
5. It is recommended that Councillor Rob Curtis as the Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services be nominated as the Biodiversity Champion. In this regard, Councillor Curtis has a significant interest in biodiversity matters and will bring energy and commitment to the role. In addition, given that biodiversity is not within his portfolio, this appointment will facilitate a wider understanding and appreciation of the importance of biodiversity across the Council in terms of services and projects.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
6. None directly attributable to this report.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
7. The role of the Biodiversity Champion will be to raise awareness of environmental sustainability across all Council services, with a particular emphasis on biodiversity.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
8. The Council has a duty to comply with relevant legislation including the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Habitats Regulations 1994, Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (NERC) 2006 in all its activities. The NERC Act 2006 requires that ‘every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity’.
Crime and Disorder Implications
9. A number of Acts and Statutory Instruments provide legal protection to sites, habitats and species. Destruction, disturbance or harm may constitute a criminal offence that leads to prosecution.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
10. None directly attributable to this report.
11. Conservation of biodiversity is a statutory requirement for all Council service areas and a key role of the Council as highlighted within the Corporate Plan. The Council’s Environmental Policy directly includes conservation of biodiversity.
Policy Framework and Budget
12. This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
13. No Ward Member consultation has been undertaken as the report has implications for the Vale as a whole rather than a specific ward.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
14. Economy and Environment
Erica Dixon Ecologist (01446) 704855
Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects
Legal (Committee Reports)
Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services