Purpose: To update LAF members on developments since the last meeting.
The report of the Secretary, which updated on developments since the last meeting. Specific attention was drawn to:
· The proposed amendments to the Forum’s terms of reference, as detailed in Appendix B of the report around the formation of sub-groups;
· The options for the future recruitment of Forum members, as detailed in section 4 of the report. The Chair confirmed he had looked at how other LAFs carried out recruitment. He also highlighted the need to encourage landowners to apply. It was noted other Local Access Forums had members who were able to contribute from a Business and tourism perspective, and others had members who were able to contribute on disability or environmental issues. Members agreed the members’ range of interests needed to be as diverse as possible, and the Secretary confirmed that the diversity of the membership had always been a key factor in the criteria for the consideration of applications. It was also suggested that the new volunteer co-ordinator in the Countryside Access Service team, may be able to identify volunteers who would also be interested in being a Forum member. The Secretary confirmed there were currently two vacancies on the Forum and members agreed a more informal approach to recruitment might assist in generating more interest, and that the process may benefit from having a long-standing Forum member involved in that more informal approach as described in the paragraph 4.5 of the report. Finally, it was suggested a press release on the role of the Forum could be issued, or whenever a press release was issued on a related subject by the County Council, the opportunity to raise the profile of the Forum should be taken. Janet Cochrane agreed to draft and circulate a press release for Forum members’ consideration.
· The draft ‘Shared Use’ position statement submitted by the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Access Forum at Appendix C – some Members agreed it was a fair and valid statement and therefore were minded to adopt it. However, Neil Leighton, Senior Technical Officer in NYCC Highways drew attention to the fact that the County Council’s own position statement on the usage rights of UURs differed from what had been proposed, and therefore would conflict with that of NYLAF’s if it chose to adopt the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Access Forum’s position. It was therefore agreed that consideration should be given to both agenda item 5, which detailed NYCC’s position on UURs & agenda item 6 – the sub-group’s review of NYCC’s position, before a decision was taken on whether or not to adopt the Regional Forum’s position statement on Share Use, and it was agreed to defer the decision to the Forum’s next meeting in September 2021;
· The draft position statement on ‘Preliminary Involvement in Major Projects’ at Appendix D. The Chair confirmed the statement had originally been drafted in response to a feasibility study for a major development on the A59, i.e. at an early stage in the development before detailed information was known. He also confirmed that subsequently after its submission, a number of amendments to the statement had been proposed. The Chair suggested those amendments would make the statement less generic and therefore not suitable for issue at an early stage in response to other major projects in the future. Members agreed to defer the signing off of the position statement to a later meeting to allow further consideration of any additional amendments required.
Resolved – That
i. The update be noted;
ii. The proposed amendments to the Forum’s terms of reference, as detailed in Appendix B of the report be agreed;
iii. A more informal approach be taken for future recruitment;
iv. A press release raising the profile of NYLAF and encouraging members of the public to join, be drafted by Janet Cochrane and circulated for members’ consideration;
v. The Yorkshire & Humber Regional Access Forum’s position statement on UURs be re-presented at NYLAF’s next meeting for further consideration of its adoption.
vi. Work continue on the draft Position Statement on ‘Preliminary Involvement in Major Projects’ and that it be re-presented for sign off at the next Forum meeting in September 2021