THAMES BASIN HEATHS JOINT STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
Terms of Reference
1.1 The Thames Basin Heaths Joint Strategic Partnership (JSP) will provide a vehicle for joint working, liaison and the exchange of information between local authorities and other organisations affected by the Thames Basin Heaths (TBH) Special Protection Area (SPA).
1.2 It will address matters relating to the long term protection of the TBH SPA arising from planning permissions for new residential development, and associated land management and planning issues that are of joint interest to the member organisations.
1.3 The JSP is comprised of local authorities acting together in accordance with their powers under S2(1) of the Local Government Act 2000 in respect of their powers to promote the environmental well being of their areas, together with other groups having an interest in the TBHSPA by virtue of a managerial/landownership responsibility or technical advisory role.
Joint Strategic Partnership Composition
1.4 The Joint Strategic Partnership will comprise the following groups:
· The Joint Strategic Partnership (JSP) Board
· The Strategic Access Management and Monitoring (SAMM) Project Board
· The Thames Basin Heaths (TBH) Officer Group; and
· The Access Management and Monitoring Partnership (AMMP).
2. The Joint Strategic Partnership Board
2.1 The JSP Board will act as an advisory body for local planning authorities affected by the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. For the avoidance of doubt, the JSP Board cannot exercise any of the functions of a planning authority or competent authorities, including setting formal planning policy or exerting control over planning decisions, nor can it fetter any decisions made by such bodies, nor the rights and responsibilities of SPA landowners.
2.2 The JSP Board will recognise and take account of the interests, rights and responsibilities of landowners, users and other stakeholders.
2.3 Full members: The following planning authorities will be full members of the JSP Board and have full voting rights at meetings of the Board:
· Bracknell Forest Borough Council
· Elmbridge Borough Council
· Guildford Borough Council
· Hart District Council
· Mole Valley District Council
· Runnymede Borough Council
· Rushmoor Borough Council
· Surrey Heath Borough Council
· Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
· Waverley Borough Council
· Woking Borough Council
· Wokingham Borough Council
· Hampshire County Council
· Surrey County Council.
2.4 Full member organisations will be represented by one nominated elected member or a substitute elected member.
2.5 Other planning authorities may be invited to join the JSP Board if directly affected by any future review of the SPA designation or related policy.
2.6 Advisory members: The following organisations will be advisory members of the JSP Board with rights of attendance and participation at all meetings but without voting rights:
· Natural England
· Crown Estates (as a major landowner)
· Forestry Commission (as a major landowner)
· Ministry of Defence (as a major landowner)
· A representative of the housebuilding industry
· Representatives of non-governmental nature conservation interests
· A representative of non-governmental recreation and access interests.
· A representative of the financial manager
2.7 Advisory member organisations will be represented by a senior officer of that organisation.
2.8 At the discretion of the Chairman, representatives of other stakeholder organisations that have a recognised and legitimate interest in the planning or management of land affected by the TBH SPA may be invited to attend, advise and/or speak at meetings of the JSP Board, but will not have voting rights.
2.9 A Chairman and Vice Chairman will be elected annually from amongst the nominated representatives of full member authorities.
2.10 Meetings of the JSP Board will be held two times per year, or more if required. Meetings may be held at local authority offices or other appropriate venues. The quorum will be set at one third of members rounded up. Meetings will be open to the public to attend but not participate in discussions.
2.11 Secretariat services will be provided by a full member authority. Meetings will be held in public and agendas, reports and minutes of meetings will be made publicly available.
2.12 One senior officer from each full and advisory member organisation may attend meetings in support of their JSP Board member. Additional representatives may attend at the discretion of the Chairman.
2.13 The JSP Board will have the following functions:
· To act as a vehicle for joint working, liaison and exchange of information related to the TBH SPA
· To retain an overview of, and monitor, the implementation of measures to avoid the impact of development on the SPA, including:
o local authority policy/avoidance strategies
o the coordinated provision of suitable alternative natural greenspace (SANG) and
o strategic access management and monitoring (SAMM) measures, including approving an annual financial plan and budget for the SAMM project .
· To receive half yearly reports from the SAMM project coordinator, the SAMM project administrative body and the Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Partnership Board.
· Make key decisions on expenditure on SAMM projects
· Approving key decisions in the contracting of delivery bodies
2.14 In carrying out these functions, the JSP Board may:
· Act on behalf of member organisations to commission studies, surveys and reports
· Instruct the SAMM Project Board, the TBH Officer Group or the AMMP to undertake work in accordance with an agreed brief or work programme
· Provide advice to member and stakeholder organisations, including making non-binding recommendations for a course of action
· Approve and publish documents in relation to the long term protection of the SPA and the delivery of development around the SPA; and
· Raise funds from member organisations or other sources.
2.15 The JSP Board may review its terms of reference at any point.
3. The Strategic Access Management and Monitoring Project Board
3.1 The SAMM Project Board is appointed by the JSP Board to make recommendations in relation to the implementation of the TBH Strategic Access Management and Monitoring project and oversee day to day management and implementation of the project. The Project Board acts to support and advise the TBH Project Coordinator in taking decisions and ensuring the SAMM project progresses through open partnership discussions and solution-finding.
3.2 Membership of the SAMM Project Board is agreed by the JSP Board and comprises representatives from a number of local authorities affected by the TBH SPA and from selected landowner/manager or technical organisations. Members will be selected on the basis of individual expertise. Meetings will be chaired by a nominated elected member.
3.3 Only those members representing a local authority will have voting rights. Other members will be advisory members with rights of attendance and participation only.
3.4 Responsibilities of Project Board members will include:
· Endeavouring to attend all meetings or offering substitutes
· Providing the secretariat with relevant information in the required formats in advance of meetings; and
· Carrying out actions in line with deadlines set out by the Chair.
3.5 Meetings will be held in Guildford or in one of the partner’s facilities as necessary to oversee the implementation of the project.
3.6 Members of the public can attend but are not entitled to participate or vote at the meeting. Minutes of the Project Board will be reported to the JSP Board. Secretariat functions will be provided by the Project Coordinator or other nominated individual.
3.7 The SAMM Project Board has responsibility for oversight of the contract with Natural England and directing the SAMM project by:
· Agreeing the job description and recruitment of a project coordinator
· Agreeing the project plan, including project objectives, controls and processes
· Drafting and reviewing the annual business plans (including the financial plan) and recommend for approval to the JSP Board
· Making day to day decisions on expenditure within the approved budget
· Monitoring progress against plans and expenditure
· Monitoring the success of the avoidance/mitigation measures and making recommendations to the JSP Board
· Making recommendations to the JSP Board when decisions are required beyond this group’s remit
· Agreeing the engagement and education plan.
4. The Thames Basin Heaths Officer Group
4.1 The TBH officer group will provide a forum for officers to discuss and share information about TBH policy and implementation issues, including local authority policy/avoidance strategies, the coordinated provision of SANG and the implementation of the SAMM project.
4.2 The TBH officer group will comprise:
· Relevant senior planning, legal, environmental and/or countryside service officers from affected local authorities
· The TBH project coordinator and a representative from the SAMM administrative body
· Senior representatives of JSP Board advisory organisations; and
· Officers or technical/professional representatives from other stakeholder organisations, by invitation.
4.3 The TBH Officer group will meet two times per year, or more as required. Meetings may be held at local authority offices or other appropriate venues.Secretariat support will be provided by the local authority that provides secretariat services for the JSP Board. The Officer Group will be chaired by a local authority officer nominated by the Group.
4.4 Meetings of the Officer Group will not be open to members of the public. Agendas, papers and minutes will not be made public. A report on the activities of the group will be made to the JSP Board.
4.5 The TBH Officer group will:
· Provide technical support to the JSP Board and SAMM Project Board as appropriate
· Undertake technical work requested by the JSP Board, or steer consultancy projects commissioned by the JSP Board
· Provide monitoring information to the JSP Board; and
· Where appropriate, establish small project teams or working groups to progress issues related to the long term protection of the SPA.
5. The Access Management and Monitoring Partnership
5.1 The Access Management and Monitoring Partnership has been established to provide advice about strategic access management and monitoring measures and provide for the implementation of those measures.
5.2 Membership of the AMMP comprises local authority officers and stakeholder representatives with land management responsibilities and/or landowning interests. Secretariat and chairing responsibilities lie with the elected Chair, currently Hampshire County Council.
5.3 Meetings of the AMMP will not be open to members of the public. Agendas, papers and minutes will not be made public. A report on the activities of the group will be made to the JSP Board.
Support officer: Katharine Simpson. 01276 707157