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Paper 14 - 29 September 2000 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT AUTHORITIES 29 September 2000

THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Report by the Policy Manager

RECOMMENDATION

That the report be noted and Councillor Brenda Smith be thanked for her report-back.

1. This Association, together with the Associations of Parish and Town Councils, has formed a partnership with the Environment Agency (EA) following national guidelines.

2. The following joint plan was agreed by this Association at its meeting in March 2000:

* This Association agrees to adopt the EA/Local Government Association five year plan.

* A local authority officer (Annie Righton, Environmental Health Manager, New Forest District Council) acts as the focal point for EA and this Association.

* Annie Righton also acts as a focal point for issues arising from the Regional Environmental Protection Advisory Committee (REPAC), and feedback. EA will supply briefings where requested.

* EA identifies a workshop/seminar programme for members and officers to extend the current member level contact achieved through EA committees, and presentations to Local Authority committees.

* This Association agrees to consider and adopt the joint protocols and support EA staff and Local Authority officers working together in delivering joined up services.

* EA and local authorities agree to exchange Geographic Information Systems (GIS) environmental data where legally possible. EA make widespread use of GIS on a daily basis for all functions - Contact Point is Kim Smith, Team Leader, Development Control.

* Local Authorities identify where EA involvement in Community Plans, external funding bids and partnership projects will add value.

* Annual review of the plan to be reported to this Association together with reports-back from this Association’s REPAC representative.

* Councillor Brenda Smith, the District Councils’ representative on the REPAC, has produced the attached report-back on a recent meeting.

NICK GOULDER
Policy Manager

Date: 8 September 2000
Annex: 1
Contact: Nick Goulder - 023 8068 8431 E-mail hiowlang@hants.gov.uk

 ANNEX

From: Councillor Brenda Smith, New Forest District Council

To: Hants and IoW LGA

I attended a meeting of the Southern Region REPAC of the Environment Agency on 18 July 2000.

The following items were discussed which may be of interest.

1. THE STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT REPORT FOR THE SOUTH EAST

includes water resource, water quality and waste management items. It was suggested that a copy of the report should go to the Chief Executives of all County Councils in the region.

2. NATIONAL WASTE STRATEGY 2000

A lengthy discussion emphasising the need for joined up thinking. The Environment Agency’s role is seen primarily to provide information to highlight the consequences of policy decision.

3. DETR COMMITTEE ENQUIRY INTO THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

Our conclusion was that the Environment Agency must get out there into the community and use its judgement to balance its regulatory functions with influencing actions.

4. WASTE INCINERATION

A long debate. The Environment Agency is in Integrated Pollution Prevention Control - "Is the process of incineration safe?". There is a need to be mindful that the general public has a much wider view than just the science (which says incineration is safe).

5. CLIMATE CHANGE

I commended Peter Quarmby’s address to New Forest District Council and strongly commended this method of building vital links with local authorities.

In the afternoon there was a workshop in which we discussed informally the management of water resources.

Last update: 00/00/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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