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Paper  5B - 31 January 2003 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

31 January 2003

HAMPSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES INITIATIVE

Report by the Head of Natural Resources Initiative, Environment Department,
Hampshire County Council

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Association is requested to:

(1) Note substantial progress;

(2) Endorse the multi functional role of the Hampshire Local Authorities in achieving the objectives of the Hampshire Natural Resources Initiative; and

(3) Support the timetable to achieve a deposit draft Minerals and Waste Local Plan by February 2004.

INTRODUCTION

1. Members will recall the initial presentation at the March 2000 meeting which explained the philosophy and intentions to develop the initiative. The proposals were agreed and a report on progress was requested.

2. This report sets out the actions that have taken place and the impact of the initiative for local authorities across all functional areas. It also details actions to be carried into 2003/04 especially relating to land use planning and community engagement.

CURRENT SITUATION

3. The Hampshire Natural Resources Initiative (HNRI) was successfully launched on 20 September 2002 at Southampton Football Club. The event was attended by 300 people from a wide range of sectors who agreed the need to achieve a step change in the way we perceive and consume materials (that end up as waste), energy, water, air and soil, as well as biodiversity and climate change, in Hampshire. The emerging vision and goals are set out in the Annex and on the website.

4. The principle behind HNRI is that we have to address the causes of problems rather than solely managing the symptoms. A key principle of HNRI is that it must be action orientated to deliver tangible benefits to local communities, both in the short and long terms. HNRI can therefore be seen as a solution to a wide and varied range of community issues that may vary from area to area. Examples include:

· Reducing over time the need for mineral working and waste disposal facilities
·
Providing new business opportunities and jobs where they are needed
·
Providing skills training and work experience to help with social problems
·
Helping local communities become more self-sufficient, for example through small scale renewable energy schemes.

5.The HNRI is a community based initiative. Hampshire County Council is supporting the development of HNRI in association with a range of organisations including the Environment Agency, B&Q plc, Onyx Environmental plc, GOSE, SEEDA, Chambers of Commerce, Southampton University, Southampton City Council, Churches Working with the Economy and Project Integra. A ‘not for profit’ company, the Hampshire Natural Resources Trust, has been set up to take advantage of external funding opportunities. So far 36 projects have been specified and £520,000 has already been obtained from the Onyx Environmental Trust for a de-manufacturing facility for electrical and electronic goods.

6.The Hampshire local authorities have a key role in driving the HNRI forward. This relates to leadership in the community as well as demonstrating best practice through our own business activities. HNRI crosses a wide range of service areas including:

Community Strategies

Procurement

Economic Development

Contracting

Community Information

Land Use/Management

Social Inclusion

Planning

Education

Waste Management

7. The key point is that is not just a waste or environmental issue. The need is for joint goals and objectives across services and for more joint planning and working between authorities. Whilst this approach is well developed in some areas, e.g. Project Integra, the challenge is to broaden the scope to include a much wider range of services.

8. A particular need is to produce a Minerals and Waste Local Plan that will enable HNRI projects to be developed so that we have less dependence on mineral extraction and waste processing facilities.

9. There need to be new policies and a different approach to material reprocessing facilities e.g. more industrial capacity. The new plan will need to be innovative as well as fulfilling planning policy guidance. The regional framework for planning and the Regional Economic Strategy clearly indicate that the natural resources focus is the only one for the future that will meet industry and local government needs, to fulfil new EU and Government legislation.

BOB LISNEY
Head of Natural Resources Initiative, Environment Department,
Hampshire County Council

Date: 14 January 2003
Annex: 1
Contact:Bob Lisney - tel: 01962 846647 Email: bob.lisney@hants.gov.uk

ANNEX

HAMPSHIRE NATURAL RESOURCES INITIATIVE
THE EMERGING VISION

The vision is that, by 2012, the Hampshire community will be acclaimed for its achievement through local action in conserving and using natural resources more efficiently.

Our goals are to:

Maximise the role of commerce and industry in driving forward the more efficient and cost effective use of natural resources by:

· Supporting Hampshire businesses in becoming leaders in technological innovation and harnessing new opportunities.
·
Improving competitiveness by disseminating best practice and ensuring that the necessary support infrastructure is in place.
·
Identifying and meeting research and development needs through stronger links with academic institutions and national programmes.
·
Supporting social objectives, including the creation of new jobs in areas where they are needed.
·
Supporting Hampshire business in understanding and acting upon the emerging environmental regulations and legislation.

Promote the concept of ‘‘consumer responsibility’’ by ensuring that people have the information to make informed lifestyle choices with the aim of:

· Minimising consumption of finite resources.
·
Reducing rate of growth in waste and the more efficient use of water, energy, minerals and other parts of the natural resource system.
·
Maximising participation to improve recycling levels.
·
Encouraging ‘‘green’’ purchasing.
·
Making ‘‘consumer responsibility’’ part of the education agenda and highlighting the impact of consumer decisions.

Reduce the impact of natural resource consumption on Hampshire’s environment and climate change by:

· Increasing the contribution from renewable resources.
·
Promoting best practice in ‘‘sustainable’’ construction, agriculture, industrial, commercial and service operations.
·
Adopting the use of ‘‘green’’ industrial processes and innovative waste management technologies and systems.
·
Seeking to reduce the impact of transport.
·
Anticipating the impact of climate and other change on resource use.

Establish the public sector as examples of best practice in natural resource use by:

· Seeking to integrate sustainability into all activities and services by ensuring that natural resource efficiency considerations are central to all decisions taken and services delivered.
·
Using local public policy to influence change.
·
Championing ‘‘green’’ purchasing and sustainable construction.
·
Demonstrating the viability and benefits of natural resource efficiencies.
·
Maximising synergies with education programmes.
·
Achieving the ‘‘triple bottom line’’ by linking natural resource initiatives to the achievement of social, environmental and financial objectives.

Influence change at EC/UK government levels by:

· Getting Hampshire recognised as a leader in natural resource issues.
·
Actively participating through community, political and professional networks in debates at on policy development and new regulations.
·
Developing an agenda for EC/UK government action that reflects the aspirations of the Hampshire community.
·
Ensuring that politicians, the media and other opinion formers are briefed on the Hampshire agenda.

(taken from website www.hnri.co.uk)

Last update: 21/03/2003
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

Web Space  provided by Hampshire County Council

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