Section 94 of the Countryside And Rights of Way
(CROW) Act 2000 places a statutory duty on highway authorities to
establish advisory bodies to be known as Local Access
Forums. The primary purpose of the
Rutland Countryside Access Forum is to provide advice to the
authorities and to Natural England on how to make the countryside
more accessible and enjoyable for open-air recreation, in ways
which address social, economic and environmental
interests. The Forum will encourage and
assist access provision, giving advice on issues of particular
The Rutland Countryside Access Forum will give
advice on three main topics:
Development of recreation and access strategies
which cater for a wide range of people;
Improving the rights of way network; and
Implementation, management and review of the
statutory right of access to the countryside.
Those bodies obliged to have regard to advice
received from the Forum should give serious consideration to
excluding Forum members from paid work initiated by those bodies,
where such work could be directly and specifically attributed to
the advice received from the Forum.
The Rutland Countryside Access Forum will work
Develop a constructive and inclusive approach to the
improvement of recreational access to the countryside;
Respect local circumstances and different interests
while operating within national guidance;
Provide advice on issues of principle and good
practice which is consistent with national guidance;
Engage in constructive debate and seek consensus
wherever possible; and
Where consensus is not possible, make clear the
nature of differing views, and suggest how they might be
out these functions, the Forum shall have regard to:
The needs of land management
The desirability of conserving the natural beauty of
the area for which it is established, including the flora, fauna
and geological and physiographical features of the area;
Guidance given from time to time by the Secretary of
Proper liaison with neighbouring
The membership will:
Be balanced to avoid dominance by any single
interest group or coalition of like interested; and
Include a cross-section of local interests in the
The membership will include:
An independent Chair;
An optimum number of twelve with a maximum of
fourteen members, and;
Two representatives from Rutland County
Members in total must bring a wide range of
Recreational use, for example, walking, riding and
Land management, for example, tenants, landowners
and occupiers, and others with an interest in the land;
Nature conservation, heritage, tourism, health,
business, disability and transport.
The Chair and Vice Chair will be elected on an
Each Forum should contain roughly equal number of
members ascribed to each of the categories in 7a and
7b. Members who genuinely have
experience and credibility in relation to more than one category in
7 will be particularly useful.
10. Members will be appointed by the authority according to
selection criteria which assess if candidates have sufficient
experience of access to the countryside in the local area to be
able to make an informed and constructive contribution to improving
11. Advertisement for new members would be done through local
networks, Parish Council Forum, and the local press.
12. Before appointment, members will be asked to confirm:
Their support of the positive purpose of Local
Commitment to working within the terms of reference
and achieving the aims of the Local Forum through constructive
working with other members; and
That they are able to devote the necessary time to
attend meetings, training and to network with a wide range of
interests outside meetings.
13. Any member of
the Forum who has a personal interest, whether direct or indirect,
in a matter to be discussed by the Forum, to disclose the nature of
that interest at the meeting.
14. A member of the
Forum may resign at any time by giving written notice to the
authority that appointed him or her.
15. Members are expected to be able to devote the necessary time to
attend meetings. Where a member misses all meetings in a year, the
Forum shall review his/her position.
a review and it being agreed by the Forum that a member be
replaced, the replacement member should ideally be from the same
interest group and the appointment shall be subject to the usual
selection procedure (organised by the appointing
quorum for the Forum meeting is 5. Where the Chair feels that the
meeting is unbalanced because of low attendance the Chair has the
discretion to postpone the meeting.
17. Meetings will be held at least twice a year, and more frequently
when necessary. One of these meetings will be the Annual General
Meeting at which the Chair and Vice Chair shall be
appointing authority will provide access to meeting rooms, provide
a secretary and reimburse reasonable child care and travelling
19. Meeting agendas will be agreed between the Chair, the Officers
of the appointing authority and the secretary to the
20. Members of the Forum will be entitled to submit agenda items to
the Secretary 14 days prior to the meeting.
21. Meetings will be advertised in advance and held in
22. Agendas, papers and minutes of meetings will be available to the
Chair will invite observers to the meeting when
24. Observers will be able to contribute to the proceedings at the
discretion of the Chair.
public will be able to ask questions on the business of the
meetings at the discretion of the Chair, subject to a time limit of
3 minutes per person.
appointing authority will have the right to review the membership
of the Local Forum on an annual basis, if necessary.
Secretary shall prepare regular progress reports of the
Forum’s business to the appointing authority.