What a busy two days – first the workshop for TVBP partners at Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park on Tuesday and then our meeting with the Local Authority Directors of Place on Wednesday!
I really enjoyed the Workshop – the weather was perfect and the cakes even more so. Seriously, there were lots of good comments, interesting debate and strong views put forward in a constructive way. I can see why the Biodiversity Partnership has been a success. I don’t envy the task that Sue Antrobus Jeremy Garside and Clare Lowe now have of trying to make sense of all the feedback to help us move forward with aspirations, priorities, vision and structure!
Yesterday’s meeting with the Tees Valley local authorities “Directors of Place” was also extremely useful. Sue, Jeremy and I attended this meeting which is composed of the Directors of Environment and Regeneration of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Darlington, Stockton and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Councils, and is currently chaired by Kevin Parkes of Middlesbrough Council. We shared with them the background of Local Nature Partnerships and where we are with developing ours in the Tees Valley. The key bits of feedback were that they are very supportive of a Tees Valley Nature Partnership, wanting a single, strong environmental voice for our area. They understand and agree the need for a good strategic “joined up” approach, but they also think it is incredibly important to continue with the great local delivery on the ground – this being seen to “do” something is key to maintaining credibility. So that really chimes with the consensus at our workshop about building on the capability and competence to get out there and get things done.
As for next steps, the Directors are going to think how best they can work with the LNP and will let us know what their expectations of the LNP will be. We thought it was a good, positive session and a great opportunity to gain support at a senior level of our developing work on a Tees Valley Nature Partnership.
Additional note from Sue Antrobus
Thanks for the update David, I was also very encouraged by the high level of genuine interest at our meeting with the Local Authority Directors and delighted by the strong energy from partner organisations at the workshop at Cowpen Bewley…. left with a feeling of excitement for the year ahead. I am, however now still surrounded by flipchart paper – writing up the workshop notes, and will post these on the website on Monday with copies of the presentations.