An event for chairs of Local Nature Partnerships was held in London on 13 February.2013. The aim of the event was to enable LNPs to share best practice, discuss implementation issues and celebrate success. The event was opened with a presentation by Chris de Grouchy, Deputy Director EU and UK Biodiversity Policy Delivery. He outlined mechanisms of support for LNPs to assist them in engaging with partners. This was followed by an open discussion forum and presentations on Future European Funding, Health and Wellbeing Boards , then parallel sessions on LNPs and strategic planning and the Government’s response to the Independent Forestry Panel Review.
Richard Benyon MP, Minister for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs arrived and gave an outline of LNPs, who made the following points:
- LNPs have a major role in delivering the NEWP ( Natural Environment White Paper)
- They are part of a new approach for managing the environment in a strategic and integrated way
- Improving the environment is one of Defra’s four priorities set out by the Secretary of State
- The support and engagement from LNPs is vital for delivering Lawton e.g. local determined NIAs
- The Town and Country Planning Regulations have been amended to give LNPs the same consultative role as the LEPs in strategic cross boundary planning
- We particularly want to encourage growth in the rural economy and it is vital that we integrate growth and the environment. LNPs could play an important role in this locally. This was followed by short presentations by three LNPs, after which the Minister welcomed questions from the floor.
A summary of the event and presentations can be downloaded here.