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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Ask JP 5 / Costs involved with extension of BA General Duty
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Costs involved with extension of BA General Duty

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Paladine
Nov-21-2018 @ 10:41 AM                           Permalink
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Section 64 Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 amended Section 2(1) of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Act 1988 (the general functions of the Broads Authority), from –

”It shall be the general duty of the Authority to manage the Broads for the purposes of:

(a) conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the Broads;
(b) promoting the enjoyment of the Broads by the public;”


To

“(a) conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Broads:
(b) promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public;”


Did the extension of those general duties result in addition expenses by the Authority?

If so, are those additional expenses ongoing?

If so, of what magnitude?

How are those additional expenses being met, e.g. from central government grant, local authority levy, etc?

Cocklegat
Nov-21-2018 @ 8:29 PM                           Permalink
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An interesting point.

With regard to, "(b) promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public;”

I have always felt that this should be interpreted to mean 'Education'  rather than "Tourism' ,a fine line I suppose but I do feel that costs associated with the latter are not a cost that the BA should bare. Of all the (National Parks) the Broads has probably the most visitors already, and while boating is far the biggest part of that, the area's other assets are increasing attracting more people.

JP
Nov-22-2018 @ 4:02 PM                           Permalink
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Dear Paladine,

From the early days of national parks the importance of wildlife in the Broads has been recognised.

So Hobhouse wrote in 1947:

“The Broads have a special claim to selection as a National Park quite apart from their natural beauty, by reason of their holiday and recreational value and the interest of their plant and animal life.

Responsibilities for cultural heritage are in part covered by the Town and County Planning legislation. So I don’t think there has been any significant change in expenditure in respect of the extension of general duties to include wildlife or cultural heritage. It has always been part of what we do.

However, you will have noticed from Chairs Group report that in the NP National Awareness Survey (August 2018), members of the public ranked protection of nature, habitats and species as the most important responsibility of the National Parks.  The report goes on to raise the question as to “whether the role of National Park Authorities could be strengthened with regard to the protection and enhancement of wildlife”.

Our role in education is improving as we develop the Broads curriculum and utilise Heritage Lottery Funding through Water, Mills and Marshes to provide significant increases in our engagement with schools and the repair of the iconic windmills whilst training young people with specific heritage construction skills.

Another great example of engagement in this area is our attendance at events such as the Norfolk Show and Norwich Science Festival where we coordinate a huge range of wildlife and heritage activities to engage with families and school groups.

Regards

John


JP
Nov-22-2018 @ 4:04 PM                           Permalink
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Dear Cocklegat,

I think it covers both tourism and education.

The original purpose of National Parks is neatly summarised in Section 5 (1) of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 which states:

National Parks
(1) The provisions of this Part of this Act shall have effect for the purpose of preserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the areas specified in the next following subsection, and for the purpose of promoting their enjoyment by the public.

The second element was to encourage those living in the cities to get out into the new National Parks and enjoy their natural beauty. Hence the provision of visitor centres and information to help visitors and the role of working with tourism businesses to encourage people to visit and enjoy themselves.

I take the subsequent modification to include the words promoting opportunities for the understanding … to have widened the responsibilities to include education in its widest sense.

Tourism is of vital importance for the Broads. We have a thriving tourism industry that attracts around 7.5 million people, spending over £600million and supporting over 7,000 jobs.  We must support this industry which requires constant refinement to keep up to date with changing trends and opportunities. In doing so more people will learn about the Broads.

Regards

John


Paladine
Nov-22-2018 @ 4:33 PM                           Permalink
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Thank you for that answer.

A supplementary question if I may...

There are clearly expenses involved. In what proportions are they split between the purposes of:

(a) conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Broads;

(b) promoting opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Broads by the public;

(c) protecting the interests of navigation;

and how are those proportions decided?

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

Jean&Brian
Nov-22-2018 @ 7:56 PM                           Permalink
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quote "The second element was to encourage those living in the cities to get out into the new National Parks and enjoy their natural beauty. Hence the provision of visitor centres and information to help visitors and the role of working with tourism businesses to encourage people to visit and enjoy themselves."

Thank you John but if that statement is correct why were the Information Centres at Ranworth and Potter Heigham both high profile visitor areas closed while you are now proposing a development at Acle.
                                                                   Brian


          

JollyRodger
Nov-22-2018 @ 11:35 PM                           Permalink
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JP wrote:
However, you will have noticed from Chairs Group report that in the NP National Awareness Survey (August 2018), members of the public ranked protection of nature, habitats and species as the most important responsibility of the National Parks.  The report goes on to raise the question as to “whether the role of National Park Authorities could be strengthened with regard to the protection and enhancement of wildlife”.

That is assuming that those questioned included the Broads as a national park which to date it isn't and apart from marketing it is incorrect to call it one.

Jolly Rodger

JollyRodger
Nov-22-2018 @ 11:41 PM                           Permalink
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J.P wrote:
So Hobhouse wrote in 1947:
“The Broads have a special claim to selection as a National Park quite apart from their natural beauty, by reason of their holiday and recreational value and the interest of their plant and animal life.

Hobhouse might have thought that but the Countryside Commission's report clearly didn't and nor did Parliament, for the first time.

Jolly Rodger

This message was edited by JollyRodger on Nov-22-18 @ 11:01 PM

BuffaloBill
Nov-23-2018 @ 9:33 AM                           Permalink
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Further to Jean&Brians comment, Potter and Ranworth have
more footfall of visitors to the Broads than Acle ever
does, and as Brian stated, they were both shut and now
there's a proposed Visitor Centre where the most
visitors will arrive by boat anyway who are already
'enjoying the National Parks'.
Iv'e been coming to the Broads since 1963 and I have
never seen enough people there to warrant one. At least
at Potter visitors arrive by the bus load.
JMO.

The older I get...
The better I was....!!

JP
Nov-23-2018 @ 4:34 PM                           Permalink
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Dear Jean&Brian,

Thanks for asking.

The Authority didn’t want to close these centres but when faced with a 25% reduction in its National Park Grant it had no choice but to take some tough decisions. We decided to retain the centres at How Hill, Whitlingham and Hoveton and found alternative arrangements at the three sites we closed.

With regards

John



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