In July 2021, SxNP launched its ‘Local Authority Network’ for all local authorities across West Sussex, East Sussex and Brighton & Hove CC as a pilot approach. Due to the success of this pilot, it has been continued into 2022-23 and is now considered a vital part of the work of the nature partnership, helping to develop a ‘community of practice’ on many new and emerging issues.
What is it?
This network provides all local authorities in Sussex with:
- a way to connect with the work of the Sussex Nature Partnership
- access to information and resources, knowledge sharing events and forums for sharing experiences and best practice across councils
What does it do?
Key themes for the network include:
- developing ‘readiness’ within local authorities ahead of enactment of the Environment Bill (Local Nature Recovery Strategies and Biodiversity Net Gain);
- supporting the development and delivery of ‘nature-based solutions’ across Sussex to deliver a range of benefits including climate, flood risk, water quality, health and biodiversity
How does it work?
All local authorities in Sussex have subscribed and can therefore access the following:
- regular webinars and events on key areas of emerging policy and practice.
- access to commissioned research and project work being driven by the nature partnership on the two priorities above;
- new discussion forums to bring local authority officers and elected members together to discuss and share best practice regarding issues such as nature recovery networks, net gain and nature-based solutions;
- regular updates on relevant activity happening across Sussex and further afield;
- involvement with any of the Sussex Nature Partnership Working Groups – which bring together members of the partnership to discuss and drive forward thinking on strategic issues of importance.
- technical advice and support for appropriate project development (aligned with strategic priorities for the SxNP). The level of involvement by the SxNP secretariat will depend on project complexity and funding acquired.
If you work for a local authority in Sussex or are an elected representative and would like to participate in the network or access recordings of past events, please contact the Secretariat on firstname.lastname@example.org
“The SxNP Local Authority Network has been invaluable. Without it, our local authority’s understanding of the Environment Act and emerging BNG and associated legislation would be much poorer and we would be even less prepared. If only we had a pan-Sussex advisory group and support network for all planning related topics.” Rother District Council
“The LA Network has been invaluable in quickly gaining an understanding of new and complex issues like Local Nature Recovery Strategies and Biodiversity Net Gain, and for being able to discuss shared issues with colleagues across the counties.” Chichester District Council
Local Authority Network Events
The network provides monthly webinars on a range of issues. The programme for the next quarter will cover the following:
January 2024. Reflecting on Local Wildlife Sites in Sussex and what is needed going forward. Clare Blencowe and Lois Mayhew, Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre.
The webinars are not recorded for public circulation but please do see the slides below from the presentations.
August 2021: Launch Event
September 2021: Developing a joint response to the Defra LNRS Consultation. Slides.
December 2021: Future proofing local plans for the Environment Act and BNG. Slides.
January 2022: Defra consultation on Biodiversity Net Gain – initial discussion. Slides.
February 2022: In-depth look at the Defra BNG consultation. Slides.
March 2022: Woodland and Planning. Slides.
April 2022: Defra consultation: Nature Recovery Green Paper. Slides.
May 2022: Ecological Data and Information Services: presentation by Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre. Slides.
June 2022: Viability of >10% BNG: results of a study by Kent Wildlife Trust. Slides.
July 2022: Environment Act: discussion with Defra on proposals for strengthened biodiversity duty. Slides
August 2022: Review of the First Year of the Local Authority Network – and update on possible arrangements for LNRS preparation in Sussex. Slides.
October 2022: Call for Green Sites: experiences from Adur & Worthing Councils and South Downs National Park. Slides (SDNPA) and A&W Councils
November 2022: Sussex Parks and Green Spaces Project : overview and outputs. Slides.
December 2022: Urban Greening – lessons from application in London and ideas for urban areas in Sussex. Peter Massini, consultant and former lead for Green Infrastructure at the GLA. Slides
January 2023: Arun District CouncilL Local Plan BNG Evidence Study. Slides.
February 2023: Defra’s BNG Consultation Response: review of the key points + initial work on Stakeholder Engagement for the LNRS. Slides
April 2023: Local Nature Recovery Strategies: overview of Regulations and Guidance. Slides.
May 2023: Wilder Horsham: an overview of the project. Helen Peacock (Horsham DC), Rich Black (Sussex Wildlife Trust).
June 2023: Towards interim guidance for BNG: presentation and discussion of the proposed approach. Kate Cole, Ben Kimpton (ESCC), Julie Middleton (SxNP). Slides
July 2023. BNG – a landowner’s perspective. Ben Taylor, Iford Estate.
August 2023. Accelerating nature-based solutions for carbon. A report back from the SELEP funded project. Julie Middleton. Slides.
September 2023. No webinar.
October 2023. Nature and Health – overview of SxNP work in this area. Julie Middleton. Slides.
November 2023. Funding nature’s recovery in Oxfordshire through BNG. Matt Whitney (Oxfordshire LNP).
December 2023 Overview of recently published Regulations and Guidance for BNG. Kate Cole. Slides