In 2021, Sussex Nature Partnership approached the 11 district and borough councils in Sussex with a proposal to establish a ‘Local Authority Network’. This network was to provide a formal link between the nature partnership and the district and borough councils and to provide a forum through which the partnership could provide knowledge sharing and support for local authorities in relation to common issues. A small subscription to join was requested and the network was launched for an initial pilot year. Its initial programme focused very heavily on new and emerging responsibilities for local authorities under the Environment Act, such as Biodiversity Net Gain and Local Nature Recovery Strategies.
In August 2022, a review of the network was carried out and included a survey of local authorities involved (the feedback from this can be seen here). There was unanimous support for the network to carry on for a second year – and so the network will continue to roll out a bespoke programme for local authorities in Sussex in 2022-23. This is great news as this work is of great benefit to the nature partnership itself and provides a very useful means through which to build relationships, foster collaboration and generate a ‘community of practice’ on new and emerging areas of policy across Sussex. More information on what is planned for this year ahead can be found on its own webpage on this site here.