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Council Services:

Local Access Forums

A Local Access Forum (LAF) is a statutory body established under the Countryside and Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000, providing strategic advice on improving public access to land.

What is a Local Access Forums?

The primary purpose of the Local Access Forums is “to advise as to the improvement of public access to land for the purposes of open air recreation and enjoyment of the area, and as to such other matters as may be prescribed”.

Each forum consists of 18 members, each representing a wide range of interests including users of:

  • Rights of way,
  • Land managers and farmers,
  • Health,
  • Heritage,
  • Nature conservation,
  • Tourism,
  • Transport,
  • People with disabilities and excluded groups.

They provide strategic advice on the improvement and development of public access to land within their area.

The forums can provide advice to a number of bodies and organisations including the County Council, District Councils, Natural England and Government Departments. 

These bodies are required by CROW to have regard for any relevant advice given to them by the forum.  This means that although not bound to follow advice given, they are legally required to take it into account in carrying out their functions.

LAFs can provide advice on a range of issues including:

  • Management of rights of way
  • Rights of Way Improvement Plans
  • Alley gating
  • Discovering Lost Ways
  • Managing public access on Access Land
  • Common Land
  • Recreational access
  • Utilitarian access (to shops, schools and services)
  • Access to inland water
  • Coastal Access
  • Access by different types of user and by all sections of society
  • Land use planning
  • Planning applications / Local Development Frameworks
  • National policy development

There are two forums in Lincolnshire:

  • Mid Lincolnshire Local Access Forum – a joint forum with North East Lincolnshire
  • South Lincolnshire & Rutland Local Access Forum – a joint forum with Rutland County Council.

A map showing areas covered by each forum in Lincolnshire can be found in Downloads below.


Could you be a Local Access Forum Member?

The two Local Access Forums cover Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and Rutland.  The Mid Lincolnshire is a joint forum between Lincolnshire County Council and North East Lincolnshire Council.  The South Lincolnshire and Rutland LAF is a joint Forum between Lincolnshire County Council and Rutland County Council.

Forum members act in a voluntary capacity, with the appointing authority meeting travel expenses.  The Forums meet approximately four times per year and there is an element of work “behind the scenes”, liaising and networking with others.

If you think that you could represent one or more of the areas of interest listed above, then we would like to hear from you. Please complete the application form.


Local Access Forums meetings

Each forum holds four full meetings each year. Meetings are open to the public and you would be most welcome to attend. The meeting venues are rotated around their area.

The Chair will normally take questions from the public at the start of the meeting and at their discretion allow members of the public to comment on a particular agenda item.  At some meetings, the forums will have an external speaker, which can assist forums to make informed decisions and can result in advice being given to appropriate bodies or organisations.

The agendas are set by the Chair, working in consultation with officers from the appointing authority.  If you would like the forum to consider a particular issue please contact the forum Secretary in writing not less than 14 days prior to the date of the meeting:

Address: The Secretary, Local Access Forums, Democratic Services, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln, LN1 1YL
Email:  committeservices@lincolnshire.gov.uk

The Chair agrees the agenda with the forum Secretary approximately 10 days in advance of the meeting.

Please remember that the LAF does not deal with path or site specific issues. These issues should be directed to rights of way staff in the highway division or your county councillor. Use the “Report a path problem” facility to report problems to us.


Forthcoming meetings


Mid-Lincolnshire Local Access Forum

Date: Tuesday 24 October 2017
Time: 14:00
Venue: Caistor Arts Centre, Town Hall, Caistor.

South Lincolnshire and Rutland Local Access Forum

Date: Wednesday 25 October 2017
Time: 18:00
Venue: Rutland Council Offices, Catmose Street, Oakham


Past meetings of the Forums

Past agendas, minutes and reports for both the Mid Lincolnshire Local Access Forum and South Lincolnshire and Rutland Local Access Forum can be viewed using our Committee Records System.


Current vacancies

Mid Lincolnshire Local Access Forum

Vacancies currently exist on the Mid Lincolnshire Local Access Forum.  We would particularly like to receive applications from people with knowledge and experience of:

  • Landowners/Land managers
  • Path users
  • Wider countryside access issues

South Lincolnshire and Rutland Local Access Forum

Vacancies currently exist on the South Lincolnshire and Rutland Local Access Forum.  We would particularly like to receive applications from people with knowledge and experience of wider countryside access issues.

If you would like to be considered for this voluntary position please complete the application form.

For an informal discussion about the work of the Local Access Forum, please contact the Countryside Access team.


Annual Reports

The Local Access Forum annual reports are available in the Downloads section below

Contacts

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Last updated: 19 September 2017

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