Terms of reference

The membership of the Forum

Membership of the Forum is comprised of local authorities within Essex with a tidal frontage, Essex County Council (ECC) representatives who sit on the Regional Flood and Coastal Committees (RFCC), relevant Government Agencies and specified additional organisations (current membership listed below)

  • Basildon Borough Council
  • Castle Point Borough Council
  • Chelmsford Borough Council
  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Maldon District Council
  • Rochford District Council
  • Tendring District Council
  • Southend Borough Council
  • Thurrock Council
  • English Heritage
  • Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • Essex Coast Organisation
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
  • Representatives from each of the 3 Regional Flood and Coastal Committees of relevance to Essex

This is a Member-driven Forum and it is expected that councils will have a Member representative at each meeting with an officer in support if required. Forum members are expected to attend each meeting, supplying a substitute if not available.

Additional Stakeholder Representation

Additional contacts, may receive papers and be kept updated on progress of the Coastal Forum. With the prior approval of the Chairman, these individuals may also attend meetings and speak (as appropriate).

The purpose of the Forum

  1. To discuss coastal issues within the County of Essex
  2. To make recommendations to organisations in relation to the delivery of the Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) and the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan
  3. To provide a steer to the work and the membership of the SMP Working Group including as appropriate, any conflict resolution
  4. To provide a conduit for the exchange of information between appropriate groups and to raise awareness about the wider coastal agenda
  5. To better understand the implications of emerging legislation, plans or groups of relevance to the coast
  6. To share information and best practice with and involve wider coastal stakeholders as appropriate (including EU partners in connection with the EU Sustainable Coastal Development (SUSCOD) Project)

Frequency of meetings

The Forum will meet twice a year, approximately every six months. Additional meetings may be called by the Chairman if required.

Election of the Chairman

The Chairman of the Forum is elected through expressions of interest and subsequent vote. If no expression is made then the County Council Cabinet Member will take the position of Chairman.

The Term of Office for the position of Chairman will be for a period of two years with an election taking place within that time.

The role of the Chairman

The Chairman leads each meeting and ensures that discussions are relevant and follows the agenda in the given timescale. The Chairman ensures that governance arrangements are adhered to and resolves conflicts within the group.

The role of the Members

To share best practice and information between its representatives regarding coastal issues. The ECF is not a decision making body, however advice and recommendations can be made to relevant organisations, portfolio holders and committees.

The role of the Lead Officer

The Lead Officer prepares the agenda, organises the meetings, advises the Chairman and is responsible for ensuring minutes are taken and made available within 10 days of the meeting.