26.11.2015 Cornwall AONB Partnership

Minutes of Cornwall AONB Partnership Meeting held on Thursday 26 November 2015 at 9.30am in the Council Chamber, Cornwall Council’s Carrick House, Pydar Street, Truro


In Attendance


Bob Kirby-Harris                  Chairman, Cornwall AONB Partnership
Cllr Joyce Duffin                   Cornwall Council
Cllr David Hughes                Cornwall Council
Cllr Loveday Jenkin              Cornwall Council
Cllr Vivian Hall                      Cornwall Council
Jo Traill Thomson                 Natural England
Ian Kemp                               National Trust
Victoria Whitehouse            Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Peter Jefferson                     Cornwall Rural Community Charity
Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher     National Farmers’ Union
Jimmy Scobie                       Country Landowners & Business Assn (CLA)
Rupert Hanbury-Tenison   Country Landowners & Business Assn (CLA)
David Rodda                         Cornwall Agri-food Council/Cornwall Dev Company
Catherine Leyshon              University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus
Nick Russell                          Historic England

Supporting officers:

Kevin Bryant                    Cornwall Council, Direct Services
Ann Reynolds                   Cornwall Council, Historic Environment
Hannah Harris                 Cornwall Council, Transportation
Philippa Hoskin               Cornwall Council, Strategic Environment
David Edmondson          Cornwall Council, Planning
Colette Beckham            Cornwall AONB Partnership Manager
James Evans                   Cornwall AONB Planning Officer
Jane Davies                    Cornwall AONB Development Officer
Karen Johns                   Cornwall AONB Office & Finance Officer

1.   Apologies

Andrew Williams, LEP; World Heritage Site Team; Rachael Bice, Cornwall Council Strategic Environment; Kath Statham, Cornwall Council Landscape/Public Space; Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council; Environment Agency; Ann Preston-Jones, Historic England; Terry Grove-White, Cornwall Council Planning

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and started with sharing some good news that the Government spending review announcement on 25 Nov 2015 had confirmed continued Defra funding for AONBs and National Parks.

Also partners were informed that the AONB Unit office will be moving from current Portacabins to offices across the car park in Carrick House, Truro (former Cornwall Housing offices) before Christmas or early in the New Year.


2.  Minutes of last meeting (11 June 2015) and matters arising

Page 1, Cornwall Wildlife Trust Intertidal Discovery maps – AONB Unit confirmed that there is now a link to the maps from the Cornwall AONB website - see http://www.cornwallaonb.org.uk/projects/

Page 2, Item 2, Partnership Agreement 2015/16 – AONB Unit confirmed that the Partnership Chairman and Partnership Manager had met with MPs Steve Double, George Eustace and Sarah Newton to discuss AONB issues and future funding. 

Page 3, item 3, Cornwall Local Plan – AONB comments have now been addressed.  Public consultation draft is expected in January.


3.  Registration of the Cornwall AONB Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO)

The minimum of 3 trustees required to register the new CIO is still to be agreed.  Bob Kirby-Harris, Chairman will be a trustee and all Partners have been invited to be a trustee.  Since the agenda papers were circulated, Rupert Hanbury Tenison has confirmed he will be a trustee.  We now need one more in order to register the CIO, but as no further partners interested then the vacancy will be externally advertised in the local newspapers, on the website etc.  The advert will be asking for 3 more as a total of 5 trustees is the favoured number for the CIO.

  • Draft advert was included with agenda papers and partners made the following comments:
  •  Trustees from community, voluntary, private sectors would be preferred. 
  •  Advert needs to state whether paid or unpaid role and if expenses are remunerated
  • Mention geographic representation from Cornwall – perhaps suggest a spread of trustees for geographic coverage/interest of mid, east and west of the Cornwall AONB.
  •   Expected time needed to be committed to the role. 
  •  Suggest a press release or article in addition to a voluntary job advert to gain wider coverage/readership
  • CIO set up time - CRCC’s experience is that it is more than likely to take longer than the suggested 40 days to set up.


4.  Management Plan Review 2015

AONB Unit has produced a draft Plan following the scoping exercise undertaken by Land Use Consultants, consultation over the summer with partners, workshops, parish councils, general public, other stakeholders and community groups etc.  Online survey monkey questionnaire on the Strategic policies and the 12 local chapters resulted in 200 responses to local chapters and 100 responses on Strategic policies.

The Draft Plan will be reported to Cornwall Council’s Planning Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) and Housing & Environment PAC in Jan 2016.

A Public Consultation Draft will be available for comment at the end of January to mid February 2016.  Plan will then be reported to Cornwall Council’s Cabinet in March 2016.  New Plan designed and printed in May 2016.

C Beckham presented the new layout of the revised Plan, which has been in line with recommendations in the scoping report produced by Land Use Consultants.

Delivery Plan – 26 key actions for the partnership and individual partner organisations and AONB Unit are listed A – Z on pages 15-20.  Partners were asked to take part in a workshop as part of this meeting to consider the ’Key Priorities for collaboration’

In addition to separate write-up made on the above exercise, Partners made the following comments on the Draft Plan:

  •  Appendix 1 – change of landscape/areas – need to mention change of economic position of some of the AONB areas in this appendix as well – unfortunately some areas are now worse so this should be detailed.
  •  Add another column for monitoring to measure/monitor the success/progress of the activities.

AONB Unit to address the following suggested changes.

  • Policies and guidance – needs a summary to detail cross cutting themes in particular the land management to explain why Food, Farming, Forestry is not there i.e. a statement to explain that Cornwall is unique, landscape is managed by the farming, forestry, tourism and other business sectors.
  •   Since draft Plan was circulated with agenda papers, C Beckham has met with David Rodda, Rupert Hanbury Tension, Jimmy Scobie and Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher, and the significance of land management wording was raised and discussed at all their meetings, and C Beckham will address this in re-wording/adding appropriate statements and will circulate a copy of the Draft Plan to them for any comments and agreement prior to the Plan going out for Public Consultation in January.
  •  Has any Gap analysis of the policies taken place?  To understand what isn’t going to be delivered through the Management Plan.  The previous Management Plan included an activity/action for each of the policies, but this was felt unwieldly and the Plan was too long, so the revised Plan has been adapted.
  •    P Jefferson suggested that ‘Management Plan’ is not the correct name for the document as it is a delivery document and it should be an action for the Partnership to raise with Defra about the name to address this for the next revised document  in 5 years’ time.


Key Priorities for collaboration – workshop sticky dots exercise:

Partners were asked to undertake the above exercise, and at the end
C Beckham looked at some of the main issues raised and these were discussed at the meeting:

  •  Boundary markers – Rupert stated that these have been cause for concern across Bodmin Moor as landowners on the Moor have worked for years to ensure less signage clutter.  C Beckham, confirmed that there are no plans to place any boundary markers on Bodmin Moor.  Although it is planned to put one granite boundary marker on the A30 at Temple as part of the A30 dualling scheme.  The AONB Unit is also working with Kier and local schools on a small project to bury a time capsule under the granite boundary marker.
  • The AONB Unit confirmed that boundary markers/signage throughout the 12 sections of the AONB will only be installed if parish councils approach the Unit to request them, as is the case for the signage project currently underway on the Lizard with Grade Ruan Parish Council. 
  •  Patrick Aubrey-Fletcher stated that we need to be clear the Partnership doesn’t give out mixed messages with regards to the Cornwall AONB as it is already unclear to many what the AONB is and where the 12 separate sections are, so when promoting the Cornwall AONB and the new CIO, it is essential to consider the name carefully to avoid further confusion when trying to promote awareness.
  •  QR codes on interpretation signs in car parks etc could be a way to promote awareness and using modern technology.
  •  Partners felt that signage on car park signs etc is a better idea than cluttering the countryside with signs.
  • Partners agreed that marketing and promotion of the AONB is necessary and important but the activity will be re-visited and re-worded to not state boundary markers – activity ‘O’ on the list to be re-worded/re-visited.
  • The AONB Unit will discuss in more detail with Ruper Hanbury Tenison regarding boundary markers AONB Unit


5.  Any Other Business – none


6.  Date of Next meeting – to be confirmed