2017 Severn Estuary Strategy – John Harrison

Published on April 27, 2017 in 2017 Forum Reports, Economy, Energy, Environment, Presentation

Sustainable Severn Forum 2017John Harrison, Chair of the Severn Estuary Partnership opened the session theme on Governance and collaboration. The Severn Estuary Partnership working in partnership for the future of the Severn Estuary. In his talk, John shared an overview of Severn Estuary Partnership, their revised vision and strategy and next steps and the challenges and opportunities for governance in the estuary.

In describing the area covered by the Partnership showing a map, the area runs from just above Gloucester to Hurlstone point near Minehead on the English coast and Nash Point on the Welsh coast, so also includes the inner Bristol Channel.

John said that “it has an amazing array of natural features to our site that we live and share our environment with that we also have to balance our human, economic and industrial activities with which the Severn Estuary Partnerships Strategy aims to deliver.”

The vision of the new 10 year strategy – The Severn Estuary Strategy champions an integrated approach to the sustainable use and enjoyment of the Severn Estuary

  1. Achieving a Sustainable Marine Economy
  2. Ensuring a Strong, Healthy and Just Society
  3. Living within Environmental Limits
  4. Promoting Good Governance
  5. Using Sound Science Responsibly.

John shared that one of the key changes going on in their marine and coastal environment is marine planning. They continue to work closely with both Welsh Government and the MMO regarding marine planning in the estuary. The Partnerships key role is making sure all of our stakeholder are kept informed of the latest changes and key developments. The WNMP is well underway and is due for public consultation in mid-2017.

Next steps include:

  • Final version available online
  • Consultation response documents now available on line.
  • Launch Final Version in May at Joint Advisory Committee workshop
  • SEP Business & Action Plan under development (2017-2022).

John shared his views on governance challenges and opportunities:

  • Feedback on Severn Estuary Strategy
    – approach welcomed
    – need now to seek sign up from all strategic bodies
  • Severn Estuary Partnership
    -governance arrangements only capable of directing resources/ actions of members
    – need to remain neutral
    – facilitate using best available science
    – support working of key estuary groups
  • Marine based Planning interface with Land based Planning still emerging but this an opportunity as well.
  • Multi political fora , which is most appropriate ?
    – Local Authority Service Board(s) adjoining estuary
    – Cardiff Capital Region City Deal
    – West of England Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Gulf of Maine Model ?