management mechanisms. The rationale put forward for a lead coastal body included the need for an easily identifiable body that could co- ordinate others and provide a clearer strategic direction.
Six respondents commented on the need to ensure adequate resources were consistently available to build and maintain the proposals in this section.
Comments on the individual proposals (a) to (f) were as follows:
Five respondents commented on the importance and difficulties of harmonisation with the devolved administrations, with support for the priority given to effective harmonisation. One respondent stated that a long term commitment should be made to resource the voluntary initiatives which currently operate to aid harmonisation cross border.
There were three responses to this point with comments requesting details of the ‘particular commitment’. These respondents also commented that coastal management should be geographical and not political, and that there should be Government involvement in any arrangement.
No respondents specifically addressed this proposal.
Ten respondents addressed this point. Comments included that an holistic approach at national inter-departmental level could only be achieved through a coordinating body such as a Marine Management Organisation or a Coastal Commission. Others felt that more was required to make this point effective, extending coordination to include local authorities and coastal partnerships. However this point was supported with endorsement of “the need for ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ integration to overcome the sectoral and inter-governmental divisions that currently exist”.
The nine respondents that addressed this point generally focused on the need to include building relationships with local and regional government, the Local Government Association and coastal/estuary partnerships. It was also suggested that resource issues for these bodies should be assessed. Other comments related to the opportunities to build relationships provided through proposals in the Marine Bill, and more specifically marine planning.
Comments on this point concentrated on the need for improved communication to be a “two-way street” not a “one-way dialogue” with a “top down approach”, but that “principles of a meaningful two way exchange between tiered levels of coastal management, (national, region/sub-region) should be supported”. Other comments included the need for greater and more regular dissemination of information through open ‘feedback’ meetings with stakeholders, and greater involvement of central government officials in ICZM fora. There were also calls for coastal partnerships to be recognised as having a key role in the dissemination of information at local level, acting as a conduit for the two-way flow of information.