the composition of coastal partnerships could sometimes be unbalanced because there is no proper involvement from the business community. It was also felt that in some cases archaeological or heritage interests were not represented.
It was felt by a number of respondents that partnerships needed a stronger policy role so that they worked towards a sustainable coast as opposed to fighting existing policies. A policy stance would also help to ensure their credibility so that the relevant bodies participated at all levels of ICZM. This formalised role could come from legislation supported by guidance, Memoranda of Understanding etc. It was also felt that partnerships should be given a clear consultative role in any emerging legislation, such as the Marine Bill. However, this role would need to be appropriate to the stakeholders and the region in which the partnership operated. Models both inside and outside the industry were put forward as examples of good partnership and integrated working including AONBs, other coastal fora (e.g. Wales Coastal and Maritime Partnership) and the National Flood Forum.
All of the responses suggested that partnerships could be given further support in the form of core funding, a strong policy footing, re-establishing bodies such as the English Coastal Forum or a Coastal Commission, legislation to oblige competent bodies and authorities to participate in and contribute towards ICZM objectives. The majority of respondents felt that partnerships could be better supported with the provision of core funding, stemming from a national programme of ICZM. This was seen as a priority. Some responses also agreed that partnerships should be adequately funded but in order to receive specific funding, partnerships must deliver against specified targets as set by Defra or other funding body.
One response suggested that partnerships now needed to move beyond the present short term funding towards assured core funding – matched funding was suggested as one option. However, almost all of the responses suggested that the lack of financial resources was one of the key obstacles which prevented partnerships from achieving their aims, or achieving real action (as partnership officers spend the majority of their time seeking funding).
Question 8: We understand from some coastal partnerships that guidance on ICZM would be useful; what should this guidance contain?
Question 8 summary of responses
This question was addressed by 57 respondents, of which 88% would welcome some form of guidance.
In relation to what should be contained within any guidance, 24 respondents commented on the need for guidance relating to the day-to- day operation of partnerships, stakeholder engagement techniques, consultation methods and their effectiveness with the range of stakeholders. There were also requests for guidance on core functions that partnerships might undertake such as conflict resolution, facilitated discussions and business administration skills for partnership coordinators. The management and organisation of partnerships was also