Local Access Forum
What is a Local Access Forum (LAF)?
The Countryside & Rights of Way (CROW) Act 2000 required that LAFs would be set up in every Local Authority and National Park in England and Wales. They are bodies set up to advise as to the improvement of public access to land in that area for the purposes of open-air recreation and enjoyment of the area and to other matters as prescribed by the Welsh Government.
How were they set up?
The CROW Act placed a statutory duty on "appointing authorities" to establish a LAF in their area. Torfaen County Borough Council set up the first LAF in November 2002, appointing members with varied interests and experiences from local ramblers to estate managers, horse riders to farmers, trail riders to commoners. Every three years, the Authority must re-advertise for a new Local Access Forum, thus allowing new interested people to apply and swell the numbers of those members who have requested they remain on the forum.
Who do the LAF "advise"?
The forums are consulted by the Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Torfaen County Borough Council and other bodies as may be prescribed in future regulations. These bodies have a duty to have a regard to relevant advice given by the LAF and in Torfaen the advice has been very valuable and of great assistance in many instances. (See the Annual Reports for a list of matters passed to the LAF for comment/advice).
Last Modified: 17/03/2016
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