Operating Agreement

  1. Name
    The group will be known as the South Ayrshire Local Access Forum (referred to below as the "Forum".)
  2. Aim
    The aim of the Forum is to provide advice and assistance on matters relating to outdoor access in South Ayrshire.
  3. Objectives
    • to act as the local access forum for South Ayrshire established by South Ayrshire Council, to undertake the statutory functions of that body under Part 1 of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003
    • to assist in the development of a core path plan for South Ayrshire
    • to promote the sharing of knowledge, awareness and good practice in outdoor access
    • to mediate and offer advice to South Ayrshire Council and others including the resolution of disputes
    • to advise South Ayrshire Council on priorities for implementation of access provision in South Ayrshire
  4. Structure and Membership
    The Forum:
    • will consist of such persons as are appointed by South Ayrshire Council to ensure an adequate representation of interests in outdoor access matters in South Ayrshire
    • will elect a chairperson from its membership to serve for a term of three years
    • will elect a vice-chairperson who will deputise in the chair's absence
    • will have a maximum term of membership of three years at the end of which re-appointment may be made
    • will hold a minimum of four meetings per annum
    • will invite such parties to meetings as it may consider relevant for the purpose of providing expert advice on any matter arising
    • will liaise with Working Groups dealing with specific access related issues
    • will allow any member unable to attend specific meetings to be temporarily replaced at these meetings by a substitute acceptable to the Forum
    • the meetings will not be open to members of the public
  5. Working Groups
    Working Groups may be established, where agreed by the Forum for the purposes of advising the Forum on specific access issues or co-ordinating access plans. Working Groups may:
    • be under the authority of the Forum
    • have a clear remit, terms of reference and expected life span agreed by the Forum
    • comprise membership which may be from the Forum, the wider population and specialist advisers
    • report findings and outcomes to the Forum for approval and/or further action
  6. Administration
    Forum meetings will be undertaken on the basis that:
    • 1/3 of the active membership, to a minimum of 4 persons, must be present at the meetings to make up a quorum
    • decisions will be made through consensus, if necessary voting will be taken
    • minutes shall be kept of all meetings and circulated with agendas and working group reports and other relevant material to all members of the Forum
    • South Ayrshire Council will provide administrative support, accommodation and facilities for the Forum meetings and Working Groups
    • all Forum members may request inclusion of items for discussion in meeting agendas
    • every 3 years General Meetings will be held, to coincide with the term of membership for the Forum. The General Meetings will be advertised via the local press and the Council’s website. Members of the public may participate in these meetings, but their topic of discussion should be declared before the meeting, and they will be limited to speak for 5 minutes only. This is to allow the meeting to proceed.
    • at Ordinary Business Meetings, members of the public may attend and participate, by invitation only (the invitation should be agreed by a majority of the Forum in advance).
  7. Communication
    A communication plan will be developed to ensure that all information relating to the business of the Forum is available to its members, stakeholder members, working groups and the wider public.
  8. Training
    Training regarding relevant issues will be made available for members as appropriate.