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We will also be talking to parish councils about the possibility of holding parish Council hosted events, which would be open to the public.

Extract from NFNPA Next Stage Letter 31 December 2008

Sue Baillie, speaking for ‘One Voice’, asked how the decision had been made not to grant ‘public’ meetings on the National Park Plan and Recreation Management Strategy, as requested in her statement to the Authority on 16 October 2008; she asked members to hold a full discussion and cast a vote on this subject under minute item 60 (Urgent Business). She also asked what arrangements the Authority had made for discussions with the general public in the next stage of the process and how it would inform the public of these arrangements. Mrs Baillie requested that the Authority’s website page entitled ‘New Forest National Park Authority forthcoming public meetings’ be amended to include reference to the Authority’s public speaking procedures; or to remove the word ‘public’ from the title.

Referring to the first two points, the Deputy Chairman responded that the question of public engagement on the Park Plan had been considered by the Chairman following the presentment made in October. In the light of discussions with officers and the circumstances prevailing at the time, the decision was taken for largely practical reasons to maximise officer and member involvement through the remaining schedule of parish council meetings rather than organise public meetings. These meetings were well publicised and provided a useful forum for dialogue with the public and an opportunity to clarify some of the proposals.

Extract from NFNPA Authority Meeting Draft Minutes  29 January 2009

January-February 2009: further meetings including working groups to review and propose revisions to those polices that have created the most concern during the consultation.  These groups are likely to look at recreational horse keeping, zoning policy, recreation (including dogs), business and community needs, and traffic.  The full range of views will be represented at the working groups.  Further meetings will also be held in parishes or villages to consider the way forward.

Extract from NFNPA News Release 14 November 2008

So far, the Authority has already announced that it will be setting up a series of working groups to review the policies which have attracted most comment and invitations will issue shortly.  It has also said that it is developing a strategy which will enable engagement with ward councillors, parish councils and the public.  That strategy is still being finalised and will be announced within the next few weeks.

Extract from NFNPA Response to One Voice Formal Complaint 30 January 2009

Arrangements for meetings with parish representatives and parish led meetings later in the process are being finalised but we will be aiming to give a month’s notice of all events.  Other elements of engagement with the public before the documents are presented to the Authority are also being finalised and will be published as soon as they are agreed. As soon as the agreed strategy for these arrangements is in place it will be published and I will ensure that you are informed.

Extract from Email correspondence BAILLIE/LEMON 12 February 2009