Issue date: 17th September 2013
MPs representing five Norfolk and Suffolk constituencies covering parts of the Broads Authority executive area met with senior members of the Broads Authority and the appointed members of the Broads Authority’s Navigation Committee in early September, at Westminster, to discuss concerns about the Authority’s governance, consultation processes and toll levels.
A key concern raised was the lack of representation for navigation interests within the Broads Authority. With only two representatives of the Navigation Committee out of twenty-one members of the Broads Authority there is a view that adequate representation for navigation, conservation, recreation and the Broads’ tollpayers is not present in the Authority.
Also questioned was the process of consultation with the Navigation Committee on navigation issues, especially when the navigation account was expected to make substantial financial contributions such as for the dockyard development at Griffin Lane, Thorpe.
A final concern centred around ignoring advice when was sought. The Navigation Committee produced guidance against a 3% increase in toll levels this year, but despite this advice the increase was made.
The meeting closed with the proposal that the Broads Authority should appoint a director to liaise with a Navigation Committee representative to discuss and agree changes to the internal consultation structure, with the aim of improving communication between the two groups.