The Chilterns Conservation Board is an independent body established by Parliamentary Order in July 2004, and has 27 members, all drawn from local communities.
The Board’s purposes are given in Section 87 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000:
- It is the duty of a conservation board, in the exercise of their functions, to have regard to:
- the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the area of outstanding natural beauty, and
- the purpose of increasing the understanding and enjoyment by the public of the special qualities of the area of outstanding natural beauty,
- A conservation board, while having regard to the purposes mentioned in subsection (1), shall seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the area of outstanding natural beauty, but without incurring significant expenditure in doing so, and shall for that purpose co-operate with local authorities and public bodies whose functions include the promotion of economic or social development within the area of outstanding natural beauty.
The Board has a statutory duty to publish a Management Plan for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and to promote its implementation by a wide range of organisations, including local authorities, government agencies, community groups and landowners.
The Board has 27 members, all of whom are independent and do not represent any other organisation. Members join the Board via a number of routes:
- Each of the 13 local authorities in the Chilterns nominates one of their councillors.
- 6 are elected by parish councils in the Chilterns:
- 2 elected from Buckinghamshire
- 2 from Oxfordshire
- 1 from Bedfordshire
- 1 from Hertfordshire.
- 8 are appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment following applications by the general public
Secretary of State appointed members are appointed for two and three year terms. When those terms finish the vacant places will be promoted locally and applications invited from the public.
Members' Allowance Scheme
All members receive an allowance to cover their expenses in carrying out their duties.
Code of Conduct
Members must abide by a Code of Conduct, which includes the establishment of a Members’ Register of Interests which will be available shortly.
The meetings and proceedings of the Board are subject to regulations.
The Board has delegated a number of its functions to the Executive Committee and the Planning Committee. There is also a Standards Committee which monitors the operation of the Board’s Code of Conduct. Its members consist of three members of the Board and one independent member.