15 December
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New life for Local Access Forum


Changes are being made to the West Lothian Local Access Forum to ensure it fulfils its role on public access issues.

Council Executive has approved plans to revise the forum to ensure it fulfils its statutory role of providing balanced, local advice on the management of outdoor access.

The new forum would see a group of around eight representatives appointed by the council to serve on the West Lothian Local Access Forum (LAF) for up to three years.

The autonomous group would be supported by the council, and potential appointees would be nominated for their experience and ability with outdoor or access issues as an individual or through their employers.

Currently any access issues are managed by the council's Parks & Woodland Team, in consultation with Nature Scot as required.

Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: "I'm delighted to see these plans to re-invigorate the West Lothian Local Access Forum taking shape.

"I hope to see a new forum created which brings together a range of skills and experience to represent West Lothian on this key issue.

"It's vital we have a forum which champions local needs and balances a variety of interests, so I would encourage people to apply."

A recruitment process will now be carried out to encourage those with the right skills and experience to apply to join the group, which will include contacting existing LAF members and those who have previously expressed an interest, as well as the relevant agencies.

Details of this process will be publicised shortly, with the aim of having a new LAF in place by Spring 2023.  Should you have an interest in applying to become a member of West Lothian's LAF, please email the Access Ranger Tony Mason on tony.mason@westlothian.gov.uk