The Essex Coastal Forum
The Essex Coastal Forum was established in 2011 following the development of the Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan (SMP), to seek to ensure the incorporation of that Plan and others into a wider coastal agenda.
The Forum includes coastal local authorities, government agencies and key stakeholders that meet three times a year to consider and discuss a wide range of coastal projects and initiatives. Information is also distributed to a wider range of stakeholders who can also ask to attend meetings.
Coastal issues had traditionally been managed through a complex system where themes including flood defence, coastal protection and conservation management fall under the remit of different statutory agencies, local authorities, government departments and non-governmental organisations, each one with their own strategies and interests. The work of the Essex Coastal Forum moves on from this sectoral approach, by bringing together decision makers responsible for wide ranging activities at the coast, to seek a more integrated approach to management of coastal issues in Essex.
Through the sharing of information and best practice, it aims to improve integration between those with an interest in the Greater Essex coast and to ensure consistent decision making.