Peter Lewis, Chief Executive, Epping Forest Heritage Trust to be heard (presentation to be considered in conjunction with the non-public appendix at agenda item 26).
The Chairman welcomed Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of Epping Forest Heritage Trust (the Trust) to the meeting. The Chairman confirmed that he thought formal introduction would be beneficial, given he is new in the role and is to begin looking at partnership working with the City Corporation and at where opportunities may exist to partner on specific projects moving forwards, whilst also allowing an opportunity to understand the work currently being done by The Trust in developing a new strategy.
The Chief Executive talked the Board through the work he had been mandated to undertake, looking at the impact of the Trust and provided Members with an overview of the Trust’s strategy due for launch next week. He also highlighted a quick win through continuing the strong partnership working with the City Corporation that had already contributed to making the Trust’s strategy stronger and also talked about engagement with Members and the importance of putting the Forest at the heart of decision making.
The Chief Executive confirmed the Trust were committed to protecting the Forest for everyone’s enjoyment now and for generations to come and remarked on how it was important for everyone to work together to achieve maximum impact.
The Chief Executive responded to points raised and highlighted the work that was already taking place looking to improve diversity among Forest visitors through ongoing partnership work with the City Corporation, neighbouring London Authorities and the voluntary community. Work was also taking place with relevant organisations looking to bring people into the Forest from across different age ranges and through a targeted approach.
The Chairman welcomed the presentation commenting on how he considered it very helpful to give everyone an overview of the work that had been taking place to date, and how it is important to understand the overlap in areas of work, makingsure it was seen by the public that we were talking with one voice and highlighting areas of joint working e.g., volunteering and the Visitor Centre at High Beach. There is a need to think about education, tying it all together and with this being a really important area going forward.
The Chief Executive confirmed that the Epping Forest Heritage Trust’s new strategy as outlined would be launched within the next week.
The Chairman thanked the Chief Executive for allowing time in his diary to come in and present to the Committee today.