Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership Board Terms of Reference


1.            Introduction

This document provides the terms of reference for the Oxfordshire Local Nature Partnership, (LNP) Board.


1.1       Purpose of the LNP

The purpose of the LNP is to radically enhance nature, its positive impact on our climate, health and wellbeing, and the priority it is given in decision making, ensuring Oxfordshire is a county where people and nature thrive.


2.          Purpose of LNP Board

The purpose of the Board is to govern the LNP, including to:

·           Provide strategic leadership for the LNP and to champion nature

·           Be responsible for delivery of the LNP purpose

·           Oversee management of LNP finances and report to the body accountable for finances

·           Evaluate success of the LNP and delivery of the work programme

·           Support cross sectoral collaboration, including informing and consulting with the Forum

·           Establish strong relationships with key stakeholders, in particular the Future Oxfordshire Partnership


2.1       Membership of the Board

The Board will consist of members representing the following sectors:

·           Local authority, (Councillor: Leader or Cabinet Member Level)

·           Local authority, (Officer: Chief Executive/Director level)

·           University/Academic institution

·           Health sector

·           Defra family of organisations

·           Environmental non-governmental organisations, (two members)

·           National Landscape body

·           Farming sector

·           Business sector

·           Landowner sector

·           An independent Chair


2.2       Essential criteria for Board members:

·           Experience of operating in a senior position relevant to Oxfordshire’s natural environment and/or relevant social/economic sectors.

·           A track record of operating at the strategic level with relevant significant national, regional and local players.

·           Ability to both act as a good team player and to lead initiatives on behalf of the LNP

·           Strong and effective communication skills.

·           Having sufficient time, enthusiasm and energy to help enable to the Oxfordshire LNP achieve its aims and objectives.

·           High standards of personal conduct consistent with the Seven Principles of Public Life

2.3       Role of Board Members

LNP Board members will assist in the delivery of the LNP’s aims and objectives by:

·           Fulfilling the responsibilities of a member of the LNP governing body.

·           Engaging with the LNP Forum.

·           Advocating the aims and objectives of the LNP within their sector, reporting back to their sector on LNP activities, and identifying opportunities within that sector for furthering LNP aims and objectives.

·           Contributing to the development and implementation of the LNP’s strategic approach using the knowledge, skills, contacts and influence available within their sector.

·           Influencing relevant strategies, plans and funding mechanisms to further the LNP’s aims.

·           Where appropriate, supporting the Chair and Board to champion the LNP and nature through engaging with key local, regional and national partners.

·           At meetings disclose any matters of interest or conflict on issues that may directly affect the decision-making process.


2.4       Appointment and removal of Board Members

·           Board members will be appointed for a three-year term, and a maximum of one additional consecutive term.

·           The Board acting with a 75% majority of all members (not just those in attendance) may decide to invite additional members as required to meet the strategic aims of the partnership

·           Should a member of the Board leave their position within their sector they will resign from the Board and a new member be appointed.

·           The Board acting with a 75% majority of all members (not just those in attendance) may remove a Board member and begin the process to appoint a replacement from the relevant sector, if in the view of the Board the member has: (a) failed to attend 3 consecutive meetings, (b) failed to act in the interests of the LNP, (c) acted in a way which could bring the LNP into disrepute, or (d) failed to resolve a conflict of interest.


2.5       Appointment of the Chair

The Chair will be appointed by the Board after consultation with the Forum.


2.6       Role of the Chair

The Chair will:

·           Be a champion for Oxfordshire’s LNP at all times and pro-actively build support for the aims and priorities of the LNP.

·           Represent the LNP at appropriate events, meetings or functions. If not able to attend the Vice-Chair or other appropriate Board member will attend in his/her place.

·           Act as spokesperson for the LNP where appropriate.

·           Seek to fulfil his/her duties in a manner that is free from bias and influence

·           Act as Chair at LNP Board meetings


2.7       Role of the Vice-Chair

·         Substitute for the Chair

·         Support planning of Board meetings, especially regarding the strategic agenda.  


3.          Other operational arrangements:


3.1       Meeting frequency

The Board will meet a minimum of quarterly.


3.2       Quorum

The quorum for LNP Board meetings will be 50% of the Board membership present in person or virtually.


3.3       Voting

As a voluntary partnership most decisions will be by consensus. When voting is required, the             following process applies:

·           Only Board members present either in person or virtually at a meeting may vote.

·           Voting is by show of hands in open forum.

·           The Chair has a second casting vote if voting is tied.

·           In between meetings, if a vote is required, the Chair may seek votes via email.


3.4       Meeting agendas and papers

·           Board meetings will be facilitated and organised by the LNP Secretariat.

·           The LNP’s agendas and associated written reports will be circulated to the members of the LNP at least three clear working days before the meeting. Nonadherence to this principal however will not invalidate a meeting.

·           Agendas, reports will be published online unless an item involves the discussion of a confidential items.

·           Minutes of Board meetings will be published online once approved by the Board.


3.5       Attendance of Officers and Observers at Board meetings

·           The LNP Manager and LNP Secretariat will attend Board meetings.

·           Observers and guests may be invited to attend and comment, in a non-voting capacity at the invitation of the Board or Board members via the Chair


4.    Review of the Board Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference will be reviewed by the Board on an annual basis, normally in January.