1. That the variation of the agreement with Surrey Wildlife Trust (SWT) for the management of the Countryside Estate in accordance with the proposals detailed in the report, noting the cost implications outline in paragraphs 34-38 of the submitted report be agreed.
2. That authority be delegated to the Executive Director for Environment, Transport and Infrastructure and the Executive Director for Resources in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Fire & Resilience and the Cabinet Member for Finance to:
a. enter into final negotiations with Surrey Wildlife Trust and complete the variation to the agreement, including the surrender of Phase 1 and 2 leases and re-grant of lease.
b. agree the implementation of transitional arrangements with Surrey Wildlife Trust for the management of Countryside Visitor Services and property management responsibilities pending completion of the variation.
c. transfer the responsibilities for visitor services to Surrey County Council on the 1 April 2020 subject to ‘call-in’ arrangements.
Reason for decision:
Approval of the recommendations to implement changes to the agreement with SWT, improves its effectiveness and efficiency. SWT are fully supportive of the proposed changes as set out in this report. The countryside is a natural resource offering significant opportunities to support and benefit the health and wellbeing of residents.
[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Communities, Environment & Highways Select Committee]