The Home Page sets out the key role of the Group and its relationship with Heathrow Airport Ltd and their expansion scheme for the airport. In addition to working with HAL to ensure the sustainable planning of airport expansion, HSPG also works with a number of other organisations to ensure this, such as infrastructure providers to ensure that appropriate infrastructure is provided at the right time in the right place, and to ensure the highest possible environmental standards for the area.
The local authorities are also represented at the Heathrow Community Engagement Board (HCEB). The HSPG and HCEB liaise but have distinct roles in relation to local communities around the airport and the roles and responsibilities of the public authorities in the area.
HSPG has a governance process set out in an agreed Accord setting out the detail of the aims, terms of reference and governance of the Group, and a set of Outcome Statements giving the key objectives of the Group seeks to achieve (see Resources area for a copy). The Outcome Statements have been expanded upon in various responses and submissions made by HSPG to consultations carried out be Parliament, Government and HAL.
The governance arrangements provide for:
Attended by the Council Leaders (or nominee) and other Leaders of the member organisations, responsible for strategic direction and 'decisions' of HSPG, the meeting some senior officers and the HSPG Core Team. Senior representatives of DfT and HAL and occasionaly other stakeholders are also invited to attend part of the meeting.
Attended by senior officers of the member organisations, generally the lead officers responsible for dealing with the Heathrow proposals on behalf of their organisation, the HSPG Core Team, and observers from key stakeholders such as DfT and Highways England.
Specialist sub-groups focusing on a range of technical aspects, including: Transport, Spatial Planning, Environment - Natural Environment, Environment - Public Health, and Business and Economy; these are attended by specialist lead technical officers.
The Group is supported by a small Core Team, details of which are can be found here. The Team can be contacted using the details on the 'Contact Us' page.
Much the same as local planning authorities would have a pre-application agreement with a developer for major planning applications, HSPG has a service level agreement (SLA) with HAL through SBC to resource HSPG’s input into the development of HAL’s expansion scheme (Development Consent Order (DCO) scheme. HSPG also has additional Government Planning Delivery Fund grant for joint spatial planning work.
Use of Consultants and Managing Conflicts of Interest
HSPG uses consultants to provide technical and resource support to carry out is functions. Some consultants that are used are large, multi-disciplinary companies that are commonly engaged on large infrastructure projects, such as Heathrow airport expansion. Some members of the small HSPG Core Team are seconded from the following large consultancies - Atkins, Jacobs and Mace – and also HSPG has commissioned Arup to undertake work on its Joint Spatial Planning Framework (JSPF) and Economic Development Vision and Action Plan (EDVAP).These companies are also engaged by Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) to work on elements of its Airport Expansion Scheme (AEC).
HSPG needs to use large multi-disciplinary consultancies as they have the wide technical expertise and resources in order to support the work of the Group. Clear processes and protocols are in place by HSPG and consultancies to ensure that there is no conflict of interest in using consultancies that are used by HAL or any other promotor/developer of airport expansion with which HSPG is engaged. Measures include ensuring that there are ethical barriers and management procedures in place to ensure separation of consultancy staff working for promoters/developers and for HSPG, formal secondment of consultancy staff to HSPG, and conflict of interest registers to set out how any conflicts have been avoided or will be identified going forward. HSPG will ensure that such processes and protocols are in place for any future commissions where a potential conflict of interest may arise.
Summit meetings, wider briefings and publicity
HSPG holds Summit meetings, inviting all HSPG members but also neighbouring local authorities and a wide range of other stakeholders potentially impacted by Heathrow expansion, to consider key pressing strategic issues and to update attendees on the work of the Group. The Core Team are developing the methods of publicity and briefing undertaken to keep members and interested people up to date with the work of the Group - including the use of the Latest News webpage.
Membership of the HSPG and other participants
The Full Members of the Group are: Buckinghamshire County Council, Colne Valley Park Community Interest Company (responsible for the Colne Valley Regional Park), Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, London Borough of Ealing, Elmbridge Borough Council, London Borough of Hounslow, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Runnymede Borough Council, Slough Borough Council, South Bucks District Council, Spelthorne Borough Council, Surrey County Council, Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
Other organisations and participate in many of the activities of HSPG with ‘Observer’ status, including: Department for Transport (Aviation Team and others), Environment Agency, Highways England, Natural England, Public Health England and the West London Alliance (of West London Boroughs).
Past and Future
The HSPG first established in late 2015 through a belief that collaborative working will lead to greater understanding and influence over the potential impact of airport expansion on the wider area, and help us minimise the potential harmful impacts and maximise the potential benefits of expansion through joint representation to Government, Heathrow Airport Limited and other key stakeholders.
The Group established the Leaders Board and adopted the Accord in October 2017. The Group continues to adapt and grow in response to needs and circumstances as the Government’s position on airport expansion has emerged and as Heathrow Airport Limited develop their proposals prior to submission of a Development Consent application in mid-2020. The Group will continue to develop and evolve in response to changing needs in the future.