HEF Terms of Reference
1. Aims & Objectives
1.1 The Hertfordshire Environmental Forum (HEF) has been
- provide an opportunity for organisations with an interest in
the sustainable development of Hertfordshire to come together to
address the protection and improvement of the local environment
and contribute to the resolution of global problems.
- work in partnership to provide a framework to initiate and advance
environmental programmes across the communities of Hertfordshire
and in particular promote and monitor the sustainability process
- stimulate awareness on environmental issues both locally and
nationally to achieve greater involvement, promote activity and
encourage sustainability at all levels.
2.1 Membership shall be open to the twelve authorities that formed
HEF, who shall be known as the Founder Members  , and, at the discretion of the Joint Steering Group, other
organisations with an interest in the HEF Aims & Objectives.
2.2 There shall be two classes of Membership:
- Members, who will pay annual subscription rates as agreed at
each yearís AGM and will have voting rights; and
- Associate Members who will not be required to pay the annual
subscription rate and will not have voting rights.
2.3 Applications from organisations wishing to join HEF as Members
or Associate Members shall be made in writing to the Secretary, who
shall report the application to the HEF Joint Steering Group. A majority
of Members, including at least 50% of Founder Members, must be in
favour of the application for it to be agreed. Members may caste
their vote in writing if they are unable to attend the relevant Joint
Steering Group meeting.
2.4 Each Member organisation shall be entitled to nominate three
representatives to attend HEF Joint Steering Group meetings. One
of those representatives shall be identified as the voting representative
for the Member organisation.
2.5 Herts Association of District Councils (HALC) shall be entitled
to nominate three elected members to attend HEF Joint Steering group
meetings, one of which will be identified as the voting representative,
subject to Hertfordshire County Councilís subscription including
an amount for HALCís subscription.
2.6 Each Associate Member organisation shall be invited to nominate
one representative. Associate Member organisations will not have
voting rights. Associate Member organisations may be invited to nominate
more than one representative at the discretion of the Joint Steering
3.Terms of Reference
3.1 The business of HEF will be conducted in accordance with these
Terms of Reference.
3.2 Amendments to the HEF Terms of Reference will require the approval
of a majority of Members, to include at least 50% of Founder Members,
either voting in person or by casting their vote in writing if they
are unable to attend the relevant Joint Steering Group meeting.
4. Administrative Procedures
4.1 The activities undertaken by HEF will be hosted by a Founder
Member for a period of 12 months on a revolving calendar basis. This
Host Member shall provide leadership for all HEF matters during their
period of office and shall nominate a representative to act as Chair
of HEF for the year of office. The Host Member organisation for the
following year will be agrees at the AGM.
4.2 All the activities pursued through the Forum shall be guided
and prioritised by a strategic HEF Joint Steering Group comprising
representatives of Member and Associate Member organisations. The
Host Member shall be notified of the names of the representatives
and any substitutes at the commencement of their period of office
and whenever these are changed during the course of the year. The
Secretary of HEF must be notified of any substitutes for the representatives
or changes to the nominated voting representative by the start
of the Joint Steering Group Meeting.
4.3 The HEF Joint Steering Group shall be required to meet on at
least four occasions during each calendar year.
4.4 Each Joint Steering Group agenda shall include:
- Details of any changes in membership of HEF and any applications
- A Financial Report from the HEF Secretary.
- Reports from each Work Group, including current work programmes.
- Meetings and Events Calendar.
4.5 The agenda of the HEF Joint Steering Group meeting shall be
publicised on the web site two weeks prior to the meeting to promote
to the public including the press. [NB the agenda published on the
web will not necessarily include the detailed reports to be presented
to the meeting.]
4.6 The Host Member shall convene an Annual General meeting (AGM)
at the third meeting of the year of the Joint Steering Group to:
- determine the Host Member and the main theme to be adopted for
the year ahead.
- receive nominations and agree the Member organisation which
will host the next HEF Annual Conference and agree the theme or
topic to be adopted for that conference.
- approve the annual work programmes for all Work Groups and the
- consider future funding needs and determine future priorities
for the year ahead.
- agree the Member subscription rate for the following year.
4.7 Proposals for increasing the subscription rate shall be considered
at the Joint Steering Group meeting prior to the AGM to enable consultation
with Member organisations prior to the AGM. The end-of-year financial
account should be received in the first meeting of the New Year.
4.8 The Joint Steering Group will appoint Work Groups comprising
appropriate officer and employee representatives to undertake specific
work programmes on behalf of HEF. Work Groups shall be free to make
what arrangements for meetings they feel is appropriate and will
be authorised to encourage full participation from Members and Associate
Members, and other organisations, business and the voluntary sector
when appropriate. Members of Work Groups may not necessarily be representatives
of HEF Member or Associate Member organisations. Representatives
of Member and Associate Member organisations shall be entitled to
attend Work Group meetings.
4.9 The Joint Steering Group will appoint an Executive Group to
monitor, co-ordinate and manage the activities of the Work Groups
and provide professional advice and recommendations for consideration
by the Joint Steering Group. The Executive Group shall comprise the
Chair of each Work Group, and an officer representing the Host Member
who shall act as Secretary to HEF and chair the Executive Group.
The Executive Group shall be free to make arrangements for meetings
as are appropriate and the Chair of HEF shall be entitled to attend
the Executive Group meetings.
4.10 An invitation shall be extended to the next Host Member officer
representative to attend the final Executive Group meeting of the
year and the retiring Secretary shall be invited to the first meeting
of the Executive Group of the following year to ensure a smooth
4.11 A HEF Annual Conference based on a sustainability theme or
topic relevant to the activities of HEF shall be hosted each year
by one of the participating Members. The conference to be organised
in conjunction with the Education and Promotions Work Group, utilising
support from other work groups and representatives as appropriate.
The HEF Joint Steering Group shall approve the theme of the conference.
5.0 Professional and Officer Support
5.1 Each Member and Associate Member organisation will be
requested to provide appropriate professional support to HEF and
may be represented on each of the Work Groups.
5.2 The Host Member will be required to provide full secretarial
and administrative support to HEF throughout their period of office.
6.0 Participation by Other Organisations, Public, Press etc
6.1 HEF may request other organisations, agencies and environmental
groups to participate in any HEF activity.
6.2 Members of the public shall be permitted to attend any meeting
of HEF Joint Member Steering Group unless a majority of Members at
the Joint Steering Group meeting request that representatives of
non-voting organisations and/or the press and public should
be excluded for a confidential item.
7.0 Conduct of HEF Steering Group Meetings
7.1 Each Member organisation shall be entitled to one voting representative
at Joint Steering Group meetings. Hertfordshire County Council makes
a contribution on behalf of Hertfordshire Association of Local Councils,
which entitles HALC to a vote at the Joint Steering Group meetings.
The Secretary shall be advised of the name of the representative
authorised to vote on behalf of each Member organisation at the start
of each meeting.
7.2 Non-voting representatives of Member organisations and representatives
of Associate Member organisations, including officer and employee
representatives, shall be entitled to attend HEF Joint Steering Group
meetings and take part in debates, but they will not be entitled
7.3 Members of other organisations shall be entitled to attend HEF
Joint Steering Group meetings and take part in debates subject to
the discretion of the Chair but they will not be entitled to vote.
7.4 All attendees at HEF Joint Steering Group meetings shall sign
the attendance register and indicate their status.
7.5 Each Joint Steering Group meeting shall be chaired by a nominated
representative of the Host Member organisation, which will normally
be the person nominated as the Chair of HEF. The Chair of the Joint
Steering Group meeting will hold the casting vote should the vote
be tied. The Chair shall control the conduct of the meeting and the
ruling of the Chair on any point of order shall be final.
7.6 The quorum for the Joint Steering Group shall be equivalent
to one third of the number of the Member organisations participating
in HEF at the time of the meeting.
7.7 The order of business shall be as indicated on the Agenda or
otherwise, as the Chair shall prescribe.
8.0 Legal Status
8.1 HEF does not constitute a formal decision making body except
for matters in pursuance of the Aims & Objectives set out in
these Terms of Reference and for matters that relate to the day to
day working of HEF. All activities, administrative procedures and
financial affairs of HEF are governed by common law. HEF is not empowered
to enter into contractual commitments that will be formally binding
on any or all of the membership organisations.
9.0 Funding and Financial Procedures
9.1 Each Member organisation will be requested to make a
financial contribution towards HEF as approved at the AGM.
9.2 During itís year of office the Host Member will be responsible
for holding HEFís funds and processing all transactions relating
to them, provided that the HEF Joint Steering Group has formally
authorised such expenditure.
9.3 The Host Member will be required to prepare and present a statement
of accounts and financial report to each meeting of the Joint Steering
9.4 All requests to fund work activities must be made to the Joint
Steering Group in the form of a written report. In exceptional circumstances
the Chair of HEF can approve funding, up to a maximum of £5,000,
which would then be ratified by the Joint Steering Group at its next
9.5 Where the Joint Steering Group have authorised expenditure the
approved value shall not be exceeded by more than 10% without reference
back to the Joint Steering Group or in cases of urgency by the Chair
9.6 The Host Member shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs
incurred in administering and servicing HEF during their year of
office upon submission of a detailed account to a Joint Steering
Group meeting in the year following the year of office. The maximum
level of reimbursement shall be of 50% of the individual Memberís
contribution to HEF. For the application of costs to be approved
the accounts must be approved by a majority of Members present at
the Joint Steering Group. Costs can be recovered provided that the
authority has hosted HEF at least once.
The following shall be regarded as eligible costs:
- printing and mailing costs of HEF agenda papers
- printing of HEF headed paper
- committee clerk support for HEF Joint Steering Group meetings
- hospitality for HEF Joint Steering Group meetings
10.1 A Member shall not disclose to any person except another Member
of the Forum any papers, reports or documents indicated to be confidential
- The Steering Group expressly consents or has taken steps to
make that business public; or
- The law requires.
Drafted by Rosemary Harris July 02
Accepted by HEF Joint Steering group 18 Sept 2002
 The Founder Members are: Dacorum Borough Council,
East Herts District Council, Hertfordshire Association of Local Councils,
Hertfordshire County Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, North Hertfordshire
District Council, St Albans City & District Council, Stevenage
Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, Watford Council, Welwyn
Hatfield Council, Broxbourne Borough Council.