The Home Page sets out the role of the Group, and in particular its current focus on recovery from Covid 19 and the downturn. HSPG works with a number of other organisations to ensure that the airport is sustainably planned and managed, 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. Those organisations include Government departments, Heathrow Area Transport Forum (HATF), Heathrow Airport Ltd (HAL) itself, Highways England, Environment Agency, West London Alliance and other local authorities in the area not part of HSPG.
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. NOTE 29.7.20 - the Accord is currently being revised and will be uploaded in due course.
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 is also attended by some senior officers and the HSPG Core Team. Senior representatives of DfT and HAL and occasionally other stakeholders are also invited to attend the meeting.
There are two regular officer group meetings. A Chief Officers Group attended by Chief Executives or nominees to give strategic direction to support the Leaders Board which meets typically quarterly. A monthly Officers Group which essentially steers the work of HSPG day to day, attended by senior officers of the member organisations, generally the lead officers responsible for dealing with the Heathrow matters proposals on behalf of their organisation, and observers from key stakeholders such as DfT and Highways England. Both are attended and supported by the Core Team
Specialist sub-groups meet from time to time 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.
HSPG is funded by member contributions, but is open to other sources of funding as appropriate, and will look at potential funding bids to Government and other bodies.
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 airport, to consider key pressing strategic issues and to update attendees on the work of the Group.
Membership of the HSPG and other participants
The Full Members of the Group are: Slough Borough Council, London Borough of Hounslow, London Borough of Ealing, Surrey County Council, Elmbridge Borough Council, Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, Runnymede Borough Council, Spelthorne Borough Council, Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership, 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, West London Alliance (of West London Boroughs), Buckinghamshire Council, and Colne Valley Regional Park CIC.
Past and Future
The HSPG was 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.
That collaborative and partnership is equally as important now (even though airport expansion is no longer the focus given the Appeal Court's decision on the Airports NPS) with the current focus on sustainable recovery for local communities and businesses from C19 and the downturn around the airport and in the HSPG area. The Group will continue to develop and evolve in response to changing needs in the future.