The Solent Forum

Working in partnership for the future

Who We Are

Southampton Port
Southampton Port, © Solent LEP
Southampton Port, © Solent LEP


The Solent Forum was set-up by Hampshire County Council in 1992. It is an Unincorporated Association (UA). This means that it is:

The Solent Forum Steering Group sets the work programme and budget and appoints the chairman. The Solent Forum host, Hampshire County Council, is responsible for proper financial control including auditing. It has an independent chair and is politically neutral.

Forum members are professional bodies such as local government, harbour authorities, industry, user groups, trade associations and NGOs. The Forum is not open to individuals, local residents associations or issue specific lobby groups.

Solent Forum Staff

The Forum has two staff, a Chair and summer placements students. Please contact Forum staff at:

Solent Forum Chair
Peter Barham was appointed in September 2014.

Peter led for the Environment Agency on flood and coastal defence issues in the Humber estuary. He then worked for Associated British Ports as the Sustainable Development Manager for the company, working closely with the Port of Southampton. He is now a freelance consultant working with Defra and marine industries. 

Karen McHugh, Solent Forum Manager
Karen is the Solent Forum Manager and manages the Forum and its staff, finance and business planning. She leads on Water Quality and the beneficial Use of Dredgings project.

Tel: 0370 779 5206

Kate Ansell, Solent Forum Officer
Kate is the Solent Forum Officer responsible for the Solent News service, the Forum’s websites, Forum publications, Forum meetings and the Forum’s research and reports database (SID). She also runs Solent Forum projects and leads on the Solent Marine Sites Scheme of Management.

Tel:0370 779 3490

Student Work Placements
Student work placements are offered mainly during the summer months. However, we sometimes have other short-term requirements. Please contact us for further information.

Steering Group

The Solent Forum's steering Group is made up from its funding partners and it is chaired by an independent Solent Forum Chair. It meets twice a year to set the future direction of the work for the Forum. It oversees the Forum's Business Plan and Work Programme.

The Steering Group's terms of reference can be found in the Forum's Constitution.

Steering Group Members

Solent Forum Chairs

Peter Barham MBE

Peter was appointed in 2014 and is the current chair.

Professor Mike Clark

Professor Mike Clark served as Forum chair from 2004 to 2014.  The Forum's student bursary award is named as the 'Professor Mike Clark' award in his honour.

Maldwin Drummond

Chair of the Forum from its inception in 1992 to 2004.