This is an archived press release
Wednesday 3 March 2004
3 March 2004
REDUCTION IN NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY MEMBERSHIP ANNOUNCED
The membership of the Peak District National Park Authority, currently 38 members, is to be reduced to 30. News of the reduction came in an announcement made this week by Alun Michael, the Minister for Rural Affairs and Local Environmental Quality.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is responsible for decisions about the make-up of National Park Authorities and over the last 3 years has been reviewing the way the authorities operate, including the number of members.
Tony Hams, Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: "Defra had been considering a bigger reduction – to 25 members - but we were able to meet with the Minister to explain that 30 members would be a workable minimum for us in what is a very complex National Park. We are pleased that he agreed which means that all our local government partners will have the right representation on the Authority."
The Authority's chief executive, Jim Dixon, said: "Our priority is to ensure that we maintain and build upon our good working relationships with all sectors of the communities we serve, and membership of the Authority is one of the ways we do this.
"Despite the reduction in membership, our priority remains to ensure that the Authority maintains its existing balance and continues to be representative of all interests and perspectives.
"At this stage we are not aware of the timescale within which the change will have to be made. No decisions have been made as to who will leave the Authority. The reduction in membership will be the subject of consultation with local authorities and will require Parliamentary approval."
The Authority's membership is appointed partly by Defra and partly by constituent local authorities. The Authority will continue to work closely with them on this issue.