New chair for Peak District National Park Authority

This is an archived press release

Friday 6 July 2007

6 July 2007

New chair for Peak District National Park Authority

A Sheffield architect and planner has been elected chair of the Peak District National Park Authority at its annual meeting. (July 6)

He is Narendra Bajaria, former head of planning, transport and highways for Sheffield City Council, who has been a passionate advocate for the National Park since being appointed to the Authority six years ago.

For the past three years he has been its planning chair, and he is also active in a wide range of environmental, housing, heritage and arts organisations.

He takes over the National Park chairmanship from Tony Hams OBE, who decided not to stand for re-election as his 10-year appointment to the Authority ends next March.

Authority Members and staff paid tribute to Mr Hams, who this week was offered an honorary doctorate by the University of Derby in recognition of his outstanding achievements in nature conservation and sustainable development.

Mr Bajaria said: “I am honoured to be following in the footsteps of Tony Hams, who has been an outstanding leader and exemplar in his five years as chair. Tony is not only highly-respected in the National Park movement, but in environmental organisations nationally and internationally.

“His vision, commitment and enthusiasm during challenging times have been second to none, and his honorary doctorate could not be more deserved.”

Mr Bajaria is represented on English Heritage’s urban panel, the Yorkshire and Humber Historic Environment Forum, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, South Yorkshire Housing Association, Yorkshire Forward’s Renaissance Group, Yorkshire Culture, Key Funds South Yorkshire and Yorkshire Arts’ Space Society.

Having worked for Sheffield City Council for more than 30 years, Mr Bajaria retired in 2000. He is married and originates from Zanzibar.

Cllr Hilda Gaddum was re-elected as the Authority’s deputy chair. She chairs Macclesfield’s planning committee, and her public service has included being a charity trustee, a longtime member of the WI, parish councillor and school governor.

The National Park Authority, whose 30-strong governing body is composed of Members appointed by local councils or the Secretary of State for Environment, welcomed several new faces.

They are: Councillors Tony Favell (High Peak), Colin Robinson (NE Derbyshire), Edwin Wain (Staffs Moorlands), David Barker (Sheffield), Secretary of State appointee Geoff Nickolds, and Parish Members Christopher Carr and Patricia Coleman. Ronald Priestley transferred from being a council appointee to a Parish Member.

The Authority also said thank-you to retiring Members: Councillors David Mellor, Paul Broadhead, Catherine Hunt, Lionel Richardson, Kenneth Stevenson, Barrie Taylor and Garry Weatherall, Secretary of State-appointees Lynn Crowe, Barry Neville and Adrian Brown, and Parish Members Tom Bunting, Michael Crompton, Christopher Furness, Peter Harrison and Hilary Young.

This is an archived press release

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