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New deputy chair for Peak District National Park Authority

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 2 July 2008

2 July 2008

New deputy chair for Peak District National Park Authority

Narendra Bajaria has been unanimously elected for a second year as chair of the Peak District National Park Authority at its annual meeting.

Councillor Hilda Gaddum has been elected to take over as chair of the planning committee. She takes on the role after deciding to stand down from her position as deputy chair after three years service.

The new deputy chair is Councillor Irene Ratcliffe, who is one of the Derbyshire County Council representatives on the authority. She is also a member of Derbyshire Dales District Council.

Professor John Herbert was re-elected as chair of the audit and performance committee and Councillor Andrew Marchington continues as chair of the services committee.

Narendra Bajaria said: “The Peak District National Park Authority has had a very productive year and we have a clear plan of the areas where we want to see further improvements in the next 12 months.

“I would like to thank Hilda Gaddum for the excellent support she gave me and my predecessor Tony Hams during her time as deputy chair. I am sure she will bring the same enthusiasm and dedication to her new role as chair of the planning committee. I’m also pleased to welcome Irene Ratcliffe as the new deputy chair.”

Highlights of the authority’s work in the past 12 months included:

  • Important work to manage peat moorlands, which is restoring the condition of the land and helping to tackle the effects of climate change by storing carbon in the peat. The work is being carried out by Moors for the Future, of which the Peak District National Park Authority is a key partner.
  • Producing an environmental management plan which sets out targets to reduce the carbon footprint of the authority  
  • Agreeing a deal to protect the countryside by preventing the re-opening of Lees Cross and Endcliffe quarries, near Bakewell, after a nine-year legal battle.
  • Completing the first Landscape Character Assessment, which maps out the different land types in the Peak District National Park. The information from the assessment is being used to assist with planning applications and to help plan conservation work.
  • Negotiating a better financial settlement from the Government, worth 10 per cent over three years, to help the authority carry out a wide variety of projects including work to tackle the effects of climate change and improve biodiversity.
  • Agreeing and starting to implement a business plan to secure the future of Losehill Hall in Castleton, the national park centre for environment education.
  • Hosting the Association of National Park Authorities annual conference in September 2007 at Buxton.

Some of the major projects planned for the next year include:

  • Continuing work to find a long-term solution to quarrying at Longstone Edge, near Bakewell
  • Completing and starting to implement a strategy to minimise and manage the effects of climate change in the Peak District National Park.
  • Producing by November the preferred options for setting future planning guidelines in the Peak District National Park. This will be done following consultations with local communities and will include proposals for future affordable housing policies.
  • Continuing work to manage recreational use of the countryside by 4x4s and trail bikes, concentrating efforts on the most damaged routes.
  • Providing guided walks for at least 2,500 people

A full report on the authority’s work in the past 12 months can be seen by visiting www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/index/pubs/bvpp.htm

This is an archived press release

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