Former YHA chief executive joins Peak District National Park Authority

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 1 April 2009

01 April 2009

Former YHA chief executive joins Peak District National Park Authority

Dr Roger Clarke
The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed Dr Roger Clarke, former chief executive of the Youth Hostels Association, as a new member.

Dr Clarke was appointed to the Authority’s governing body by Defra Secretary Hilary Benn after a rigorous selection process. He lives in Matlock near the boundary of the national park.

His lengthy experience of environmental and young people’s organisations qualifies him to make a significant contribution to the national park. He has served on the boards of Natural England, the European Federation of Youth Hostel Associations and English Nature, and held directorships with the Countryside Agency and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Dr Clarke was instrumental in moving the YHA headquarters from St Albans to Matlock, and he currently serves on the Development Education Association, the Woodland Trust, BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) and as an advisor to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“I’m very much looking forward to working for the national park,” he said. “I think the Authority does a great job in enabling people from the cities to enjoy this area, while maintaining a top quality environment for people who live and work here.”

Dr Clarke, who is married with two sons, is a member of the Bakewell Quaker Meeting. In his spare time he climbs mountains, runs marathons (he is preparing for the White Peak Marathon in May), grows vegetables and makes music.

The Authority has also said farewell to two of its members - Secretary of State-appointee Leigh Rix, and Cheshire County Council representative Sylvia Roberts.

Mr Rix decided to step down at the end of his second term due to his work commitments as area manager with the National Trust, and Cllr Roberts’ term came to an end with the dissolution of Cheshire County Council and Macclesfield Borough Council.

Former Macclesfield Borough Council appointee Hilda Gaddum, who chairs the Authority’s planning committee, now represents the new body, Cheshire East Council.

The re-organisation means that High Peak Borough Council will gain a second representative on the Authority, to be selected April 21, joining current member Cllr Tony Favell.

Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “We very much welcome Roger Clarke as a new member, and we look forward to welcoming a new High Peak member too. We’d like to thank Leigh Rix and Sylvia Roberts wholeheartedly for their contributions to the work of the Authority and we wish them well for the future.” He presented them with photos of the national park.

  • The Authority has 30 members who set its policies and budgets and decide on significant planning applications. Eight are appointed by the Defra Secretary of State for their expert knowledge related to national park issues, 16 are councillors nominated by district, borough, county and metropolitan councils and six represent parish councils. All consider both local and national interests.

This is an archived press release

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