National Park Authority chair unanimously re-elected

This is an archived press release

Friday 26 June 2009

26 June 2009

National Park Authority chair unanimously re-elected

The Peak District National Park Authority has unanimously re-elected Narendra Bajaria CBE as chair at its annual meeting (June 26 2009).

Mr Bajaria, who was first elected to the post in 2007, was also warmly congratulated on being made a CBE in the recent Queen’s birthday honours list. He is the former head of planning, highways and transport for Sheffield City Council and is deputy chair of the English National Park Authorities Association.

Councillor Trevor Bagshaw was elected as the new deputy chair. Cllr Bagshaw, a retired metallurgist, is a Liberal-Democrat member of Sheffield City Council and a former chair of the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund panel.

He was recently instrumental in establishing a village officer to work with the National Park Authority on community projects in rural Sheffield - the only UK city to have a third of its area in a national park.

The Authority also elected its committee chairs for the forthcoming year:

  • Cllr Hilda Gaddum was re-elected chair of Planning, with a new deputy chair, Roger Clarke
  • Cllr Andrew Marchington was re-elected chair of Services, with Christopher Pennell re-elected deputy chair
  • Professor John Herbert was re-elected chair of Audit and Performance, with Cllr Tracy Critchlow re-elected deputy chair.

The Authority has 16 members appointed by county, district, city or borough councils, eight appointed by the Defra Secretary of State for their expertise in national park issues, and six representing parish councils. Mr Bajaria welcomed four new members following a recent resignation and county council elections.

They are:

  • Suzanne Leckie, appointed by the Secretary of State - principal lecturer in countryside management at Sheffield Hallam University, who lives in the national park, in Tideswell
  • Cllr Garry Purdy, appointed by Derbyshire County Council - Conservative councillor for Wirksworth, a former Derbyshire police inspector and security adviser to the NHS
  • Cllr Marian Stockdale, appointed by Derbyshire County Council - Labour councillor for Shirebrook (near Mansfield), whose many voluntary posts include director of Willow Tree Family Farm, a community outdoor education centre
  • Cllr Jean Wharmby, appointed by Derbyshire County Council - Conservative councillor for Glossop South, former mayor of High Peak Borough Council, who formerly ran a pub and hotel.

Mr Bajaria paid tribute to the members who lost their places following the county council elections, who included his former deputy chair, Irene Ratcliffe, and a former chair of planning, Barbara Wilson, as well as Roger Wilkinson, from Glossop, and Jim Muir, from Staffordshire County Council.

“They were all extremely committed to the ideals of the national park, and they all made a very significant contribution to the work of the Authority,” he said. “We wish them well in their work in the future.”

This is an archived press release

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