This is an archived press release
Thursday 2 December 2010
2 December 2010
Delivering for the Peak District National Park
Conservation work by the Peak District National Park Authority is outstanding and other areas are exceeding or meeting requirements, an assessment has found.
The inspection was carried out in October by an independent team of assessors on behalf of the Government, Audit Commission and the English National Park Authorities’ Association.
Assessors looked at the services provided and sought the views of approximately 150 people representing local councils, residents, conservation and heritage groups, recreation user groups, businesses, as well as staff and members within the authority itself.
The Peak District National Park Authority was:
- awarded an excellent score for its conservation work
- told it is performing well at:
- promoting understanding of the national park and delivering services
- delivering its quality of vision
- setting and using priorities and the use of resources
- providing leadership for the national park and improving performance.
- meeting adequate standards for achieving wider sustainable development. This included praise for the way the authority works with volunteers, engages with communities and businesses and is showing leadership for the national park by reducing its own carbon emissions.
Narendra Bajaria, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “We are delighted that the assessment team has recognised the passion and hard work of our staff and members and the results this brings for the national park.
“The report also reflects the enormous contributions of a wide range of partners, community groups, local businesses and individuals who help look after the national park environment and make it such a great place to live in and visit.
“The assessors have made useful recommendations about improvements we can make as we enter a tough period of reduced budgets for us and our partners.”
Areas picked out for particular praise in the report include:
- The Moors for the Future partnership, which has delivered £17 million of moorland restoration to help tackle climate change, reduce the risk of flooding in towns and cities around the National Park and improve drinking water quality.
- The Live & Work Rural programme, which is helping small businesses to start up, creating jobs for local people, while also protecting the environment.
- The Moorland as Indicators of Climate Change, a project to involve school children in research into the impact of climate change on the landscape.
The authority is looking at the suggestions for improvement made by the assessors and will publish an action plan in January 2011 to respond to the ideas.
Among the improvements suggested are:
- Continuing to build on recent improvements in community engagement
- Improving the use of planning powers to deliver wider social and economic benefits and communicating this effectively to the public
- Getting greater buy-in from partners to help deliver improvements for the area
- Providing visual leadership to guide the organisation and partners through challenging financial times
The full assessment report can be seen at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/assessment