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Peak District National Park Authority welcomes two new members

This is an archived press release

Thursday 18 March 2010

18 March 2010

Peak District National Park Authority welcomes two new members

The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed a planner and a park warden as new members of its ruling body.

Paul Ancell, from Macclesfield, and Ben Rayner, from south Manchester, have been appointed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to voice national interests on the Authority.

They will join 16 local councillors, six parish representatives, and six other Defra appointees on the 30-member body which has strategic responsibility for conservation, recreation, planning, access and resources in the national park.

Paul Ancell is a chartered town planner who recently retired as chief executive of Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council. He formerly worked for High Peak and Macclesfield councils and is currently a non-executive director of the Central and Eastern Cheshire Primary Care Trust.

Ben Rayner works for Manchester City Council as a park warden where he specialises in working with communities and getting people enthused about green spaces, wildlife, recreation and volunteering.

He has worked on conservation projects in Madagascar and Australia, and says, “I want to play a part in ensuring the Peak District remains an asset to the region and the country in future years.”

Defra has also renewed the appointments of Authority chair Narendra Bajaria and Pauline Beswick, who represents cultural heritage issues.

Authority leaders expressed gratitude and appreciation to the two departing Defra-appointees, Anne Ashe and Harry Bowell.

Anne Ashe, who has come to the end of a 10-year appointment, is a former chair of the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund panel and vice-chair of planning. With her background in planning, public transport and energy research, she was the Authority’s representative for climate change, and formerly for sustainable transport.

Harry Bowell, who was recently appointed assistant director of operations for the National Trust (East Midlands), has had to step down due to work commitments. He was the Authority’s spokesperson for biodiversity and also chaired the Sustainable Development Fund panel.

Authority chair Narendra Bajaria said: “I’d like to thank both Anne and Harry for their invaluable contribution to the work of the Authority. We wish them well for the future.”

Defra appointments are made on merit after a rigorous application and selection process, and are non-political. Authority members are unpaid, though they can claim allowances and expenses. They commit a minimum of two to three days a month to the Authority, working alongside its permanent staff.

This is an archived press release

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