This is an archived press release
Monday 20 October 2014
Parish councillors from across the Peak District National Park met with national park planners on Saturday (October 18) for a day devoted to current issues.
Parishes' Day is organised every year by the Peak District National Park Authority in partnership with the Peak Park Parishes Forum – which represents parish and town councils in the national park.
More than 50 councillors attended the 'Vibrant Villages' event. They took part in workshops and debates to identify how the National Park and parishes can work together to help rural communities thrive.
Topics included broadband and mobile connectivity, the national park development plan and the Peak District cycling strategy. There was also a presentation by Derbyshire Association of Local Councils on their Connecting Derbyshire project.
Peak District National Park Authority chair, Clr Lesley Roberts, said: "Parishes' Day is always an interesting and lively event with plenty to discuss. It's very helpful to meet people face to face and have the opportunity for debate, to find common ground on issues and have an input into things that are coming up.
"As members tasked with making decisions that affect national park communities this contact with parish councillors is valuable. It ensures better understanding of our respective roles, helps us make better informed decisions, and encourages more participation from parish councils."
Clr Roberts is a parish councillor for Leekfrith parish. She made history earlier this year when she became the Authority's first parish council member chair, the first chair from the Staffordshire Moorlands, as well as being the first woman chair.
Parishes Forum chair Clr Brian Long said: "The workshop and talks were productive and really informative and brought all parties up to date on issues that are a cause of concern to local councils.
"We are keen to make a positive contribution to local decisions and continue to work with the national park for its conservation and the well-being of our local communities."
Parish councillors play a key role in voicing the local opinions and concerns of the communities they represent. They are also consulted on national park planning applications in their areas.