Senior parish council members urged to join Dales authority

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SENIOR parish councillors in the Yorkshire Dales are being called on to become a member of its influential national park authority.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), which consists of 22 members, works to conserve and promote the area.

It consist of 12 members appointed from the local county and district councils, four parish representatives and six national members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Grassington Parish Councillor Andrew Colley, who is currently the authority’s member champion for conservation of the natural environment, comes to the end of his four-year term in May.

Though he is allowed to stand for election again, parish councils and parish meetings in the Craven (East) area of the national park are now being invited to put forward a candidate – who must either be a member or a chairman.

Carl Lis, the national park authority chairman, said: “Being a member of the YDNPA means you can play a direct and active part in helping to conserve and enhance this beautiful yet fragile landscape and to help other people to understand and enjoy its special qualities.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for anyone who cares deeply about the countryside and the local communities within the national park.”

Long Preston Parish Council chairman Nick Thwaite, who became a member of the authority in 2010, said: “I’d wondered about becoming a national park member for some time.

“The authority only has two purposes – the conservation and enhancement of the national park and promoting its understanding and enjoyment to the public. These are important issues and it is important to ensure the voice of the community is heard when discussing how best these purposes might be delivered.”

For a full list of parishes covered by this election and further details on how to become involved, visit www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/members.