Could you Become a Parish Member of Exmoor National Park Authority?

After the Parish Council elections in May 2015, there will be opportunity for those elected to any of Exmoor’s Parish Councils to become a Parish Member of Exmoor National Park Authority.

The National Park Authority consists of six County Council appointed members, six District Council members, five members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs and five Parish Members. To become a Parish Member of the National Park Authority someone must first be elected to an Exmoor Parish Council, or as the Chairman of an Exmoor Parish Meeting.

After May’s elections, all of the Parish Councils and Parish Meetings in the National Park will be invited to nominate a parish councillor to go onto the National Park Authority.  Once all nominations have been received, Parishes will then elect five Parish Members to join Exmoor National Park Authority, with the election process being administered by the Somerset Association of Local Councils.

It’s the role of all National Park Authority Members, including Parish Members, to seek to ensure that the Authority furthers its statutory purposes – to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park; and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of Exmoor’s special qualities.  Parish Members are appointed to represent the wider National Park view and not their own parish or group of parishes.

Andrea Davis, Chairman of Exmoor National Park Authority, says “The Parish Members on the Authority play a vital part in ensuring that local people have full involvement in the running of the National Park. So if you’re eligible to stand for election to an Exmoor Parish Council and you’re interested in helping to shape the future of Exmoor, I urge you to consider putting yourself forward in the Parish Council elections next year.  That way, you’ll also have opportunity to be elected to join the National Park Authority as a Parish Member.”

Parish Members serve as a Member of the National Park Authority for four years until the next Parish Council elections or until their term of office as a Parish Councillor or Chairman of a Parish Meeting ends. There is no limit on the number of times a person may be re-appointed to the National Park Authority, so long as they remain a Parish Council or Chairman of a Parish Meeting.

National Park Authority Members receive an annual basic allowance and travel and subsistence payments in accordance with Local Government rules. Members are bound by the Authority’s Member Code of Conduct.  For more information about what National Park Authority Members visit:  www.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk/about-us/parish-members.  For information about the process for electing Parish Members to the National Park Authority contact the Somerset Association of Local Councils www.somerset-alc.org.uk or 01823 252515.

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