New members are needed for the English National Park Authorities (NPAs) and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Authority. The NPAs were set up to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Parks and to promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of their special qualities by the public. Though not nationally owned, the Parks are `national' in recognition of their special value - their beauty and the opportunities they provide for leisure and recreation - to the public.
The Broads Authority, which has the same status as a National Park, is a special organisation which also manages the land and water space and promotes public enjoyment of the Broads. It has an additional responsibility to protect the interests of navigation on the Broads.
Candidates will be expected to provide a voice for the national interest on the Authorities and should: - have a good understanding of the issues affecting the National Park and be prepared to work to achieve the Park's purposes; - be able to contribute positively to debate within the National Park Authority; - be ready to make decisions on many aspects of Park management including conservation, planning, housing, recreation, agriculture, forestry and resource issues; and - be able to commit a minimum time input of 2 to 3 days per month.
Environment Minister Alan Meale said: "The National Parks and the Broads contain some of our finest landscapes - each with their own special characteristics: dramatic expanses of wild open country, moorland, mountains and fells, lakes and waterfalls, gentle river valleys, meadows, fens and waterways. The people that we are looking for - the new Secretary of State members - will have a special role to play in the Authorities that are responsible for the conservation and enhancement of these nationally important areas. The membership of the Authorities must have the right balance of personal qualities and experience, so I am looking for candidates from a broad range of backgrounds, representative of the social and cultural mix in the country at large. I am particularly keen to see more applications from women, members of the ethnic minorities and promising young people - groups which are currently under-represented on the Authorities. I will not just be seeking those with formal qualifications and long track records in conventional careers, but will be keen to receive applications from those with other kinds of experience, such as that gained through community or voluntary work."