Role of Members of the National Park Family
The overall role of Members is to ensure that the national park authority fulfils its statutory national park purposes to the full and does so in a way that best reflects the special qualities of the area. Members have a duty to achieve the efficient, effective and accountable governance of the authority in the best interests of the national park, and to provide leadership, scrutiny and direction for the organisation as a whole in pursuing the aim of sustainable development – balancing and integrating the environment, social and economic considerations. A member must work with the chair, chief executive and other members to discharge the functions of the authority and to steer and champion the management of the authority so that it delivers benefits to the nation and its local communities in accordance with national park purposes .
- act with independent judgement;
- use skills, experience, local, regional and national knowledge for the benefit of the authority;
- collectively participate in the development of policy direction, strategic thinking and innovation within the authority, through the development of management policy, business plans and participation in the activities of the authority’s working groups ;
- independently scrutinise the workings and policies of the authority;
- be committed to working in the best interests of the national park;
- influence the authority to help it come to informed and balanced decisions;
- seek clarification of policy and action proposals if appropriate;
- challenge proposals that exceed or go against the statutory purposes of the authority;
- accept collective responsibility for the decisions of the authority;
- approve and monitor programmes to implement the authority’s policies;
- contribute opinions and advice from a local, regional and national perspective;
- work with members, staff and stakeholders to apply the principles of sustainable development and the purposes of national parks in all decision-making;
- be an ambassador for the national park;
- help to promote the profile and effectiveness of the family of national parks through the work of a member's own authority, cooperative action such as peer support and peer review, and cooperation with the work of the appropriate government department, country agency and National Parks UK.
In order to achieve this, Members will be expected to:
- attend and contribute to the regular full meetings of the authority, its committees and working groups, and raise issues of concern through the established procedures and mechanisms adopted by the authority;
- read and understand, and seek clarification where necessary from lead officers, of briefing material provided for meetings to ensure proper preparation for any debate on issues across the full range of the authority’s responsibilities ;
- champion and represent the authority as an effective mechanism for promoting conservation of the park’s natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage, increasing public understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities and maintaining the social and economic well being of local communities; and in the case of the Broads National Park, protect the interests of navigation;
- attend appropriate training courses, briefing sessions and events arranged by the authority and National Parks UK;
- adhere to the Standards of Conduct, Accountability and Openness protocols of the national park authority;
- embrace the government’s programme for Implementing Electronic Government.
There will be opportunities to:
- serve on committees and working groups dealing with particular issues affecting the national park;
- champion or lead a specific area of the authority’s work;
- talk about the work of the authority to local community groups;
- learn about the national park and other protected landscape matters on field visits and fact finding tours;
- meet other people responsible for national park matters;
- meet and attend training courses with members from other authorities.
The following proxy measures provide a starting point for members and others to gauge the contribution which they are making to the life of the authority:
Attendance at main Authority meetings
The measure being the % of full authority meetings and approved duties actually attended which that member could have attended.
Target: at least 75% and 75% of each specific meeting
Purpose: to monitor participation and commitment.
Representation of the Authority at approved external meetings and events.
Purpose: to ensure an even distribution of workload, and to monitor this workload in line with ‘reasonable expectations’ of time commitment.