In an AGM held earlier this morning, Mrs Julie James, one of the eight Members appointed to the Authority by the Welsh Government was unanimously elected by all 23 Members present as the new Chairman for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Mrs James succeeds Cllr Eric Saxon from Monmouthshire County Council. Cllr Martin Weale, from Powys County Council has been elected as Deputy Chairman for the Park Authority.
In her speech to Members Mrs James said that the Authority should put the value of nature at the heart of its decision making. She said that a healthy, properly functioning natural environment is the foundation of sustained economic growth, prosperous communities and personal wellbeing.
Addressing Members on her appointment as Chairman, Mrs James said: “It is a huge honour to be elected as Chairman to the Authority by my colleagues and I look forward to working with them all over the next year to lead this Authority forward. I aim to concentrate my efforts on members – firstly and most importantly members of the public, who deserve a National Park Authority that they can be proud of. Secondly, members of staff, because they are the vital key to delivering our future vision. Their enthusiastic commitment to conservation and the environment is matched only by that of our Authority Members who are the final important component to delivering a successful, fit for purpose Authority. The team of Members I work alongside have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that can rise to the growing challenges we face as an Authority. Playing to those strengths that we bring to the table I believe that there is very little we cannot achieve.”
Cllr Martin Weale, new Deputy Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “We are at a very exciting time for the National Park Authority and I look forward to supporting the Chairman to lead this Authority forward. We have an excellent team of Members that are outward looking and open, whose vision for the future of the Park is about focusing on the prosperity of our communities and our unique environment. Quite simply their futures and ours go hand in hand. I am very honoured to represent this Authority as Deputy Chairman for the next year.”
John Cook, Chief Executive for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to Mrs Julie James as our new Chairman and Cllr Martin Weale as Deputy Chairman. The Officers of this Authority look forward to working with them both and all of our Members over the next year. I would also like to extend a sincere thank you to Cllr Eric Saxon, our outgoing Chairman, who has led the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority for the past year.”
Cllr Evan Morgan from Powys County Council was elected as the Chairman of Planning, Access and Rights of Way (PAROW) and Cllr Huw Morgan from Carmarthenshire County Council elected as Deputy Chairman of PAROW.
Mr Richard Stow, a Welsh Government appointed Member was unanimously re-elected for his second year as Chairman of Audit and Scrutiny with Deputy Chairman Cllr John Morris from Powys County Council elected as Deputy Chairman.
For further information on changes to the committee structure and membership, please visit the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s website at www.breconbeacons.org
Picture Copyright of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
Pictured from left to right – Cllr Martin Weale, Deputy Chairman; Mrs Julie James, Chairman and Mr John Cook, Chief Executive of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
Mrs Julie James has a strong passion for the Brecon Beacons National Park and has lived in the Black Mountain area of the National Park for eleven years. Before she joined Brecon Beacons National Park she was the Director of Personnel for Monarch Airlines and Monarch Aircraft Ltd employing 3000 staff. She was a founding member of the Western Area Local Access Forum before joining the National Park Authority as a Welsh Government appointed Member in April 2006. She was elected Deputy Chairman in 2010 and was also Member Development Champion and Chairman of the Corporate Governance Task and Finish Group.
She holds a variety of other public appointment roles which include Non Executive Director of Hywel Dda Local Health Board, Non Executive Director of Estyn School’s Inspectorate, Director of South West Wales Regional Tourism Partnership, Deputy Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Standards Committee and is also an Assessor for the Welsh Government’s Corporate Health at Work Standard.