In an AGM held earlier this afternoon (15th June 2012) Mrs Julie James, one of the eight Members appointed to the Authority by the Welsh Government was unanimously elected by Members as the new Chairman and Cllr Geraint Hopkins, a newly appointed Member to the National Park Authority from Powys County Council has been unanimously elected as Deputy Chairman for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority.
Following her re-election Mrs James said: “It is a huge honour that Members have re-elected me to lead this Authority for a second year. I look forward to working with them all during the next year and I warmly welcome Cllr Geraint Hopkins from Powys County Council as the new Deputy Chairman.
“There is a wealth of expertise, local knowledge and enthusiasm amongst our Members and as always I remain confident that we will lead this Authority to become an exemplar of public service and strive for excellence in all that we do.
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.
“Whilst we are custodians of this wonderful landscape we should not forget that the running of this Authority is a business and we should approach it in a businesslike and professional manner – taking sound decisions based on evidence to support our National Park purposes.”
Cllr Geraint Hopkins, newly elected Deputy Chairman of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “Although I am a new Member to the National Park Authority I have a strong background in the public sector and I look forward to supporting the Chairman as she leads this Authority forward. Since my appointment to the National Park Authority last week, I have been very impressed with what I have seen so far. I look forward to working with both Members and Officers to maintain and enhance the reputation of the National Park and being a good Ambassador for the National Park in all my duties – both within Wales and nationally.”
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 returning Chairman, Cllr Geraint Hopkins as our new Deputy Chairman as well as all the other Members who attended their first National Park Authority meeting today and were appointed to the various committees and working groups of the Authority. We feel very privileged as Officers that we have a group of Members that bring with them a broad range of knowledge and experience. The Officers of this Authority look forward to working with all of our Members over the next year.”
Cllr Evan Morgan from Powys County Council was unanimously re-elected as the Chairman of Planning, Access and Rights of Way (PAROW) and the Grants Advisory Panel and Mr Martin Buckle, a Welsh Government appointee was elected as Deputy Chairman of PAROW.
Prof Alan Lovell, a Welsh Government appointed Member was re-elected for his second year as Chairman of Audit and Scrutiny with Deputy Chairman Cllr Mrs Anne Webb from Monmouthshire 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