Former BBC presenter elected as new Chairman to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority

Following the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the National Park Authority offices earlier today (Friday 26th June 2015) former BBC presenter Mrs Melanie Doel was voted in as the new Chairman of the Authority.  Cllr Glynog Davies was unanimously elected as Deputy Chairman, along with the Chairs and Deputies of the Planning and Audit and Scrutiny Committees.  

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Mrs Melanie Doel, a representative appointed by the Welsh Government, who has recently been appointed as Chairman of Abergavenny Food Festival, was voted in by Members as the new Chairman for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority.  Mrs Doel succeeds Cllr Geraint Hopkins, a Powys County Councillor.  Cllr Glynog Davies, a Carmarthenshire County Councillor was also unanimously elected as Deputy Chairman for the Park Authority.

In his outgoing speech to Members, Cllr Hopkins thanked Members and Officers for all their support and made particular mention to the Authority’s Chief Executive John Cook, thanking him for his professionalism which he stated had enhanced the reputation of the Authority.

Addressing Members, the new Chairman, Mrs Melanie Doel thanked the outgoing Chairman for all his support and said:  “I consider it a great privilege to be elected as Chairman.  I am absolutely passionate about the work of this Authority and the people who live here.  I am determined to protect this very special place by defending and conserving its unique landscape whilst ensuring access for all.  The Authority today is much more effective, understood and respected.  The last few years have been difficult and there are more challenges to face as the Welsh Government reviews the role of the three National Parks in Wales and the way they are run.  I look forward to working with our excellent staff and committed Members to ensure we continue to build upon the improvements we’ve already made and meet the challenges of the future.”

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Cllr Glynog Davies, new Deputy Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “Having been a Member for the Authority for three years, representing Carmarthenshire County Council, I am honoured to have been elected as Deputy Chairman.  The Authority Members come from far and wide representing seven unitary Authorities and the Welsh Government and we all have an excellent working relationship.  As an Authority we strive to promote our National Park and work at increasing access for all sectors of society.  It’s important that our National Park is seen not only as a place for leisure but as an exceptional environment to live and work.”

John Cook, Chief Executive for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:   “I would like to extend a warm welcome to Mrs Melanie Doel as our new Chairman and Cllr Glynog Davies as our new 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 Geraint Hopkins, our outgoing Chairman, who has led the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority for the past year with wise judgement, sound guidance and with great respect.”

Cllr Evan Morgan from Powys County Council was unanimously re-elected for his fifth year as the Chairman of Planning, Access and Rights of Way (PAROW) and Mr Martin Buckle, a representative appointed by the Welsh Government also unanimously re-elected as Deputy Chairman of PAROW for the third year.

There was a special break in proceedings by the Chairman to thank Cllr Morgan for serving 20 years on the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority. Cllr Morgan has been involved in planning since 1983 and was commended for his work on the PAROW committee and the Local Development Plan process.  Cllr Morgan said he was delighted to be reappointed as Chairman of PAROW, and even more pleased to see the outstanding performances of the Development Control and the Enforcement teams – which is now recognised as one of the best performing Planning Authorities in Wales.

Cllr Geraint Hopkins, from Powys County Council was elected as the new Chairman of Audit and Scrutiny with Cllr Ann Webb from Monmouthshire County Council re-elected as Deputy Chairman for her fourth year.

For further information on changes to the committee structure and membership, please visit the Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s website at