Members typically spend three to four days a month on formal National Park Authority business i.e. attending Committee or other associated meetings. They will also spend some time representing the Authority at external events, such as workshops, conferences, seminars, launches and presentations, organised by the Authority and partner organisations.
The Authority itself is made up of 18 Members who make many important decisions; they’re responsible for setting policies and priorities, ensuring resources are well used and money is well spent. The officers employed by the Authority then work to the policies and carry out the decisions made by Members.
Overall responsibility for the work of the officers lies with the Chief Executive (National Park Officer).
We are a relatively small organisation with a limited budget, so achieving our statutory purposes is challenging and depends on working in partnership with local people and a range of other bodies. It’s a complicated job and to help everyone understand how and why decisions are made, we’ve produced – working with our partners and local communities – two key documents;
These documents are put together after a great deal of consultation with local people and organisations with interests in the Park. However, general policies cannot deal with every situation that arises and sometimes there are conflicts between policies, but it is the Members’ job to represent the interests of the National Park as a whole and balance out any conflicting pressures.
Twelve of the 18 Members are nominated by Pembrokeshire County Council, whilst the remaining 6 Members are appointed – following an interview process – by the Welsh Assembly Government.
County Council Members are usually appointed for 4 years, until the next local authority election. Welsh Assembly Government Members are also usually appointed for up to 4 years, which can be extended to a maximum of 10.
Members are expected, whatever their background, to act in the interests of the National Park as a whole, and to take forward the two statutory purposes for which the Park has been designated, reflecting both local and national perspectives.
In the course of their duty, Members must also adhere to certain Codes and Protocols when undertaking their duties:
Meet “The Family”....
The “family” of 14 National Park Authorities throughout Britain – officially known as the UK Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA) – holds a conference and a workshop each year. These events are held in each Authority’s area in turn, and Members meet to discuss issues of mutual interest/concern and to share best practice. There is also a Welsh Association of National Park Authorities (WANPA), which holds a Workshop every autumn for the three Welsh National Park Authorities. The Chief Executives, Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the three NPAs meet on a quarterly basis to discuss issues of a Welsh dimension.