The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has 22 members and around 140 employees (120 full time equivalent). It also benefits from the work of 250 Dales Volunteers. At the annual meeting of the Authority, one of the members is elected to serve as Chairman.
Authority and committee meetings - structure and conduct
There are four formal meetings of the full membership of the Authority each year. At these meetings members determine issues of policy and strategy and set the content of important documents which determine how the Authority operates. Business is also done through a number of additional committees, which are made up of Authority members, and have delegated powers to decide certain matters. The Authority appoints members to these committees at its annual meeting. The committees are:
Audit & Review Committee: reviews the Authority’s performance, monitors complaints, receives reports from the auditors and considers issues to do with the corporate governance of the Authority.
Finance and Resources Committee: deals with financial management and insurance arrangements, sets personnel policies, manages the Authority’s land and property, and monitors the achievement of budgetary targets.
Planning Committee: decides on the most significant planning applications and applications for alterations to listed buildings and considers taking enforcement action where planning legislation has been broken.
Standards Committee: deals with issues relating to ethics and the conduct of Authority members.
Since April 2011, Access and Recreation matters requiring a decision are taken to the main Authority meetings. Archive papers from the Authority’s Access Committee can be found in the left hand menu. Managing access and recreation continues to be an important part of our work, and further information on a range of topics can be found in the managing access part of our website.
In addition the Yorkshire Dales Access Forum continues to meet regularly, and discuss access and recreation issues. The details of the next YDAF meeting and papers can be found on this page.
For details of the dates and venues for all these meetings and to download copies of the agendas, papers and minutes, visit the Committee Meetings section of this website. You can obtain a copy of the full terms of reference of any of the Committees by using the contact form on this website.
All meetings are regulated by the Authority’s Standing Orders and there is a Code of Conduct which sets out the conduct expected of Authority members. A separate Code of Conduct for Development Control sets out what is expected of members when they discharge their responsibilities in dealing with planning applications. The Authority also has Financial Regulations which deal with issues such as how budgets are set, custody and disposal of assets, insurance and risk management, and procurement and tendering procedures.
The Authority has an effective procedure for recording and dealing with your compliments, complaints and comments and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman. Visit our Compliments and Complaints page on this website for further details.
To download copies of the documents referred to above, click on the links below.
Broadly, the members of the Authority operate collectively to set policy and budgets, take the most important decisions, and monitor performance across all of the Authority’s activities. Both the Chairman and the other members have written “job descriptions”. The officers of the Authority advise members, both on policy and on individual decisions, and they put decisions into practice. In many relatively routine cases officers take decisions under delegated powers. The most important plans that the members decide on are the National Park Management Plan and the Best Value Performance Plan (BVPP). Visit the Plans, Strategies and Policies section of this website for details. The BVPP in particular contains very specific targets, together with details of performance.
The Authority is subject to external scrutiny in a number of ways, most notably by its external auditors, and through a process called National Park Authority Performance Assessment, which resulted in a full review of the Authority during 2005. You can download a copy of this most recent Performance Assessment report from the Plans, Strategies and Policies section of this website.
The Authority has adopted a set of values, which it tries to apply in all of its work. These are:
We will continually strive to improve our performance in delivering National Park purposes and welcome feedback to help us do this.
We will explain and take responsibility for our decisions and actions.
We will do what we say we will do.
Our relationships with the public, partners and each other are built on honesty, transparency, equality, impartiality and consistency. We welcome and respect diversity and demonstrate equality in working relationships.
We are open and approachable, and are proactive in encouraging wider and diverse participation in achieving our statutory purposes.
We value the people who work for us and will ensure that they are equipped and empowered to provide professional services to the public.
You will see from this that we welcome feedback, and you can tell us whether you think we live up to these values, or what we could do to improve. Use our contact form to submit your comments.
Authority and committee papers
This website allows you to access a great deal of information about the Authority and its work, including reports to meetings of the Authority and Committees and minutes of their meetings. A small percentage of these papers is exempt from public access, under the Local Government Act 1972. The Authority is also subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and has a Publication Scheme listing all of the types of information that it publishes.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has adopted the Model Publication Scheme prepared and approved by the Information Commissioner's Office. It is available on the Information Commissioner's website. To download a copy of our guidelines to the information we make available under this scheme click on the link below:
To download copies of the various Authority and committee agendas, papers and minutes, visit the Committee Meetings section of this website.
The National Park Authority believes that the way it is governed is important. Good governance will enable the Authority to put its values into practice, to plan its work effectively, and to achieve its objectives. Throughout 2006, a corporate governance working group of members looked at the Authority's governance arrangements in detail, auditing them against the “Good Governance Standard for Public Services”, published by the Independent Commission on Good Governance in Public Services. This has resulted in the Authority adopting a corporate governance policy, which sets out how the Authority's governance arrangements will be managed and monitored. The Audit & Review Committee will receive an annual report on progress, and this report will be publicly available. You can download a copy of the corporate governance policy and the latest annual report by clicking on the link below: