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Swaledale in Summer Credit: Stephen Garnett Photography

How we set priorities

The Authority’s work is split into 17 ‘programmes’ that cover all the different services we provide – from dealing with planning applications to looking after toilets and car parks.

Assessing our programmes

We assess each programme by asking a standard set of questions including:

  • to what extent does the programme contribute to National Park purposes?
  • to what extent does it contribute to the socio-economic well-being of local communities?
  • to what extent is it supported by local communities and the general public?

Allocating categories

Based on this assessment, programmes are then allocated to one of three categories:

  • programmes where we will strive for an excellent level of service;
  • programmes where we will seek to maintain a reasonable level of service;
  • programmes where progress will be limited and/or dependent on securing funding from other sources.

Prioritising under financial pressure

Like all National Park Authorities, we are under pressure to deliver a range of services from within a budget that has fallen by nearly 50% in real terms since 2010.

In preparing our budgets, we seek to:

  • retain front-line services wherever possible, and seek external funding to help deliver them;
  • maintain a high level of quality in key services (and, if we can’t afford that, then to stop providing that service all together);
  • focus on our statutory purposes but in a way that, wherever possible, supports local communities and the local economy.