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Expectations of Members

Members of the National Park Authority have responsibilities, both for the work of the National Park Authority and for the future of the Yorkshire Dales National Park itself. As such, there are many expectations placed on Members and the way they conduct themselves. Detailed information about such conduct is provided on the Members’ conduct page. Below are some of the key functions, responsibilities and expectations placed on Members, as well as some of the opportunities they may enjoy.

Key functions of Members

Members of the National Park Authority should:

  • act with independent judgement;
  • use skills, experience, local, regional and national knowledge for the benefit of the Authority;
  • collectively participate in the development of policy direction, strategic thinking and innovation within the Authority;
  • independently scrutinise the workings and policies of the Authority;
  • be committed to working in the best interests of the National Park;
  • influence the Authority to help it come to informed and balanced decisions;
  • seek clarification of policy and action proposals if appropriate;
  • challenge proposals that exceed or go against the statutory purposes of the Authority;
  • accept collective responsibility for the decisions of the Authority;
  • approve and monitor programmes to implement the Authority’s policies;
  • contribute opinions and advice from a local, regional and national perspective;
  • work with other Members, staff and stakeholders to apply the principles of sustainable development and the purposes of National Parks in all decision-making;
  • be an ambassador for the National Park;
  • help to promote the profile and effectiveness of the family of National Parks.

In order to achieve this, Members are expected to:

  • attend and contribute to the regular full meetings of the Authority, its committees and working groups;
  • read and understand briefing material provided for meetings to ensure proper preparation for any debate on issues across the full range of the Authority’s responsibilities;
  • champion and represent the Authority as an effective mechanism for promoting conservation of the National Park’s natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage, increasing public understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities and maintaining the social and economic wellbeing of local communities;
  • attend appropriate training courses, briefing sessions and events arranged by the Authority;  
  • adhere to the Standards of Conduct, Accountability and Openness protocols of the National Park Authority.

Members will have opportunities to:

  • serve on committees and working groups dealing with particular issues affecting the National Park;
  • champion or lead a specific area of the Authority’s work;
  • talk about the work of the Authority to local community groups;
  • learn about the National Park and other protected landscape matters on field visits and fact-finding tours;
  • meet other people responsible for National Park matters;
  • meet and attend training courses with Members from other National Park Authorities.