Do you want to be a parish councillor?

THE North York Moors National Park Authority is encouraging anyone interested in having a say in how the area is run to consider standing as a parish councillor.

The forthcoming local elections in May 2011 will not only decide the make-up of parish and district councils, but will also affect the membership of the National Park Authority.

Four of the Authority’s 22 members are elected from the North York Moors’ 109 parish councils.

People can put themselves forward for nomination as a parish councillor between 25 March and 4 April, with voting due to take place on 5 May.

Following the elections, there will be a meeting of the National Park Authority’s four parish forums, which bring together parish councils in the west, north, south and coastal areas of the North York Moors. Each forum will elect a parish member for the National Park Authority.

Andy Wilson, the authority’s chief executive, said: “Parish councils play a vital role in providing local services and representing local interests. “They need people prepared to give their time to help their local community. National Park Authorities are unique in having parish members on their planning committees and their contribution is very valued as these members can be seen as particularly close to those who live in the North York Moors.”

People wanting more information on standing as a parish councillor should contact their local district council. For more information on the parish member election process for the North York Moors National Park Authority, call 01439 770657 or email general@northyorkmoors-npa.gov.uk

The current parish members for the North York Moors National Park Authority are Malcolm Bowes (Western Area), Ted Sanderson (Northern Area), Hawson Simpson (Southern Area) and Richard Thompson (Coastal Area).

Of the other 18 members of the Authority, six are appointed by Defra and 12 are appointed by the district, borough and county councils that are represented in the North York Moors.