Andrew McCloy has been elected chair of the Peak District National Park Authority.
A Peak District resident for 20 years, Cllr McCloy is a member of Youlgrave Parish Council. He was elected to the Authority in 2011 and re-elected in 2015, holding a number of key roles including, for the last four years, that of chair for the Audit, Resources and Performance Committee.
Before joining the Authority, Cllr McCloy was an independent councillor for the Lathkill and Bradford ward of Derbyshire Dales District Council.
Professionally, Cllr McCloy is a freelance writer specialising in outdoor recreation and countryside issues. He is the author of more than a dozen walking guidebooks and is a self-employed consultant in access and recreation issues.
Speaking of his election to chair, Cllr McCloy said: “I will be chairing this Authority on behalf of all members and with all members. It is also important that we work closely with communities throughout the Peak District National Park.
“I strongly believe that National Parks are at their most effective when the interests of the people who permanently live, work and farm in them are at the forefront of everyday thinking – whether it’s building enough affordable homes for young people to remain in our villages or helping farmers find a sustainable future.
“We need to reflect on the pioneering spirit that helped set up the Peak District National Park in the first place and approach the challenges ahead with purpose, as well as resolve. The recently announced National Park review should inspire us to look again at how we go about our business and forge a National Park fit for purpose for the next 70 years, in order to stay relevant in an ever-changing world.”
Cllr David Chapman was re-elected as vice chair of the Authority.
Retiring chair, Cllr Lesley Roberts thanked members and officers of the Authority for their support. She added: “I have been both privileged and proud to be chair of this lovely National Park. I am very pleased to have been the first woman in the chair, the first member from Staffordshire and the first parish councillor in England to become a National Park Authority chair. I am also delighted to have served as the chair of National Parks UK.
“I see our role as members to look after and protect this special place, in order to hand it on to the next generation, preferably in a better condition than we found it.”
Chief executive of the Peak District National Park, Sarah Fowler, said: “I am delighted to welcome Cllr Andrew McCloy as chair of the Authority and look forward to working with him in his new role.
“I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Cllr Lesley Roberts. Her contribution to the National Park has been invaluable.”
Members of the Authority also elected or re-elected committee leaders.
Paul Ancell, a secretary of state appointee, was re-elected as chair of the Planning committee, with Cllr Doug Birkinshaw as vice chair.
Two secretary of state appointed members, Zahid Hamid and James Berresford, were elected as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Audit, Resources and Performance committee.