New Chairman and Deputy Chairman for New Forest National Park Authority

Published Thursday 21 September 2006

Clive Chatters and Barry Rickman were appointed Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively of the New Forest National Park Authority at its meeting on Thursday 21 September.

The appointments follow the resignation of the Authority’s first Chairman Ted Johnson for personal reasons and Deputy Chairman Mel Kendal who is taking on the role of Executive Member for Environment at Hampshire County Council in addition to his role as Leader of New Forest District Council.  Both Mr Johnson and Mr Kendal will remain members of the National Park Authority.

Clive Chatters is a Secretary of State appointee on the National Park Authority, an officer at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and the author of the first detailed guide to the New Forest National Park recently published by Halsgrove.  He has lived in the New Forest since 1985.

Mr Chatters said: ‘I am honoured and thrilled to take on the role of Chairman.  Ted Johnson and Mel Kendal have made a huge contribution to getting the National Park Authority up and running.  I look forward to the major challenges ahead of building on their work and proving the Authority’s worth.’

Barry Rickman is a New Forest District Council appointee on the National Park Authority. He is one of the few councillors born in the community he represents.  A professional photographer, he has run a business in the New Forest for 30 years.  His main aim is to preserve the heritage of the Forest.

Mr Rickman said: ‘In my new role as Deputy Chairman I look forward to supporting the Chairman and helping the National Park Authority to achieve its ambitious plans.’

Ted Johnson and Mel Kendal were appointed Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority in April 2005.

Mr Johnson said: ‘It has been a privilege to chair the Authority through its formative 18 months and to have the confidence and support of members during that period. Considering the very limited base from which we started, and the scale of the challenge set us by Government, we have every reason to be proud of our achievements so far. I thank both members and the staff for the way in which they have thrown themselves into achieving goals in what is anything but a routine working environment.

‘The tasks ahead are equally as challenging but will be tackled with the same energy, enthusiasm and perception. We have a firm foundation on which to continue to build.  I wish the new Chairman every success, and look forward to   playing my part in that process.’

Mr Kendal said: ‘My recent appointment as the Executive Member for the Environment at Hampshire County Council carries with it the challenge of ensuring the best use is made of resources for the whole county including the New Forest National Park and the proposed South Downs area. As such I believe I shall no longer have the time I need to devote to the duties of Deputy Chair of the New Forest National Park to do the National Park justice. I shall remain an appointed board member representing Hampshire County Council.’

Lindsay Cornish, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘We are very sorry that both Ted Johnson and Mel Kendal are standing down as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Authority.  Both have worked tirelessly to help the Authority through its formative stages into a fully established body dedicated to safeguarding the long term interests of the New Forest National Park.

‘I would particularly like to thank them for their leadership, guidance and support in a truly hectic 18 months and for so willingly giving us the benefit of their time, knowledge and experience.  We have benefited enormously from Ted's immense knowledge of Forest issues and people, and from Mel's expertise in local government and financial matters.

‘We wish them well and are delighted we are not losing their expertise entirely, as they will both remain members of the Authority.  I am sure that our new Chairman and Deputy Chairman will take on the mantle with equal dedication and enthusiasm.’

-ends-

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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