New members for National Park Authority

Ashurst woods autumn

Published Friday 29 September 2017

The New Forest National Park Authority is welcoming six new members to help shape the future of the organisation.

The Authority has 22 members with overall responsibility for making decisions. There are 12 members appointed by the county, district and borough councils with land within the National Park. Six are appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Four are selected from parish councils within the National Park.

Minstead Parish Councillor Richard Taylor replaces Sally Arnold as a parish council member after Sally passed away.

Mel Kendal has been appointed as a member by Hampshire County Council and replaces Ken Thornber. Ken was a member from 2013 to 2017 and was a member of both the Planning Development Control Committee and the Resources, Audit and Performance Committee.

Mel is one of five councillors appointed by Hampshire County Council and he represents the New Milton ward on the National Park’s southern boundary. He has previously served as the Authority’s Deputy Chairman.

Neville Penman is also appointed as a Hampshire County Council member, replacing Andy Moore. Neville lives in Totton and is an experienced councillor, having first being elected to Totton & Eling Town Council in 2007 and then to New Forest District Council in 2011.

Richard Clewer has been chosen as a one of two councillors appointed by Wiltshire Council to the National Park. Richard replaces Julian Johnson who recently stood down as a councillor. Julian joined the Authority on its establishment in 2005 and served as Chairman between 2010 and 2015. Richard represents the Downton and Ebble Valley ward on Wiltshire Council – close to the National Park’s northern boundary.
There are also two Secretary of State appointees.

Prof Gavin Parker replaces John Pemberton, whose eight year appointment ended in July and included a six year spell as Chairman of the Resources and Performance Committee. Gavin has an extensive planning background and is a chartered town planner and Chair of Planning Studies at Henley Business School at the University of Reading.

Patrick Heneghan replaces Judith Webb, who stepped down from the post last year. Patrick has held a number of senior management positions in multinational organisations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Chairman of the National Park Authority, Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, said: ‘I very much look forward to working with the newly appointed members in the years ahead and who, between them, will be bringing a whole range of valuable experience and expert knowledge to the Authority.’

Authority members set policies and priorities, ensure efficient and effective use of resources, and make sure that money is well spent. It is their job to represent the interests of the National Park and to balance out any conflicting pressures.


Notes to Editor:

Member quotes:

Patrick Heneghan, said: ‘I am committed to helping protect and nurture everything that I love about the New Forest, as well as what it represents for the wider community.’

Neville Penman, said: 'I am privileged to be part of the team that will help protect this irreplaceable environment and ensure the decisions taken are made for the future of the Forest and its wildlife for future generations.'

Richard Taylor, said: ‘I’ve been a Minstead parish councillor since 2010 and I enjoy trying to find practical solutions to problems within the unique environment of the New Forest. I am keen that the views of the parishes are taken into consideration when decisions are made on the future of the Forest.’

Prof Gavin Parker, said: ‘I am very pleased to be appointed to the New Forest National Park Authority and to help with the great work that has been achieved since the Forest was designated as a National Park in 2005.’

Richard Clewer, said: ‘I am also a Wiltshire Council nominee and I want to see Wiltshire Council and the National Park Authority working more closely together to help protect and celebrate this special landscape.’

Mel Kendall, said: ‘I am pleased to be returning as an Authority member at this important time for the Forest.’
About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more.

Media Contact:

Matt Stroud, Communications Officer
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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