The performance of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has been highly praised in a new report.
An independent review team that looked at all aspects of the Authority’s work described it as a “strong partnership player that is seen as innovative and willing to push at the boundaries” and has “a strong track record of improvement”.
The review team spent a week in the Dales last month (November) and spoke to supporters and critics of the Authority, users of the Authority’s services, and many of the organisations it works alongside.
Its report concludes that the Authority’s track record in improving its performance and in setting and using priorities is “exceptional”. The Authority’s work with partners on conservation and in promoting understanding and enjoyment of the National Park by visitors were both being delivered “to a very high standard”.
The report also draws special attention to the Authority’s support for community hydro-power schemes in the National Park and praises the continual drive to improve the service it provides to all its customers.
Authority Chairman Carl Lis said: “I’m immensely proud of the achievements of the members, staff and volunteers at this Authority. It is really pleasing to see those achievements recognised in a rigorous and independent assessment.”
The review team’s examination was part of a performance assessment taking place at every national park authority in England over the next five years.
David Butterworth, the YDNPA’s chief executive, said: “I am particularly pleased that the report highlights our track record in bringing external funding into the National Park, our record of achievement through partnerships and the work of our many volunteers.
“All of these will be critical to our ability to continue to deliver high-quality services to visitors and residents as we see a substantial cut in the Authority’s funding from central Government.”
The report also identifies areas where the Authority should consider how it might further enhance its performance. These include improving elements of the Authority’s planning service and engaging with local communities and businesses over the cuts that will have to be made to Authority services.
Carl said: “While we welcome the very positive aspects of the report, this no time to rest on our laurels. The Authority will now be looking very closely at the team’s recommendations as part of the bigger decisions we will have to make about where to focus our more limited resources in the future.”
The review team’s report is available on the Authority’s website at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk/ydnpa-npapareport-nov2010.pdf.