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Get on Board! Information sessions happening ahead of Park Authority elections

15th November 2022

Are you passionate about the Cairngorms National Park and want to help shape the Park’s future for the benefit of its communities and wildlife? If so, you could stand as a candidate in the Cairngorms National Park Authority board elections, which take place in March 2023.

The National Park’s 19,000 residents vote and elect members to represent their local area ward on the Board of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. There are five places to be elected and the Park Authority are looking for members who are representative of the people who live and work here and who are interested in becoming a Park Authority Board Member, taking responsibility for delivering national priorities and overseeing delivery of the agreed National Park Partnership Plan.

Xander McDade is the current Board Convener. He joined the Board in 2018 – the youngest ever member at just 23 years old at the time.

“We are keen to see candidates from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences come forward for the elections” said Xander. “This is a rewarding and varied role, offering people the chance to make a difference to life in the Park, working with partners to tackle critical issues that relate to its nature, people and places and ultimately address the climate and nature emergencies.”

The Board guides and shapes the work of the Park Authority and the role of a Board Member is both challenging and rewarding. The key focus of the position is to ensure that both the natural environment and the local communities are cared for and sustained for current and future generations.  Park Authority board members are expected to commit between two and three days each month to the role and receive a fee of £228.67 per day.

To help people understand more about what is involved in becoming a Board Member and the process, a series of drop-in sessions are taking place over the coming weeks, hosted by Xander and Deputy Board Convener Janet Hunter along with Cairngorms National Park Authority Chief Executive, Grant Moir. The details of the drop in meetings are:

  • Cairngorms National Park Authority Offices, Grantown on Spey – 22 November from 1830 -1930
  • Balmoral Arms Hotel, Ballater – 24 November 1730-1830
  • Glen Avon Hotel, Tomintoul – 24 November 1930-2030
  • Skye Room, MacDonald Highlands Hotel, Aviemore – 30 November 1730-1830
  • Atholl Arms, Blair Atholl – 30 November 1930-2030

There will also be the chance to attend an online informal session in January to find out more about what the role entails and ask questions of current Board members.

Directly elected Members sit on the Board for a period of four years, serving alongside seven members who are appointed by the five local authorities covering the Park area and seven directly appointed by Scottish Government Ministers. Candidates must be over 21 years old but do not have to reside within the Park boundary.

The Highland Council run the elections on behalf of the Cairngorms National Park Authority and they will be sending out the Notice of Election early in the New Year.

For more information on this and for any other questions about the elections please go here. or call: 01479 873535.