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In the Park

5th January 2015

In the Park

Social Media is an increasing mystery to me.  I have dabbled with Facebook and Twitter but have to admit, I just don’t get it.  I can’t see why anyone would want to put the minutiae of their lives on Facebook and send them out to the whole world not knowing who’s going to read them and to what purpose they’ll be put.

I do however feel a little safer with LinkedIn.  I joined it a few years ago and registered with my qualifications and work experience and the result is that every other day I get lists of jobs suggested that I might want to apply for.  There are two problems with this.  Firstly I don’t want a new job and secondly, I don’t understand the jobs they are offering or why I might be qualified for them.  What on earth is a “Delivery Process Manager” or a “Lead Process Engineer”?   And what does he or she do?  I suppose the answer is simple.  If I don’t know then I shouldn’t be applying.

The Cairngorms National Park is currently advertising jobs for those who have the qualifications and might be interested.  We have two vacancies for ministerial appointments to our Board at the moment, and there are also vacancies on the Board of the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.  We have been completely overwhelmed with the number of applications which have come in.   Over 70 completed forms were handed in.  The sifting process has started and interviews are scheduled to take place over the next couple of weeks.

There are however 2 other routes to joining the Board.  One is as a councillor nominated by each local authority within the Park and the other is to be directly elected by the residents of the Park.  The park is divided into 5 wards and each ward holds an election to appoint one representative.  The whole idea of directly elected members is peculiar to the National Parks in Scotland and does not occur anywhere else in the UK.  Such elections are seen as a way of ensuring local accountability in the decisions taken by the National Park Authority.  Two years ago a consultation exercise was carried out to consider the merits of holding direct elections south of the border and the result was that in June 2014 the proposal to incorporate them into legislation for England and Wales was included in the Queen’s Speech.

The next round of elections in Scotland is due to take place over the next few months and anyone resident in the Park who has an interest in the development of the Park is encouraged to stand for election or at least participate in voting.  The administration of the election will be carried out by the Highland Council and further details of how to become involved are available from the National Park website at

It is vitally important for those who live in the Park that they have an effective voice in the running of the Park and feel well informed about what is going on.

So don’t wait for an invitation from LinkedIn, or any other social media site. Direct elections will be held early in March 2015.