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NOTE OF MEETING BETWEEN ANDREW THIN AND D WATSON

29-04-2005

Drennan Watson, as convenor of the Cairngorms Campaign, met Andrew Thin, Chairman of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Board for a discussion on future relations between the Campaign and the Park Authority. Below is a report on that discussion.


The discussion covered a range of points that should be communicated to the CC committee. I have submitted this note to Andrew Thin and he is happy that it reflects our discussion.


    1) Andrew Thin (AT) emphasised the importance of engagement over the next six months as local plans and the wider land use related plan within the Park were developed.


    2) To this end, he felt it important that CC committee members developed a relationship and dialogue with CNPA board members, through informal contact (e.g. at their open meetings) or other arrangements.*


    3) He also pointed out that it was important to be as constructive in criticism as possible, as constant negative criticism, even when icorrect, had the effect of turning people on the Board off and not giving good points or people their due weight.


AT felt that it was important the CC (and others) provide a voice on the wider land use issues. The Park Authority has in fact, under the Act, few direct powers to intervene in land use. Its main role and strength was to ensure the integration of the efforts of other agencies such as SEPA, SNH, FCS and DCS who did have such powers. Drennan Watson.(DW) made the following points:-


    1) On the question of development of local and other Park related plans, he felt that the CNPA had a developed policy on consultation an involvement of the geographic (i.e. local) communities but no similar measures or policies to consult with and involve the communities of interest such as those represented by CC and RSPB. There was a need to develop such a policy and procedure.


    2) The CC aimed not only to be a source of well researched information on the issue of the Cairngorms and their management, but also to pursue positive aims as well as provide constructive criticism.


    3) DW would raise and discuss the issue of relationship with the Park board with CC committee members.


    4) Local Plans were being pursued as separate entities, but within a National Park there had to be some unifying themes on standards of planning and development, etc that reflected the status of the area and the CC and other communities of interest would certainly wish to have an input on these themes and standards.


*A Thin has since stated that he would like to meet the whole CC board some time soon and would be happy to bring along some board members to such a meeting.

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