THE leader of Craven District Council has been elected chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Carl Lis was voted in at the authority's meeting at Ingleton on Tuesday of last week. Jerry Pearlman is the new deputy chairman.

Mr Lis has been a member of the authority since 1993 and has been Craven district councillor for Ingleborough ward since 1991. He is manager of Ingleton quarry. He said: "It is an honour to be elected to the role of chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and I am looking forward to the challenges the coming year will bring.

"I intend to be an inclusive and involved chairman, who recognises that every member's voice is important. We all have our strengths and, indeed, interests and these are of great value to the authority.

"Over the last year, the authority has made some difficult decisions regarding selection of partnerships that can best deliver our objectives. This hasn't been an easy process but I believe we deserve credit for facing up to our responsibilities and dealing with these real issues.

"I believe there's much more that we can achieve, to the greater benefit of the national park and our communities and environment, by working together with other individuals and organisations. We need to concentrate on consultation and not confrontation."

Retiring chairman, Steve Macare, said: "It has been a great honour to have led the authority for the past five years.

"I know that Carl is committed to working with local people for the benefit of residents, visitors and our wonderful dales environment. I look forward to working with him during the coming year."

Mr Pearlman, a secretary of state appointee to the authority, has been a solicitor for 40 years and is a consultant with Zermansky and Partners in Leeds. He is honorary solicitor to the Ramblers' Association and the Open Spaces Society, a member of the National Countryside Access Forum and a trustee of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

He said: "As a member of the authority for much of the past 20 years, I've seen it grow in stature and maturity.

"Authority members all care deeply about the Yorkshire Dales, its wonderful scenery and particularly its people. Although members don't always agree about the best way to look after the park, we all want to see the Yorkshire Dales prosper and retain their beauty and character."