Skip to main content

New Forest Verderers

Volume 471: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2007, Official Report, columns 2305-6W, on New Forest Verderers, for what reason he declined to re-appoint Mr. Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre as Official Verderer of the New Forest; and on what sources of information he based that decision; (183422)

(2) whether he consulted the New Forest National Park Authority before declining to re-appoint Mr. Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre as Official Verderer;

(3) what assessment he has made of the level of performance of his duties as Official Verderer by Mr. Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre.

The Official Verderer is a significant appointment and it is important that the process for selecting candidates operates transparently. Mr. Crosthwaite Eyre was first appointed in 2002 and was re-appointed in 2005 for a second three-year term, with the expectation that he would serve until 2008. Towards the end of last year Mr. Crosthwaite-Eyre intimated that he had achieved his aspirations for the post and we therefore concluded that this was an appropriate time to initiate a selection process following the principles of the code of practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies.

The National Park Authority played no part in the decision to accept the Official Verderer’s offer when he placed his office at the disposal of the Crown. The performance of the Official Verderer is not in question and Mr. Crosthwaite-Eyre is free to reapply for the post if he so chooses.