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Farron welcomes plans to make National Parks accountable to local people

July 17, 2008 4:32 PM

MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron has welcomed comments from the Minister for Rural Affairs promising to launch a consultation on direct elections to national parks.

Tim has called on the Minister for Rural Affairs - Jonathan Shaw MP - to act quickly and get the promised consultation underway.

Tim represents large parts of two of Britain's most important national parks, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales and has been calling for many years for at least some of the members of those national parks to be directly elected. National Parks have many of the powers of local councils, but without any formal accountability to the people who live here.

Commenting Tim Farron said:

"The Government has promised this consultation by the summer; but we are still waiting for an announcement.

"It's vital that the people who run the national parks are accountable to the people who live there. This can only be achieved if some of the members are directly elected by local people.

"Direct elections for the national parks in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales would make it much more likely that the members of those parks would be sympathetic to the needs for their communities when it comes to affordable housing, the creation of jobs, and support for local farmers."