Farron issues challenge to Hilary Benn
On the eve of the Association of National Parks conference, to be held in the Lake District, local MP Tim Farron has issued a challenge to DEFRA minister Hilary Benn to push forwards plans for elections to national park authorities.
DEFRA is currently consulting on plans to allow a directly elected element to national park authorities after the success of a similar system in the Scottish national parks.
Mr Farron said: "Just two miles down the road from this conference is an ideal site for affordable housing which is being blocked by the bureaucratic wrangling of the Lake District National Park Authority.
"With a directly elected element to national park authorities local residents would get a say over how their local environment is managed.
"We must remember that there are thousands of residents living within the national park, many of whom are being forced to move from the villages where their families have grown up for generations.
"Hilary Benn needs to take notice of the success of direct elections to Scottish national parks, and press forwards with plans to give accountability back to local people."