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Farron presses Deputy Prime Minister on unelected National Park Authorities

November 20, 2012 1:31 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has used a question session in the House of Commons to press the Deputy Prime Minister to introduce directly elected positions on National Park authorities to ensure democratic accountability in our National Parks.

At present no-one on the national park boards is directly elected, and the recent dispute over the Lake District's plans for its Brockhole site is a reminder that local people do not have any control over the decisions of our local national parks.

As part of his campaign to make our national parks in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales more responsive to local communities, Tim has been pressing the Deputy Prime Minister and Defra ministers to look into creating a pilot scheme that would allow local people to choose who sits on our powerful national parks in Cumbria.

In the question session, Tim sought agreement from the Deputy Prime Minister that a democratic mandate and accountability is now absolutely essential for National Park Authorities if they are to make fair decisions that will affect many communities across the UK.

Commenting Tim said: "Recent controversy over the Lake District National Park's plans for Brockhole is a reminder that at the moment local people have no formal say over the national park, even though the national park has huge power over their lives and their communities. Our national parks here in Cumbria are run by good and decent people, but the communities in the Lakes and the Dales that are affected by national park decisions are entitled to have their say over how those decisions are made."

"I have made that argument strongly to the Deputy Prime Minister and have asked him to launch a pilot in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, so that the Government can see for itself how successful it is. I am delighted that he feels it is an important issue that we should be working towards."