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National Parks need elected representatives

August 1, 2016 7:38 PM

Tim Farron MP in GarsdaleThe expansion of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales National Parks is a "missed opportunity" to democratise these authorities and make them more responsive to local communities, according to South Lakes MP Tim Farron.

From today, both the Lake District National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park have expanded to new boundaries. The Yorkshire Dales has increased in size by 24% and the Lake District by 3%.

Tim said: "Today is a missed opportunity to listen to the communities that live within our National Parks. It's an honour to represent so much of both the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales National Parks, and their expansion is a cause for celebration. But the expansion of the parks should have been the opportunity to give local people a say in how the parks are run.

"At least some of the members of the National Parks should be directly elected by the communities who live here all year round. Key decisions on planning, business, housing and agriculture are made by National Parks. These decisions have a huge impact on the lives of local people, and yet not a single member of the English National Parks is directly elected to those authorities by the people who live there."