As with the NHS the government is proposing changes to the way national park authorities are governed in order to increase local accountability. The problem is it needs some ideas on how to go forward. So rather than get some over paid consultants to tell them they are giving you, people who live and work within the area, to have a view on Peak Park governance.
At present, the Peak District National Park Authority is governed by 30 members, 16 of whom are councillors appointed by the local authorities within the national park. Six are parish councillors elected by their peers but officially appointed by the Secretary of State, and eight are appointed directly by the Secretary of State for their specialist knowledge of national park issues.
The proposals from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) would involve changes in the law to:
– Make it possible for national park authorities to include some directly elected members
– Remove the need for the Secretary of State to appoint the parish members
– Relax the political balance requirement on local authorities when appointing their members to a national park authority
– Make it possible to allow parishes in subsequently specified national parks to choose non-councillors for their seats
– Apply a maximum length of service for members of eight years.
The consultation runs to May 31. People can take part in it by going to: http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/open/
The Authority is expected to decide its own response on May 25.Follow @csabian
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