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South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the new DEFRA ministerial team to make the Lake District a pilot scheme for direct elections to the governing bodies of the National Parks.The MP represents large parts of two of Britain's most important national parks, the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Tim has called on DEFRA ministers to look at creating a pilot scheme on direct elections in the South Lakes.
At present no-one on the national park boards is directly elected, but there have been moves towards elections. Recently parish councillors throughout South Lakeland voted to elect a new member to represent them on the Lake District National Park Authority, alongside existing parish members from Allerdale, Copeland and Eden councils.
He said: "Our National Parks should be democratically accountable - they should not be able to get away with opting not to be open to election. I have made that argument strongly to the Government and asked them to trail the idea in the South Lakes so they can see for themselves how successful it is. 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. We can save money and make the authorities accountable to local people in one simple stroke."