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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Defra announces next stage of National Park Governance Review

The Government has announced its next stage of a review of governance arrangements for English National Parks in order to increase local accountability.

The initial public consultation closed on 1 February 2011. The outcome was a wide range of improvements in the way that National Park authorities (NPAs) operate.

In particular, there are five areas of development requiring changes to primary legislation which the Government proposes to make by use of an Order-making power in the Public Bodies Act 2011.

The Government invites people to send in their views on the following proposed changes to primary legislation through use of a Public Bodies Act Order. The proposed changes are 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 of 8 years.

The full consultation paper is available to view at

All responses, including those which propose an alternative to the Government’s preferred option, will be given due consideration. When sending in a response, people are asked to provide their full name and appropriate contact details, including whether the response is on behalf of an organisation.

Please send replies no later than 31 May 2012 by email to: or alternatively by post to: Governance Consultation, Customer Contact Unit, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR.

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