Review of National Parks – include residents in direct consultation

Did you know that National Parks and National Park Authorities are 2 different things?

 

English National Parks are ‘National Treasures’ and should always remain so.  Many hundreds of thousands of people visit them each year – whether a day trip or for a holiday – National Parks are very special places, I know this because I am lucky to live on one!  These parks are National parks because they belong to the nation; they are unique; tranquil; accessible; educational – and free to use. 

 

A National Park Authority is an unelected body of members made up of DEFRA appointees and other unelected people who often do not even reside in their NP.  It has remained this way since the first National Park (The Peak District) was designated – way back in 1951.

 

Today, in 2010, residents of national parks have their first opportunity to change this democratic deficit through direct public consultation with DEFRA during their Review of the governance arrangements of these authorities. (July – December 2010).

 

Sadly, and from past experiences, we know we should never assume that government would consult at grass-roots level; which means we need to lobby for consultation opportunities during this Review – after all, we know more about where we live than perhaps unelected bureaucrats do and we are capable of meaningful discussions on our own future!

 

Please help us by supporting our petition to DEFRA to include residents/workers/visitors etc., in the consultation process of this Review.  We are not asking for the abolition of National Parks; we just want locally elected authority membership.

 

You can find the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/onevoice/and we would be very grateful if you could send the link to friends and family please.

 

Thank you for your support.

Sue Baillie

ONE VOICE

http://www.onevoice.officeoverload.com/

 

Why is this idea important?

Did you know that National Parks and National Park Authorities are 2 different things?

 

English National Parks are ‘National Treasures’ and should always remain so.  Many hundreds of thousands of people visit them each year – whether a day trip or for a holiday – National Parks are very special places, I know this because I am lucky to live on one!  These parks are National parks because they belong to the nation; they are unique; tranquil; accessible; educational – and free to use. 

 

A National Park Authority is an unelected body of members made up of DEFRA appointees and other unelected people who often do not even reside in their NP.  It has remained this way since the first National Park (The Peak District) was designated – way back in 1951.

 

Today, in 2010, residents of national parks have their first opportunity to change this democratic deficit through direct public consultation with DEFRA during their Review of the governance arrangements of these authorities. (July – December 2010).

 

Sadly, and from past experiences, we know we should never assume that government would consult at grass-roots level; which means we need to lobby for consultation opportunities during this Review – after all, we know more about where we live than perhaps unelected bureaucrats do and we are capable of meaningful discussions on our own future!

 

Please help us by supporting our petition to DEFRA to include residents/workers/visitors etc., in the consultation process of this Review.  We are not asking for the abolition of National Parks; we just want locally elected authority membership.

 

You can find the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/onevoice/and we would be very grateful if you could send the link to friends and family please.

 

Thank you for your support.

Sue Baillie

ONE VOICE

http://www.onevoice.officeoverload.com/

 

Legislate to install an independant regulatory authority to control Councils

I have had a serious problem with Hampshire County Council requiring me to involve my member of parliament. In the course of discussions his representative commented that he held little hope of resolving the problem because County (and City) Councils were a law unto themselves. I think this is unacceptable as they should be accountable to the people that pay for them and their services – the local tax payer.

I would like Parliament to install an independant regulatory authority, with teeth, that could deal with taxpayer's complaints against their local councils just as we have for other public services – Gas, electricity, water, telephones, etc.

I think this is long overdue.

Why is this idea important?

I have had a serious problem with Hampshire County Council requiring me to involve my member of parliament. In the course of discussions his representative commented that he held little hope of resolving the problem because County (and City) Councils were a law unto themselves. I think this is unacceptable as they should be accountable to the people that pay for them and their services – the local tax payer.

I would like Parliament to install an independant regulatory authority, with teeth, that could deal with taxpayer's complaints against their local councils just as we have for other public services – Gas, electricity, water, telephones, etc.

I think this is long overdue.

Remove all ewducation acts since 1976

Before 1976 Education was the responsibility of schools and teachers.  Local Authorities were required to make sure that there were enough schools for all the children in their area and had to ensure every child had a place in school.  Central Government provided a framework and the funds. 

In 1976 the Great Education Debate allowed Central Government to get involved in Education and it's not worked.  The National Curriculum as a guideline would be fine, but it's become a requirement. In ordr to deliver a centralised curriculum we have seen the development of lots of new QUANGOs like OFSTED and QCA etc.  Before HMI was able to check that Local Authorities were doing their work while Local inspectors checked that the schools were delivering.  Some Local Authorities were poor at their job, but we now have laws that allow Government to inspect Local Authorities, lets use that model for Education.  HMI can inspect the Authority and require it to do its job properly.  But lets get Central Government out of the minutii of schools and education. Restore Local Authority and Accountability.

Why is this idea important?

Before 1976 Education was the responsibility of schools and teachers.  Local Authorities were required to make sure that there were enough schools for all the children in their area and had to ensure every child had a place in school.  Central Government provided a framework and the funds. 

In 1976 the Great Education Debate allowed Central Government to get involved in Education and it's not worked.  The National Curriculum as a guideline would be fine, but it's become a requirement. In ordr to deliver a centralised curriculum we have seen the development of lots of new QUANGOs like OFSTED and QCA etc.  Before HMI was able to check that Local Authorities were doing their work while Local inspectors checked that the schools were delivering.  Some Local Authorities were poor at their job, but we now have laws that allow Government to inspect Local Authorities, lets use that model for Education.  HMI can inspect the Authority and require it to do its job properly.  But lets get Central Government out of the minutii of schools and education. Restore Local Authority and Accountability.

Replace county councils with regional assemblies

Abolish English county councils and replace them with elected regional assemblies for each of the English regions outside of London. All powers and functions of county councils would be transferred to the regional assemblies and metropolitan borough councils would have the same powers and functions as non-metropolitan district councils.

80% of assembly members should be elected by first past the post using the same constituency boundaries used in Westminster elections and 20% through a region wide party list, as used in European elections.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish English county councils and replace them with elected regional assemblies for each of the English regions outside of London. All powers and functions of county councils would be transferred to the regional assemblies and metropolitan borough councils would have the same powers and functions as non-metropolitan district councils.

80% of assembly members should be elected by first past the post using the same constituency boundaries used in Westminster elections and 20% through a region wide party list, as used in European elections.

councils

i live in bradford and i can see that when it comes to saving money.bradford doesnt !majority of works such as the park and other stuff.it is destroying bradford.the council decide for us and we have no say.i reckon we should have that right.you will save more money by pulling the plug on some of these stupid ideas and give the right to decide to the people.

Why is this idea important?

i live in bradford and i can see that when it comes to saving money.bradford doesnt !majority of works such as the park and other stuff.it is destroying bradford.the council decide for us and we have no say.i reckon we should have that right.you will save more money by pulling the plug on some of these stupid ideas and give the right to decide to the people.