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House of Commons Written Answers 21 January 2013

 

New Forest National Park Authority

Dr Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) for what reasons the pilot scheme for direct elections to the New Forest National Park Authority have been postponed; and if he will make a statement; [136680]

(2) whether primary legislation is necessary before pilot schemes for direct elections to National Park Authorities can be held or whether such elections can be held by Ministerial Order under section 3(2)(c) of the Public Bodies Act 2011; [136681]

 (3) when he expects the pilot scheme for direct elections to the New Forest National Park Authority to take place. [136682]

Richard Benyon: The Government has consulted on proposals to introduce legislation to enable pilot schemes for direct elections to the New Forest and Peak District National Park Authorities. Ministers will shortly make a statement on the outcomes of the consultation and on the way forward.

Primary legislation would be necessary before pilot schemes for direct elections to national park authorities could be held. An order under the Public Bodies Act is not a suitable vehicle to introduce the necessary measures. The Public Bodies Act has a bar on orders made under it conferring a delegated power to make statutory instruments (section 20(1)(a)). Such a power is needed for making the rules and regulations to govern the conduct of elections.

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