Update 13 January 2013
The New Year brings new challenges regarding the future of direct elections to National Park Authorities & The Broads Authority and the future of the Public Forest Estate: -
Pilot schemes for direct elections to NPAs
Tomorrow (14 January 2013) Dr Julian Lewis MP (New Forest East) asks the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to explain why the pilot scheme for direct elections to the New Forest National Park Authority have been postponed and if he will make a statement. See Parliament Questions Book, questions 54, 55 & 56
Almost 50 years elapsed between the formation of the National Park Authority in the New Forest (2005) and the previously designated Northumberland National Park in 1956. So, why are direct elections to National Park Authorities so difficult for Defra to understand?
Contrary to Defra's opinion and a recent article in the Lymington Times saying there is an apathy to vote - our own Residents Survey Report shows there is a keen interest in direct elections to National Park Authorities.
“The Government has already made clear that it is minded to introduce direct elections in two NPAs, namely the Peak District and the New Forest. But the introduction of directly elected members onto those authorities (and the consequential changes to the existing structure) would be made by subsequent SIs [Statutory Instruments] under the 1995 Act, which would be preceded by their own consultation during 2012” Click here for "Consultation on Changes to National Park Governance - March 2012"
A promise from government: New Power to Local People Over National Parks
Local people will have more say in the running of National Parks in their areas, under new Big Society plans announced by Defra “Government meets pledge to improve local accountability of National Parks”
Further links are on our website home page.
Public Forest Estate
After the Independent Forestry Panel recommendations were published back in July last year together with feedback from various meetings, workshops and consultations on the future of the Public Forest Estate, Defra will be issuing their response at the end of January 2013.
In the interim, Forest Campaigns Network (FCN) have sent an open letter to Defra and the Treasury with an accompanying Briefing Note "calling on the Government to commit to the proper funding required to maintain the PFE ensuring a positive future for the benefit of ALL rather than allow it to deteriorate due to a lack of resources. The public needs your assurance that the PFE will NOT fail for want of a tiny amount of public money".
An interesting article by Roderick Leslie (former Chief Executive, Forest Enterprise) 'Politics and the Forestry Panel'
"As the Government’s response to the Independent Panel approaches it’s clear there is only one way out of the political mess the Conservatives landed themselves in. That is to understand, accept and take action to turn the panel’s views into policy".
'Our Forests' press release from June 2012 but worth another read! "Public ready to rise up again if government fails them over public woods and forests"
NFNPA response to Independent Forestry Panel Report - 5 December 2012
ONE VOICE, New Forest
Member of Forest Campaigns Network (FCN)
Tel: 01425 621889
Fax: 01425 620063