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Informing & empowering New Forest residents and visitors


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DEFRA agreed to pilot direct elections in the New Forest and the Peak District National Parks.  Unfortunately, this will require primary legislation which may not be achievable in the current Parliamentary term.  The Minister, Richard Benyon stated in a letter dated 17 December 2012 that “I will shortly announce our conclusions on this [consultation whereby the majority of organisations and individuals were in favour of introducing direct elections] and on proposals to introduce pilot elections in the New Forest and Peak District National Parks”.

Even Secretary of State for Local Government & Communities, Eric Pickles, has a view on unelected National Park Authorities

House of Lords: Question asked by Lord Greaves - 23 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: -

Minister’s Replies - 21 January 2013

Review of National Park Governance: Implementation Update 25 April 2013


Policy: Protecting and Improving People’s Enjoyment of the Countryside – updated 18 April 2013


Related links: -

Why are direct elections to National Park Authorities so difficult for Defra to understand?

ndependent Residents Survey Report demonstrates appetite to vote!

Summary of governance consultation responses relating specifically to the New Forest National Park – April 2011


Westminster Hall Debate 28 November 2012 - Read the full Transcript Here

Letter from Minister Richard Benyon on our query regarding legislation

Briefing Paper from The Electoral Commission

Public Bodies Act 2011 excerpt “Power to modify constitutional arrangements”

Consultation on Changes to National Park Governance - March 2012

Summary of Responses (look at page 5):
[sorry but this document has been temporarily removed from the Defra website]

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”