2 June 1995

Parks to go local

LOCAL people are to be given more say in the running of Englands national parks.

Environment secretary John Gummer has announced that local authorities will appoint the majority of a park authoritys membership.

He said he would continue to appoint members representing wider, national interests but he was planning to appoint members drawn from local parishes as well.

This third category of members will be allocated to parishes laying wholly or partly within the parks to give them an opportunity to take a direct role in their management and ensure their voices were heard, said Mr Gummer.

The changes will be introduced in the Environment Bill now before Parliament. Local authorities will appoint half the members of a park authority plus one, while the environment secretary will appoint the rest, with half of his appointments (less one) drawn from the parks parishes.