LOCAL people would choose who runs national parks, including the New Forest, under a Bill in the Queen’s Speech.
The legislation would introduce direct elections to England’s ten national parks to tackle what ministers called a “democratic deficit”.
The Government believes the current system – where local councils nominate representatives to sit on park boards – is not up to scratch.
However, the Bill was only published in draft from yesterday, which means it cannot become law before the next general election less than one year away.
Instead, it will be scrutinised by a committee of MPs – and would then have to be adopted by whichever Government is in power after May 2015.
Any changes would “broaden representation on national parks”, which means only some of the posts would be directly elected.
Parish councilors would be able to choose other representatives from among residents, rather than simply from members of the council.
Earlier this year, during a Commons debate, planning minister Nick Boles admitted the democracy of national parks was “shoddy”, depriving local people of a proper say.