Defra announces next stage of National Park Governance Review

Published Friday 9 March 2012

The Government has announced its next stage of a review of governance arrangements for English National Parks in order to increase local accountability.

The initial public consultation closed on 1 February 2011. The outcome was a wide range of improvements in the way that National Park authorities (NPAs) operate.

In particular, there are five areas of development requiring changes to primary legislation which the Government proposes to make by use of an Order-making power in the Public Bodies Act 2011.

The Government invites people to send in their views on the following proposed changes to primary legislation through use of a Public Bodies Act Order. The proposed changes are to:

  • Make it possible for National Park authorities to include some directly elected members
  • Remove the need for the Secretary of State to appoint the parish members
  • Relax the political balance requirement on local authorities when appointing their members to a National Park Authority
  • Make it possible to allow parishes in subsequently specified National Parks to choose non-councillors for their seats
  • Apply a maximum length of service of 8 years.

The full consultation paper is available to view at

All responses, including those which propose an alternative to the Government’s preferred option, will be given due consideration. When sending in a response, people are asked to provide their full name and appropriate contact details, including whether the response is on behalf of an organisation.

Please send replies no later than 31 May 2012 by email to: or alternatively by post to: Governance Consultation, Customer Contact Unit, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR.


Notes to Editors

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contact:
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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