Bill-034 - Kirsty Williams AM - Local Representation on National Parks (Wales) Bill
A Member must provide ‘pre-ballot information’ to set out the intended purpose of their proposed Bill before it is entered into the Presiding Officer's ballot. This information is set out below.
Policy Objectives of the Proposed Order
Welsh Ministers already have the power to appoint members to National Park Authorities in Wales, but this Bill will change the rules relating to the appointment of local authority members of the Park Authority, in order to address public concern about a democratic deficit on such Authorities.
The Bill will ensure that a proportion of the National Park Authority is directly-elected, in a similar manner to the elections outlined in the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000. I will consult on the exact proportion to be elected as well as a cap on the number of members on the National Park Authority.
National Park membership is currently made up of two-thirds local authority nominated and one-third Welsh Government appointed. There is currently, however, no compulsion in Wales to ensure the local authority appoints members whose wards are actually within the National Park, which has led to concerns over whether the people who live the Park are being truly represented. Members may wish to note that parish members of English National Parks must be a member of a parish council which is, at least in part, located in the Park; in Scotland, local members must be a councillor for a ward, or a member of a community council, which is at least in part located in the Park.
Residents who live within National Parks in my region support improving local representation on National Parks.
I have begun consulting with interested parties and will continue to when drawing up this legislation.