by Garth Harkness on 23 April, 2021
Local Liberal Democrats are continuing to lead the fight to protect our public green spaces. Oldham and Saddleworth Liberal Democrats are saying NO to Conservative Government plans to replace the local management of National Parks with a so-called National Landscape Service, states Saddleworth North Liberal Democrat Councillor Garth Harkness.
The Conservative Government is expected to make an announcement shortly (may be after May 6) on the future of National Parks, like the Peak District, as well as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty after a two-year delay following the Glover Review in 2019.
17 April marked the seventieth anniversary of the Peak District National Park, and Councillor Harkness is greatly concerned about plans to scrap, or downgrade, the National Park Authorities in favour of a centrally controlled and distant National Landscape Service.
“This is one unwanted anniversary present that the Peak District National Park could do without,” said Councillor Harkness. “Parts of Saddleworth are included within the Peak District National Park and I know the Park is precious to everyone, both the people who live and work in it but to the thousands of visitors.”
“The Liberal Democrats believe strongly that local public organisations like the National Parks should be managed and be accountable locally. At present, Oldham Council has an elected member on the Board. How can the Peak District and our other National Parks be better preserved and protected by a new National Landscape Authority which there will be no local representation and that is accountable to no-one?”
“I will campaign to stop this Conservative Government from transferring control over the Peak District National Park from local authorities to Whitehall civil servants,” added Councillor Harkness. “Liberal Democrat councillors in Oldham and Saddleworth will be totally opposed to the abolition of the Peak District National Park Authority and we will fight any plans to do so.”Leave a comment