In a move which will have great interest in North Yorkshire, the Coalition government is asking people to send their views to a national forum to discuss the good and bad points of national parks.
The two North Yorkshire parks, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, have long been a centre of controversy for people who live within their boundaries, often showing a deep divide between ordinary working folk and well-to-do incomers who have driven property prices beyond the reach of locals.
Low-cost housing, planning restrictions on business properties, and alleged “political correctness” have over the years caused many locals to say that park committees – often influenced by non-resident outsiders – overlook local social and economic interests.
The Yorkshire Dales authority has in recent years made great efforts to bridge this alleged gap with moves like appointing area liaison officers to listen to local complaints. This new survey will allow the public to say if they have worked – or not.
The survey was launched yesterday (Nov 9) by Natural Environment Minister Richard Benyon who said:”National Parks are not just beautiful and historic parts of the countryside, but places where people live and work.
“They are an asset to our country, helping to boost the economy and attract new visitors, businesses and investment. This is a real chance for local communities to have a say in how we should look after our National Parks for everyone to enjoy for years to come.”
Responses to the consultation will be collected by Defra. The consultation closes on 1st February 2011 and views should be sent to: www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/nationalpark-governance/index.htm