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WARM WELCOME FOR NATIONAL PARKS PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL

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A Private Members' Bill which would create independent authorities for all National Parks in England and Wales was ...
A Private Members' Bill which would create independent authorities for all National Parks in England and Wales was hailed as 'a leap forward' by the Countryside Commission today.

Nearly three years ago, the Commission's National Parks Review Panel under the chairmanship of Professor Ron Edwards, said in its report, 'Fit for the Future', that the establishment of independent authorities for each national park was vital to their future welfare. Now the Bill, to be introduced by Lord Norrie, a Vice-President of the Council for National Parks, will give that recommendation a major boost, says the Commission.

Roger Clarke, the Commission's Director of Policy, said: 'We see this as an important step along the road to implementing the Edwards report. It is vital to have these authorities in place before any changes in local government structure. Independence will give new confidence and momentum at a time when it will be most needed.'

He added: 'The Commission will continue to press for other key recommendations in the panel's report which require legislation. Among these are a revision of National Park purposes and the legislation which will provide the equivalent of National Park status for the New Forest in Hampshire.'
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