Time runs out for Broads election law change

Day boats, sailing boats and cruisers moored at Ranworth Staithe on the Norfolk Broads.Picture: Jame

Day boats, sailing boats and cruisers moored at Ranworth Staithe on the Norfolk Broads.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Pressure to make the Broads Authority an elected body will not go away, Broadland MP Keith Simpson has said, as time has run out this Parliament to change the law.

The Government announced in last year's Queen's Speech that it would bring forward the Governance of National Parks (England) and the Broads Bill – which would have seen people living locally allowed to directly elect some of the Broads Authority member, who are responsible for running the Broads and taking planning decisions.

But with Parliament set to dissolve next week with the general election on May 7, a new law will not be passed.

Mr Simpson said: 'My thoughts are that this won't go away. The towns and villages surrounding the Broads feel quite strongly about this. Really, I think as far as my party is concerned, we are keen to see elected members.'

John Packman, chief executive of the Broads Authority, said: 'The membership of the Broads Authority is a matter for Parliament and the authority awaits with interest to see what view any future government will have on direct elections.

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'In the meantime there are already various measures in place to provide local accountability.

'The authority's membership includes nine elected members appointed by the two county and six district councils. In addition, the public is directly engaged through parish forums and online.'

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Would you like to see direct elections for the Broads Authority? Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, Norwich Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

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