Saturday, 29 June 2013
LAKES` LOCALS SHOULD RUN WHAT THEY CREATED
No real Authority
with a rubber-
Those of us who believe in local people running their own community in a democratic way do not much care for quangos.
Paticularly, quangos that claim to have some sort of democratic authority.
One of these quangos runs the
Authority. The authority is made up of 24 members, nominated by various outside organisations including the Secretary of State for Communities. Lake District National Park
The national park authority has recently been involved in a row at Keswick which resulted in such newspaper headlines as:”Out of touch quango uncaring of the needs of young people” and ”Lakeland planners out of touch with national park business needs.”
Critical headlines and comments like these are not uncommon but the national park authority seldom replies. Now, one member has replied.
Mr John G. Thompson of Penrith in a letter to a newspaper defended the national park authority and then made an extraordinary claim.
“We need to be clear that the national park authority members do represent the public`s interests”, he said in the letter to the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald of Penrith.
A reply to this extraordinary claim has been sent to the newspaper. The letter of reply scornfully dismisses Mr Thompson`s claim and goes on:
What we are really clear about, Mr Thompson, is that you , like the other members of the national park authority, are no more than a nominated representative.
In this country, the public`s interests (which you are determined to claim) are represented democratically by votes and elections, not by rubber-stamping nominees from Whitehall, Timbuktu, or whatever.
For many centuries, local people created the
Lake District we know and love today. Local people did it themselves, without the help of rubber stamped nominees claiming to speak for them.
Given a chance, local people are quite capable of continuing this democratic process.
When are they going to get that chance?
This letter of reply was sent by a member of Carlisle Tenants` and Residents`Federation which over recent years has been critical of another quango, Carlisle`s Riverside Housing Association, which also has attempted to claim democratic authority.
Information about the Federation is contained in the first entry of this blog , dated March 25.