SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron has introduced a bill in the House of Commons to ‘democratise’ national parks.

Mr Farron wants national parks representatives to be elected, which he says will “prevent them riding roughshod over the opinions and priorities of local people.”

He has introduced a Presentation Bill to give the Secretary of State powers to provide for elections to be held on a pilot basis for National parks’ governing boards.

The Lake District National Park currently has 22 members – 6 appointed by Cumbria County Council, 6 by District Councils with areas in the National Park and 10 by the Secretary of State for Defra.

Mr Farron said: "Our National Parks should be democratically accountable - they should not be able to get away with opting not to be open to election.

“I have made that argument strongly to the Government and asked them to trail the idea in Cumbria, so they can see for themselves how successful it is.

“The communities affected by national park decisions are entitled to have their say over how those decisions are made.

“We can save money and make the authorities accountable to local people in one simple stroke."