SOUTH Lakes MP Tim Farron has taken the first step in a Parliamentary process which he hopes will ‘democratise’ national parks.

Mr Farron wants national park authority 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 which, if adopted, would give the Secretary of State power to authorise elections on a pilot basis for national parks’ governing boards.

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.”