National Park Members Election 2010 – Update

The Park Authority is  looking for people to stand for election to the National Park board. Five members will be elected by the residents of five wards:
  1. Cowal and North Loch Lomond
  2. Breadalbane and the Trossachs
  3. Callander
  4. East Loch Lomond and Port of Menteith
  5. West Loch Lomond and Balloch.
Stirling Council is organising the election on behalf of the Park Authority and their Chief Executive, Bob Jack, is the Returning Officer.
For more detail about the role follow the link below. If you are interested, then you need to complete a nomination pack – you don’t need to live in the Park, but you will need to have the support of residents.
The nomination packs and full details of the election, with detailed maps showing the wards, are on Stirling Council’s website.
If you would prefer to pick up a nomination pack they are also available at several local offices and libraries.
The postal ballot will take place at the end of June and votes will be counted at Carrochan, National Park HQ, on 1 July.

For an application form to vote by post (other than where registered) click here.

Election Timetable

On or before Wednesday 5th May 2010
Publication of Notice of Election

From Thursday 6 May to 4.00pm on Wednesday 26 May 2010
Delivery of nomination papers

From Thursday 6 May to 4.00pm on Wednesday 26 May 2010
Delivery of notices of withdrawal of candidature

By 5.00pm on Wednesday 26 May 2010
Absent voters must apply to Electoral Registration Officer by this date

By 4.00pm on Thursday 27 May 2010
Publication of statement of persons nominated

Thursday 10 June 2010
Ballot papers to be sent out

By Thursday 24 June 2010
Notice of appointment of counting agents to be given by the candidate to the Returning Officer by this date

Thursday 1 July 2010
Date of Poll
(Ballot papers to be returned by 4.00pm, Count in the evening)

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Angus Macmillan
11 years ago

Undemocratic National Parks

In the year 2009, eleven years after devolution in Scotland, the Scottish Parliament introduced a consultation document under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 which continues to discriminate against those residing in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs areas by proposing nothing that reduces a substantial amount of power from the elected local authorities and placing it in the hands of National Park Authorities (NPAs) which are non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) responsible to central government.

This proposal continues the anomaly that those residing within national park boundaries do not enjoy the same level of local democracy as elsewhere in the country, as the 17 NPA board members dominated by central government appointees and board member electees, “must work together with the purpose, as set out in the Act [section 9 (1)], of ensuring that the National Park aims are collectively achieved in relation to the National Park in a coordinated way”.

The suggested political structure of NPA Boards is:

(a) 6 central government appointees.

(b) 6 further central government appointees nominated by local councils that have at least part of a ward within the national park boundaries.

The nominated members shall be nominated as follows;
• two members (including one local member) to be nominated by Argyll and Bute Council
• two members (including one local member) to be nominated by Stirling
• one member nominated by West Dunbartonshire Council
• one member nominated by Perth & Kinross Council

These nominated board members are generally, but not necessarily, local councillors who have been elected on mainstream issues but who are required to represent their electorate differently, depending whether or not their voters reside within the national parks. They are also entitled to make decisions that affect constituencies in which they do not reside or represent.

(c) 5 board member electees who are solely concerned with national park issues. This is passed off as “democracy” but there is a world of a difference between electing local councilors on the wide political front and board members “electees” of quangos with a single-issue remit.

Under this proposal, planning applications will still be determined by board members who must work together to ensure that the national park aims are collectively achieved. Board members who are councilors elected on mainstream politics will require to make different decisions depending on whether their constituents do or do not reside within national park boundaries.

The question that no politician will answer is:

Why are those who live within the boundaries of national parks in Scotland not entitled to the same level of local democracy as elsewhere in the country?

The National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 is an act of discrimination against a minority of the population based on where they reside.

Angus Macmillan
November 2009.

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