We have just received the following press release and feel that it is important enough to reproduce in full: NATIONAL PARK AUTHORITY DENIES A VOICE TO LOCAL PEOPLE The Peak District National Park Authority today refused to allow supporters of the Save Longstone Edge Group to address Members of its Planning Committee on the need for the Authority to take urgent action to stop the quarrying of limestone at Longstone Edge, in the heart of the National Park. In fact the Chief Executive and other staff tried to persuade us not to enter the meeting at all. Save Longstone Edge is pressing the Authority to take action before Christmas to stop the quarrying of limestone at Wager´s Flat, where an immense amount of permanent destruction has taken place in a few short weeks. However, the Authority, which is not elected*, denied local people a voice when the Chairman of the Committee adjourned the meeting rather than allow a spokesman to speak briefly on behalf of the Group. After the adjournment, John Lambert said, “The history of Longstone Edge over the last 18 years has been that the National Park Authority, which has a legal duty to protect the Peak District, has done too little, too late. If they believe that they have the power to protect Longstone Edge, they should be acting much more vigorously. If they cannot do so, they must demand new powers from the Government as a matter of urgency. Local people are fed up after 18 years of destruction. In the USA, it is a criminal offence to remove as much as a pebble from a National Park. Here, unscrupulous businesses have been allowed to take away huge amounts of limestone, leaving vast and permanent scars in our oldest and most visited National Park.” *The members of the Peak District National Park Authority are appointed, not elected; very few actually live in the National Park. There are 38 members. Twenty are appointed by county, district, city or borough councils. Eighteen are appointed directly by the Secretary of State http://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/index/looking-after/npa/members.htm The government keeps saying that ´it´s a local issue´ – but the local people have absolutely no say in what goes on – clearly underlined by what happen this morning at the Planning Committee Meeting. Save Longstone Edge Campaign
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