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JennyMorgan

Help Please.

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Our local newspaper is asking for suggestions into what they can investigate in 2020. May I suggest, even ask, that you suggest to the EDP that they investigate either the Broads Authority or the bogus Broads National Park.

https://www.edp24.co.uk/business/archant-investigations-unit-story-idea-1-6464820?fbclid=IwAR0rn9jI4B1cjBbu7vVUEPa0v4yZL_1Ujuvk8HqO5yc-N7fp-8xoprxffE0

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The executive of the BA is keen to claim that the Broads has been granted the same status as a national park and has quoted a letter of the 2 September 2006, from the Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape & Rural Affairs, Barry Gardiner MP as containing the evidence of that claim. Past experience suggests to me that ministerial letters are subject to interpretation so with that in mind I recently submitted a Freedom of Information Request asking for a copy of that letter. I received a response today, from the Authority, stating that the Authority no longer has a copy of that letter! Am I surprised? No, not really,  but it would have been good if I could have confirmed the granting, or not, of N.P. status to the Broads. I would have thought that if that letter is pivotal to the executive claim that the Broads is actually a national park then it would be available in order to prove the point.  Very fishy!

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1 hour ago, JennyMorgan said:

Our local newspaper is asking for suggestions into what they can investigate in 2020. May I suggest, even ask, that you suggest to the EDP that they investigate either the Broads Authority or the bogus Broads National Park.

https://www.edp24.co.uk/business/archant-investigations-unit-story-idea-1-6464820?fbclid=IwAR0rn9jI4B1cjBbu7vVUEPa0v4yZL_1Ujuvk8HqO5yc-N7fp-8xoprxffE0

Done.

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Re my FOI request, I have just been reminded that there are many other DEFRA letters subsequent to 2006, the most recent from Andrea Leadsom, all refuting the NP status claim. All in all I hope that the EDP can be persuaded to investigate the workings of the upper echelons of power at Yare House. 

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39 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

The executive of the BA is keen to claim that the Broads has been granted the same status as a national park and has quoted a letter of the 2 September 2006, from the Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape & Rural Affairs, Barry Gardiner MP as containing the evidence of that claim. Past experience suggests to me that ministerial letters are subject to interpretation so with that in mind I recently submitted a Freedom of Information Request asking for a copy of that letter. I received a response today, from the Authority, stating that the Authority no longer has a copy of that letter! Am I surprised? No, not really,  but it would have been good if I could have confirmed the granting, or not, of N.P. status to the Broads. I would have thought that if that letter is pivotal to the executive claim that the Broads is actually a national park then it would be available in order to prove the point.  Very fishy!

Would it not be possible to ask for the letter from the source as in Barry Gardeners office rather than the recipient? 

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38 minutes ago, JanetAnne said:

Would it not be possible to ask for the letter from the source as in Barry Gardeners office rather than the recipient? 

I have also asked DEFRA but am still awaiting a response. 

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1 hour ago, JanetAnne said:

Would it not be possible to ask for the letter from the source as in Barry Gardeners office rather than the recipient? 

Thanks for the suggestion. I have contacted  Barry Gardiner's office.

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Jolly Roger, 

Your constant denial of affiliation to National Park status makes me wonder.

Why?

Living on the edge of the Northumberland National Park , the only people I know, who complain, are land owners and builders who cannot profit, at will, from the NP status.

The inability to build car parks at popular stops and view points seems to be the main grouse.

paul

 

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29 minutes ago, ZimbiIV said:

Your constant denial of affiliation to National Park status makes me wonder.

I have neither denied nor opposed the Broads being a member of the National Parks family. Family membership is not the issue.

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During the debate on the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Bill, on 1 December 1986, the Minister for Environment, Countryside and Planning (William Waldegrave) said: “The Bill recognises the Broads' national importance and special needs. It gives them a status equivalent to that of a national park, but with wider powers."

That 'but' is the difference. While those wider powers (which relate to the navigation) remain, the Broads cannot be a national park.

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The plot thickens! This comment has been posted elsewhere:

The letter was from the then Environment Secretary (DEFRA) to the then Chairman of the BA, Prof. Kerry Turner. The purpose of the letter was to address the BA CEO's demand to be allowed to call the BA a national park authority and to use the national park title in the name of The Broads. DEFRA refused to support the demand pointing out that The Broads is prevented by law from becoming a national park. It was reported that the BA CEO concealed the letter while forging ahead with his pet Private Bill in Parliament - The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads National Park Bill. Packman and Turner were eventually obliged to change the name of the Bill to remove the false national park definition.

Curiouser and curiouser!

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I'm not sure that

6 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

 It was reported that the BA CEO concealed the letter while forging ahead with his pet Private Bill in Parliament - The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads National Park Bill. Packman and Turner were eventually obliged to change the name of the Bill to remove the false national park definition.

Curiouser and curiouser!

The Broads National Park Authority Bill - see attached

See section 4:

Alteration of name of Authority and area
(1) The name of the Broads Authority is changed to The Broads National Park Authority.
(2) The name of the Broads (as defined in section 2(3) of the 1988 Act) is changed to The Broads National Park.

To save any confusion, this Bill was kicked into touch by the government. Phew, that was close!

 

Second_Draft_of_Bill.pdf

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3 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

Re my FOI request, I have just been reminded that there are many other DEFRA letters subsequent to 2006, the most recent from Andrea Leadsom, all refuting the NP status claim. All in all I hope that the EDP can be persuaded to investigate the workings of the upper echelons of power at Yare House. 

That letter was dated 26 April 2017 and, in it, she said, "I can confirm that there has been no formal or legal change to the status of the Broads and that rebranding the Broads as a national park has been done solely for marketing purposes."

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9 minutes ago, Paladin said:

That letter was dated 26 April 2017 and, in it, she said, "I can confirm that there has been no formal or legal change to the status of the Broads and that rebranding the Broads as a national park has been done solely for marketing purposes."

If you believe that you will believe pigs can fly, and to the moon and back at that.

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22 minutes ago, Paladin said:

That letter was dated 26 April 2017 and, in it, she said, "I can confirm that there has been no formal or legal change to the status of the Broads and that rebranding the Broads as a national park has been done solely for marketing purposes."

 

11 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

If you believe that you will believe pigs can fly, and to the moon and back at that.

I can only report what has been written. The letter states, very clearly, the current government position, which hasn't changed since the rebranding in 2015. On that basis, I believe it. Whether it reflects the intentions of the Broads Authority (or certain people within the Authority) is a totally different matter.

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Getting the EDP to investigate the Broads Authority, a good shout but I wish you luck. That would require some keen investigative journalism of which I have seen more on this thread than in many years of reading the EDP.

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49 minutes ago, Paul said:

Getting the EDP to investigate the Broads Authority, a good shout but I wish you luck. That would require some keen investigative journalism of which I have seen more on this thread than in many years of reading the EDP.

Paul, I hope that you have responded to the EDP by suggesting that they investigate the Authority, its BNP obsession or even indeed these blessed road signs.

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38 minutes ago, JennyMorgan said:

or even indeed these blessed road signs.

I did happen to mention the signs at Acle, which is not even within the Broads Authority executive area, NP or no NP

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11 hours ago, Paladin said:

 

I can only report what has been written. The letter states, very clearly, the current government position, which hasn't changed since the rebranding in 2015. On that basis, I believe it. Whether it reflects the intentions of the Broads Authority (or certain people within the Authority) is a totally different matter.

Hi Paly, 

My comment was based on the last bit, which is also referred to in your last sentence. That said, I admire your optomism in believing any authority, as it is my belief that ANY authority will only do what's beneficial for that authority, and never for the benefit of those within its governance. 

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24 minutes ago, SPEEDTRIPLE said:

Hi Paly, 

My comment was based on the last bit, which is also referred to in your last sentence. That said, I admire your optomism in believing any authority, as it is my belief that ANY authority will only do what's beneficial for that authority, and never for the benefit of those within its governance. 

I have several personal experiences of how the Authority will duck and dive to try to justify the unjustifiable (while appreciating that some, hopefully the majority, in the organisation, act with propriety), so I cannot bring myself to believe anything they say, unless I see tangible proof.

In the criminal law (and I'm not suggesting that this applies to the BA) there are offences in the Fraud Act 2006, of fraud by false representation (Section 2) and fraud by failing to disclose information (Section 3). Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything similar in civil law.

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5 minutes ago, Paladin said:

Unfortunately, I don't think there is anything similar in civil law.

Regretfully.

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12 hours ago, JennyMorgan said:

The plot thickens! This comment has been posted elsewhere:

The letter was from the then Environment Secretary (DEFRA) to the then Chairman of the BA, Prof. Kerry Turner. The purpose of the letter was to address the BA CEO's demand to be allowed to call the BA a national park authority and to use the national park title in the name of The Broads. DEFRA refused to support the demand pointing out that The Broads is prevented by law from becoming a national park. It was reported that the BA CEO concealed the letter while forging ahead with his pet Private Bill in Parliament - The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads National Park Bill. Packman and Turner were eventually obliged to change the name of the Bill to remove the false national park definition.

Curiouser and curiouser!

The minutes of the Authority meeting on 28 July 2006 report that, in relation to the Private Bill, it was resolved:

“that the Authority awaits the outcome of the Chairman’s meeting with Barry Gardiner MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs) - before selecting the option for changing the name of the area to “The Broads National Park”;

And the minutes of the Authority meeting on 29 September 2006 show that it was resolved:

“that, following the successful meeting with Barry Gardiner MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs) - the Authority should not pursue the change of name of the area or the Authority itself in the Private Bill;“

So something happened at that time, which caused the BA to drop the name-change proposal. Was it as a result of the meeting, or a letter, or both? And precisely what was said in the meeting, or letter, that brought about the change of heart?

JM, having raised this, it is something that needs to be clarified, please.

 

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I've just re-discovered this information, which I publicised several years ago, from Hansard, during the debate on the Broads Bill in 2007:

"The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Barry Gardiner) said (with my emphases):

“Although the Broads Authority is not a national park in the legal sense because it was not designated through the procedure outlined in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, it has an equivalent status, and it is a much valued member of the national parks family, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael) so eloquently stated earlier. I can assure the House that the broads will not be changing their name. It is important that we continue to recognise their distinct status by giving them a distinct title.
Incorporating the words “national park” and “national park authority” in the names would wrongly imply that it was a standard national park and authority, exactly like the others.”
"

Just how much clearer must the point be made? The Broads has an equivalent status to a national park, but it is a distinct status, NOT the same as a national park.

There are those who have difficulty with the words 'equivalent' and 'status', suggesting they mean the same. Here's an example of how they do not mean the same thing:

I have a flock of chickens and one cockerel. I also have a flock of geese and one gander. The cockerel and the gander both have the same status, i.e. they lead their flocks. They both have the same function, i.e. to impregnate the females in their flock, so that fertile eggs are available for my breeding programme. Can I now call the cockerel a gander, and the gander a cockerel? Of course not!

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2 hours ago, Paladin said:

And the minutes of the Authority meeting on 29 September 2006 show that it was resolved:

“that, following the successful meeting with Barry Gardiner MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs) - the Authority should not pursue the change of name of the area or the Authority itself in the Private Bill;“

From the EDP dated 21 September 2006 :

"A campaign to rebrand the Broads as a national park was finally abandoned last night to the relief of boating organisations.

Broads Authority chief executive John Packman had been pushing to have the move to national-park status included in a private Bill to be put to Parliament later this year.

However, he has admitted defeat after Defra minister Barry Gardiner refused to back the proposal at a meeting in London on Monday."

Hardly a "successful meeting", then.

'Monday' would have been the 18th. The 2nd of September 2006 was a Saturday, perhaps an unlikely day for the letter to be dated, which makes me think a bit more research is needed.

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Has anyone else looked at the National Parks UK website recently?

Not only is the Broads described as a National Park (perhaps no surprise there) but there is a clear implication that the BA is a National Park Authority. The "About us" section contains the following.

QUOTE:

There are 15 National Parks in the United Kingdom and each one is looked after by its own authority. We work together as National Parks UK.

There are 10 National Parks in England, 3 in Wales and 2 in Scotland, they are:

England -  Broads, Dartmoor, Exmoor, Lake District, New Forest, Northumberland, North York Moors, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, and South Downs.

Wales - Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire Coast, and Snowdonia

Scotland - Cairngorms and Loch Lomond & the Trossachs.

…………………………….

…………………………...

National Parks UK

National Parks UK brings together the 15 National Park Authorities in the UK to raise the profile of the National Parks and to promote joint working. Country associations for the English and Welsh national parks represent the national park authorities to English and Welsh governments.

Advised by the 15 National Park Authority chief executives, the chairmen and convenors of the 15 National Park Authorities work together to share experience and manage joint training projects, public relations activities and special events.

National Parks UK employs three members of staff and secondees from the National Parks to work on projects as required.  

National Parks UK is not a lobbying body, nor does it seek to speak on behalf of the family of 15 National Parks. Its key roles include:

Engaging with the public and answering queries about National Parks as a group

Promoting the National Parks as special places

National Parks UK also:

Promotes the 15 National Parks in the UK as beacons for sustainable development

Helps raise their profile and deepen the public's understanding and relevance of these protected landscapes

Facilitates training and development for National Park Authority members and staff

Fosters closer working with the growing international family of protected landscapes

Contact National Parks UK:

Email: pressoffice@nationalparks.uk

Yare House
62-64 Thorpe Rd
Norwich
NR1 1RY

UNQUOTE

We all know that the Broads can be called a National Park for marketing purposes, but calling the Broads Authority a National Park Authority to my mind crosses the boundary to mendacious propaganda. As far as I am aware there is no legal basis whatsoever for this claim (and in fact the opposite). Interesting that National Parks UK now share an address with the BA. Although I never liked the BA playing fast and loose with the English language, I always harboured a doubt as to whether there was truly an ulterior motive. No more.

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