Purposes of National Parks

Part of Clause 60 – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 28th June 1995.

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Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger , Pembroke 8:30 pm, 28th June 1995

As we come towards the end of our consideration of this very large Bill, it is rather unfortunate that the standard of debate has plunged abysmally in the past half hour. What we have heard from Conservative Members has been a load of drivel. What they have been saying is basically spurious scaremongering.

At one stage, the Government were willing to introduce an amendment that put back in the words "quiet enjoyment", yet they now seek to remove them. Which side are they on? Do they support the original intention to include the words "quiet enjoyment" or do they now support their removal? A letter that I received from the national park officer of Pembrokeshire Coast national park, dated 23 June, says: I have just learnt of the latest Government amendment, tabled, I gather a minute before midnight, to remove the words 'quiet enjoyment' from the second National Park purpose and revert to the original wording. To say this is a bombshell at this late stage following all the Government assurances and discussions is an understatement. Like a number of recent changes of direction, I am not sufficiently close to Westminster to know where this has come from, but it does represent a major reversal and a breach of assurances we have previously been given. The writer is referring specifically to the assurances given to the national parks.