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Candidates pressured on green spaces.

CANDIDATES in the upcoming council elections in Wales are being urged to show their green credentials.

Pressure is being put on them to ensure environmental concerns make their way on to the agenda when the new authorities are formed.

The Open Spaces Society is urging its members in Wales to lobby their council candidates for their support for public paths, open spaces, common land and village greens.

It wants those taking their place in council chambers after May 4 to put pressure on their authority to take relevant action.

The society bases its call around the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and its seven goals, one of which requires there to be a public services board in every area. A local well-being plan must deliver the goals which include public paths, open spaces and public access in the considerations.

The society is Britain's oldest national conservation body and was founded in 1865.

It said that as a local authority is represented on the Public Services Board, councillors can have a direct input. Society members are being urged to put a number of questions to candidates, including: | "If elected, will you ensure that the protection and promotion of public paths and open spaces feature in the council's forthcoming well-being plan as important contributors to the achievement of its well-being goals?" | "If elected, will you urge the council: | to ensure that there is adequate funding to maintain the public-path network in accordance with its statutory duties? | to take action against unlawful works on common land in accordance with its powers? | voluntarily to dedicate land as town or village green, and to press other landowners to do so, in particular when new development is proposed? This will protect the land in perpetuity and give local people rights of recreation there."

General secretary, Kate Ashbrook, said: "These are all issues which councillors can influence. It will be good to know which candidates pledge their support for these propositions which will benefit their constituents enormously."

The society campaigns to protect common land, village greens, open spaces and public paths, and people's right to enjoy them.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 26, 2017
Words:370
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