Local MP Alex Cunningham has today urged residents to voice their concerns over the Tory-led Governments ongoing plans to sell off English Forests.
The Government has confirmed that it still intends to sell off 15% of the public forest estate, regardless of what the independent panel set up to review the government’s policy on the issue recommends, showing their sell off plans are merely being “delayed”.
In contrast the independent panel could recommend that more woodland is bought by the State, according to the bishop leading the review. The panel was setup after the public outcry had forced the Government to abandon its earlier plan to sell off the forests.
“The latest twist in this saga proves that the Tory-led Government are simply not listening to what the public want. Thousands of people have already campaigned against these plans and it is deeply concerning that the public are being ignored.”
“We should be talking about enhancing and improving our forests, not taking the axe to them. Our forests are part of our British identity and history.”
“That is why I’m urging residents to keep up the pressure on the Government so that they to listen to the panel and abandon their ill-thought-out plans.”
The panel have announced a number of public meetings around the country:
• Forest of Dean, Monday 13th June
• Kielder Forest (Northumberland) – Tuesday 26 July
• Kent – Friday 16th September
Submissions to the panel can be made via the Defra website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/forestry/panel/
The deadline for public submissions to the panel is the 31 July.