Labour call for a vote on public forests


in News

Labour have announced they are calling on the government for a vote on public forest ownership.


Edward Miliband
Mary Creagh
Meg Hillier
Caroline Flint
Sir Peter Soulsby
Ms Rosie Winterton
That this House believes that the Government’s intention in the Public Bodies Bill to sell off up to 100 per cent. of England’s public forestry estate is fundamentally unsound; notes that over 225,000 people have signed a petition against such a sell-off; recognises the valuable role that the Forestry Commission and England’s forests have made to increasing woodland biodiversity and public access with 40 million visits a year; further recognises that the total subsidy to the Forestry Commission has reduced from 35 per cent. of income in 2003-04 to 14 per cent. of income in 2010-11; further notes that the value of the ecosystems services provided by England’s public forest estate is estimated to be £680 million a year; notes that the value of such services could increase substantially in the future through the transition to a low carbon economy as a carbon market emerges; notes that the public forest estate has been retained in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and calls on the Government to rethink its decision on the sales of England’s public forest estate in order to protect it for future generations.

We feel buoyed by this announcement but would be ecstatic if the last line read:

and calls on the Government to stop the sale of any part of England’s public forest estate in order to protect it for future generations.

As it doesn’t we can only hope it will have a positive result for the campaign to Save Our Forests. Although we are still unsure as to what the vote will actually achieve?

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Zoe Worthington January 30, 2011 at 10:11

Why do the Scots and the Welsh have a chance to vote against privatisation and the English do not?

rob husbands February 17, 2011 at 10:44

now we have made our governers listen to us and do an about turn on the sale of our treasured forests [for all] its time to think about expanding our public forests “yes increasing our forested land” in line with the rest of our european neighbors, it is common sense, a resource we will need far into the future which we currently import in massive quantities.
lets push on and actually create something for a change, instead of constantly defending what little we have left.

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