Public Bodies Bill – more amendments?

29/01/2011

in Public Bodies Bill

Supplementary to the Revised Seventh Marshalled List (taken directly from the Parliament website – original here).

AMENDMENT TO BE MOVED IN COMMITTEE
[Supplementary to the Revised Seventh Marshalled List]

After Clause 18

LORD GREAVES

174ZB* Insert the following new Clause—

“Application of sections 17 and 18

The Secretary of State may not use the powers conferred by sections 17 and 18 or any orders made under those sections in the following forests—

(a) the New Forest,

(b) Sherwood Forest,

(c) the Forest of Dean,

(d) Kielder Forest.”

Does this mean these forests could be safe from sale or transfer?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

paul January 29, 2011 at 18:51

It sounds as though the four forests listed have been ring fenced – so who will take ownership and who can afford to – they will all require significant subsidy ?

Reply

Tony Greaves January 30, 2011 at 00:05

No – the amendment I have tabled simply means that it will be debated when we eventually get to the forest clauses. The House of Lords is currently discussing the Public Bodies Bill in committee stage, and it is taking rather a long time for various reasons (one of which is that it is a very controversial Bill full of “Henry VIII Clauses” that will allow Ministers to do things by ministerial order rather than primary legislation (Acts of Parliament). The forestry clauses (17-19) are at the back end of the Bill and not likely to be discussed before late February or March (apart from some amendments about the Forest of Dean which will come up at the next session, not yet timetabled).

There may or may not be any votes on forestry in the committee stage, and they may have to wait until the Report Stage which will follow. The Government are promising some forestry amendments of their own but we will have to see what they say and at what stage they will table them.

I tabled this particular amendment (along with others) to tease out the government’s intentions: in the light of the government statement this week it may be sensible to resubmit some rather different ones.

The PB BIll was introduced in the Lords so it will have to go to the Commons after we have finished dealing with it.

Tony Greaves (Lord Greaves)

Reply

Ian Moodie February 1, 2011 at 00:16

Tony

It will be interesting to follow the Government’s response to this amendment, but as you say they may feel they have countered this approach regarding ‘heritage forest’, not sure where that leaves Kielder though? or whether the outcomes will match the aims.

We’ve produced a short news item on the ADA website regarding the flood risk benefits provided by good forestry management, in particular partnership working between Forestry Commission and Environment Agency. May help extend the wider debate about ecosystem services provided by forests hopefully.

http://www.ada.org.uk/morenews.php?fs=&id=113

Ian Moodie
Association of Drainage Authorities

Reply

Alasdair February 9, 2011 at 16:00

Would there me any merit in tabling an amendment to simply remove those two sections, and mention of the Forestry Commission from the bill?

Reply

wildelycreative February 9, 2011 at 16:16

What we’re hoping for with our Send A Lord a Love Trees Valentine campaign is some Lords will feel just how much we love our forests. Just how much we love our Forestry Commission rangers for their sterling work and contribution to their communities over the last few years. And just how much we’d love our publicly owned land to remain in public hands.

Maybe you could send a valentine’s letter to a Lord asking him if he would table amendment to remove Clauses 17, 18 and 19. 😉

Reply

Karl Greenfield February 11, 2011 at 05:54

It is important that we are clear that the protesters pushing for amendment/removal of these clauses are fighting for the forests to remain in public ownership, managed by the forestry commission.

“Heritage Status” – which allows the forests to be given away to charity, is in no way going to appease these hundreds of thousands of protesters – and the recently published government consultation does not give the option of retaining the status quo – this status quo is what the protesters are fighting for.

Reply

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