Green Party: The Government’s u-turn
on public forests shows people power in action
Secretary Caroline Spelman’s u-turn on the privatisation of Britain’s forests,
following recommendations by an independent panel report which recommended that
the forests remain in public hands, has been welcomed today by the Green Party.
The report concluded that the proposed forest sell-off had seriously
underestimated the benefits woodland provide for people, nature and the economy.
Green MP Caroline Lucas, who has been in the forefront of the
parliamentary campaign against the sell-off, said:
“Yesterday’s announcement that the Government will
not be selling off our public forests is an incredible victory for the many
groups and individuals that joined forces to protect the forest estate for
people to enjoy today and for future generations. Questions about the
management and funding of the estate remain, though. There is a real risk that
the Forestry Commission’s ability to evolve and build upon its track record of
innovation and value for money will be hampered by current cuts to its budget
and by job losses – the Government must now promise that there will be no
further cuts to the Commission’s budget and staff. The Coalition must also
assure us that it has no intention of using PFI funding to raze our treasured
forests to the ground and allow yet another public asset to be stripped by the
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