Saturday, 26 February 2011

Grassroots killed English forestry sell-off plot

Tony Greaves tells the full background story to the Conservatives' plans not only to continue the Labour government's sale of forests under the coalition's inherited powers, but also to extend those powers using parliamentary sleight-of-hand. He tells how both schemes were defeated by a combination of concerned individuals across the political spectrum.

It is now clear how many of us on the Liberal Democrat side were used and deceived by the Defra ministers, who led us to believe that there were to be no sales of freehold, but only long leases, as in Scotland. We had hoped that things had changed from the Labour days of spin. Incidentally, Labour spokespersons continue to distort history in opposition. Their government may well have helped set up new woodlands, but there was a still a net sale of forestry under them, contrary to the impression they try to create.

Turning to our own forestry, it seems to me that there are weasel words in Elin Jones' statement on the subject of Coed Cadw delivered in the Senedd earlier this year, and that all of us need to maintain vigilance. Already, there is a downgrading of public access from active maintenance of footpaths to mere permissiveness. I hope to come back to this subject.

No comments: