Forestry selloff – an update
Tory’s main defence to the criticism were that all those opposed were idiots incapable of making their own judgement having been influenced by proven labour lies such as the forests would be bulldozed to become housing estates which clearly even they knew was not possible.
Anyone reading the 38degrees mouth frothing rants I would say they have a point. I despair that 38degrees has become the banner under which those protesting the sell off are gathering, it really is playing right into the governments hands.Posted 7 years agoigmSubscriber
Well, my (tory) councillor, who has some standing in the constituency party, has agreed to try and influence my (tory) MP to ensure and extend access rights – not I noted to oppose the sell off itself.
Not much I know, but if we can influence the grass roots tory constituency parties the MPs might start to wonder how much support they’ll get at re-selection and re-election time.
Just one more front to attack.
By the way – go after Anne McIntosh who represents Dalby amongst other places and is Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee if I recall – she ought to have an interest and possibly a little influence. A bit of pressure there can’t hurt.Posted 7 years agomAx_hEadSetSubscriber
But the problem MSP is that not everyone writing to the Government and MP’s are the kind of pen fodder that 38 degrees inspire. and its a generalising insult of the minister to write all the objection off as being irrational driven by media misrepresentation.
To add to the insult the Minister is now saying they are going to ignore all letters sent before the consultation opened as being responses to the proposals.
IGM it was interesting to hear in the debate Anne McIntosh did take the stand and made points against the sell off as proposed and doubts about the plan which should mean a few marginals should also be sweating a bit. Keep writing to your tory mp’s they need a big mail bag so they know we are thinking about themPosted 7 years ago
interesting article here thats worth a readPosted 7 years agomAx_hEadSetSubscriber
Just had reply back from my MP (D Davies, Monmouthshire) and we don’t need to worry as the Crow Act will safeguard access. (Yeah right).
And he can’t tell the ‘English’ how to vote on their woods. (This is from an opponent of devolution btw).
fantastic.. my welsh tory MP voted with the pack.. not being an english mp did not stop Danny Ginger Rodent from grabbing the chance to get his hands on Englands Purse strings all the way from up there in scottyland. Even the BHS representing all those nice tory horseriding county class folks have got the message and good old crow aint gonna let them trot neddy down a forest road if the new owner says noPosted 7 years agoSponging-MachineMember
I watched this being discussed on Newsnight last night. The Conservative politician didn’t seem to really have a clue about what was going on and struggled to answer the audience members’ questions, other than stumbling around the idea of community ownership.Posted 7 years ago
My local fast-rising young-star front-bench idiot MP voted for it.
As did mine. And cut-n-pasted me a reply via secretary the other day. So I emailed him again. Also rubbish statement in local free paper about “it’s all labour’s fault and we need to get ‘innovative’ to save money” -next to no money to be saved by this now is there?
(off topic, Pimpmaster did you find a 28mm spanner in the end? I found mine if you want it for a few quid.)Posted 7 years agocarbon337Member
Just had this from my MP – sounds like he believes the access issues but wants rid of the FC:
Thank you for getting in touch with me about forestry. I share your concerns that public access, leisure activities, conservation and biodiversity should be protected and promoted. The Labour government’s scheme, under which 20,000 acres of public forest were sold, did not have adequate safeguards for these important concerns and led to a loss of access in some forests. I did not vote in support of the Coalition Government’s proposals in the recent debate because I wanted greater assurance that the safeguards now proposed will be effectively enforceable and will apply to land sales already planned. (In future the Government intends to sell only leases, not the freehold of the land, which makes enforcement of access conditions easier and more certain.) I will be watching the legislation carefully when it comes before the Commons to see that these issues are effectively dealt with.
Most of the forest areas in my constituency have always been privately owned and managed, but in Northumberland as a whole there is a very large Forestry Commission estate. The forests, both public and private, provide jobs in the timber trade and popular access for leisure which also helps to support the tourist industry. In some parts of the country, such as the New Forest, most of the forest area is ancient woodland which could be at least as well – or better – protected if it was in the ownership of charitable or community trusts. There are smaller areas in Northumberland to which this might apply. I do not see any compelling reason why, so long as access and diversity are protected, commercial forest areas have to be kept in the ownership of a loss-making nationalised industry which was created to meet very different circumstances at the end of the First World War. In Northumberland, the Commission’s decision to plant large areas of our hills with regimented conifer plantations was originally very controversial. In recent years the Commission has done more to promote the planting of broadleaved native species.
The Forestry Commission now has a vital regulatory role, and I want to see its expertise retained for the benefit of the whole of the forestry industry and the public who value it highly.
The Government’s proposals are the subject of a consultation, and I hope that when you have had a chance to study them in more detail you will respond to the consultation at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate.consult/index.htm.
With thanks for letting me know your views.
Sir Alan Beith, M.P.Posted 7 years agoOrange CrushMember
Have faith in the consultation process – yeah right.
The Department I work for was told some months ago that it would be subject to change and that consultation would take place. Consultation has not really started yet but we were told a while ago what would be happening once the “consultation” was complete.
I would suggest as far as the forests are concerned that it’s all cut and dried with only the window dressing to come.Posted 7 years agoGiantJauntMember
I’ve waited for quite a while before expressing my opinion on this whole thing but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s definitely all bad. In my experience the FC are becoming an increasingly forward thinking organisation trying to sustain forests not just for commercial reasons but for the benefit of visitors and wildlife too. They’ve come a very long way.
The Tories (Clegg included because he’s just a sell out) show their true colours yet again by systematically destroying anything that’s good in the country to the detriment of the poor and the benefit of the rich.
England is very thin on woodland as it is without it all being sold off to an uncertain fate. What we have needs to be nurtured for future generations. I can’t see conservation organisations or Trusts being able to afford to buy it with all the cuts going on.Posted 7 years ago
Dear Mr. xxxx,
I have since seen online that you did not vote to protect our forests. As one of your constituents, I am very disappointed. As I’m sure you know, your constituency is highly wooded with a vast amount of history, and we live in an area with an enviable amount of public access woodland.
I am not convinced that:
[list][*]charities such as the Woodland and National Trust will be able to afford the land that will be made available for sale[/*]
[*]the public access that we currently enjoy will remain if it is sold[/*]
[*]in a lot of cases the right-of-way access that we have will also be restricted or made difficult.[/*] [/list]
Please look at the example of Rigg Wood in the Lake District (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/forestry/8276046/Sale-of-Rigg-Wood-could-herald-forests-future.html), not to mention that it’s now been proven that selling off our national woodland assets is not cost efficient (http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/official-englands-forest-selloff-will-cost-more-than-it-saves-2201501.html).
Furthermore, it’s been estimated that the entire Forestry Commission estate is worth £700m (http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/briefings/SNSC-05734.pdf), whereas Vodafone currently owe HMRC £6bn ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/14/vodafone-tax-evasion-revenue-customs) – this strikes me as a slight imbalance as an average wage, tax-paying voter (and yes, I did vote at the last general election).
At the moment I fail to see how this will help the country, which as you continually remind us is in dire straits.
Please reconsider your views.
xxxxPosted 7 years ago
The proposal it to lease 85% of the remainder, not sell it.
I believe that the lease is 150 years, isn’t it?
I hate to say it, but that doesn’t help us with immediate access issues unless the buyer wishes to open his/her land to all and sundry (and how likely is that?)Posted 7 years agonoteethMember
The proposal it to lease 85% of the remainder, not sell it.
And the relatively blind eye which the FC currently turns to access above & beyond statutory ROW?
Besides, I’ve yet to see a convincing justification for these proposals – tbh, the likes of Caroline Spelman seem to be rather unsure of what they are actually doing (even if the notion of an ideological yardsale is oh-so-clear in their minds).Posted 7 years agodruidhMember
GiantJaunt – Member
In my experience the FC are becoming an increasingly forward thinking organisation trying to sustain forests not just for commercial reasons but for the benefit of visitors and wildlife too. They’ve come a very long way.
That’s weird. According to those north of the border they are the spawn of the devil, responsible for holding back he development of mountain bike trails and using all sorts of devious means to turf out existing leaseholders according go some hidden agenda.Posted 7 years agokaesaeMember
Hahahaha! and HA!
Your trying to understand the governments thinking? it’s quite simple, talk utter shite, that fools want to hear, get into power, sell a lot of shit and piss a lot of people off! then you get ousted and some of the shit gets bought back.
The shit that stays in the possesion of the rich, keeps you in shiny shit for the rest of your life.
Politics is a smoke screen for what is actually happening, sell the rich our forests then give them grants and subsidies that you wouldn’t give us, to develop then, call it progress.
Wake up, you want to leave assholes in charge? get used to shit happening!Posted 7 years ago
All the blurb from the debate. Interesting the Rights of Way are always confirmed as being safe, however the permissive rights are glossed over and no confirmation is made about them.
See those mountain bike trails…….they’re permissivePosted 7 years agoMr AgreeableSubscriber
From the Hansard link OMITN posted above:
Mary Creagh (Wakefield, Labour)
I am delighted that the hon. Gentleman has raised that issue, because we can put paid to the lies about it. Under the last Labour Government, there was a net sale of 4,000 hectares in England. We sold 9,000 hectares and bought 5,000 hectares. We expanded community access to the forests. The money was recycled back into the forests, and did not go to the Treasury.
We’ve just had a letter from our local MP which says
under the previous government nearly 12,000 hectares of forest land were sold off without any guarantee that woodland would be protected.
Which raises the questions:
– What “guarantees” are being put in place this time, other than the usual statutory rights and protections which applied to previous sales?
– Where does paying one of your staff to write freestyle drivel to your constituents cross the line into outright lying?Posted 7 years agoMr AgreeableSubscriber
Also interesting to note that existing charities aren’t falling over themselves with excitement at the thought of suddenly getting a shedload of other properties to manage:Posted 7 years ago
Well the horse magazines are pushing it in the news
Come on Singletrack get it on the news page.
Oh and more public land, the NNRs are up for sale next as wellPosted 7 years agosoobaliasMember
seems you are all right, the robbing tories are doing everything they can to sell our forests and line their pockets.
be involved in the public consultation or have no voice – you have a choice.Posted 7 years agomrmoMember
read the article carefully, this is nothing to do with the proposal, this is woodland that was already earmarked for disposal. The sale of woodland has been going on in a piecemeal manner for years. If the government hadn’t tried to sell the lot in one go this sale would have gone through. It is only because there actions have actually alerted people to what happens that they have had to stall the sale.
I believe that this sale will happen but that a few caveats will be put in place. The question is then who ensures the rules aren’t bent or broken after the sale. The government will then be able to say look we have sold this little bit off with rules and then proceed with the full sale.Posted 7 years ago
I believe that this sale will happen but that a few caveats will be put in place
If this happens but current access is either continued, or even bettered, then it could be a good thing.
The worrying thing is that this is the Tories. My fear is that their banking mates (who are now getting lovely tax breaks – thanks for that George) will be the only parties with the funds to buy them, and I don’t see them wanting to share.Posted 7 years ago
As put on the other thread:
My MP responded by merely telling me to do the consultation. I have read it and indeed it starts from the assumption that the proposal is good and asks very guided questions about details of undertaking that process;
I will complete it and then revert to my MP with a list of questions that I feel were not covered. These include:
– The exact policy covering permissive ROW;
– If these are to be upheld, how will they be enforced?
– What happens if all these trusts and charities are not forthcoming / deemed to be unable to lease and manage the lands / don’t have the cash etc?
And probably a load more that I can’t remember right at this moment.
Pimpmaster – this has nothing to do with banks.Posted 7 years ago
ononeorange – It is inasmuch as they are onto a winner under this government (the one trying to sell off woodland). Have you been reading the news recently?
I don’t normally get too involved in politics, but after the subject of this thread arose I have been following the news more closely, and I’m finding the way we’re being treated offensive.Posted 7 years ago
Yes. And I also disagree with the cosying up to Murdoch for instance, but he being a potential winner under the government has nothing to do with the forestry argument either.
My point is that we should stick to the forestry argument and put forward related arguments that are based in fact if we are to be taken seriously. Dragging in unrelated arguments not based in fact is a certain way to get ignored.Posted 7 years ago
The topic ‘Forestry selloff – an update’ is closed to new replies.