In conjunction with other forest campaign groups we have sent a letter to David Cameron encouraging government to include the proposed Forestry Bill in the Queen’s Speech. This was copied to Dan Rogerson, Owen Paterson, Andrew Lansley (as Leader of the House), Ed Miliband and Maria Eagle. The letter is copied below:
The Rt Hon. David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
Save Sherwood Forest was born out of our community’s concern in 2010 that government was planning to sell off a substantial part of our Public Forest Estate. Following a national outcry government listened, withdrew the plan and set up the Independent Panel on Forestry (IPF). This was an initiative that received wide support and to which Save Sherwood Forest contributed.
Since the IPF produced its final report in July 2012 we, along with colleagues from other community campaign groups, have had regular contact with the Defra Forestry Team and members of the Forestry Commission. We have greatly appreciated this opportunity to influence government thinking and help shape the future of the PFE. All through this process our principal aim has been to help create a thriving, properly funded and expanding Public Forest Estate held safely within public ownership.
To that end we broadly welcome:
- The announcement at the recent Stakeholder Meeting of the ten core principles that will guide government’s legislative planning.
- The focus on pursuing a triple bottom line as outlined in the IPF’s Final report.
- The inclusion of representatives from all spheres of interest at board level and amongst the Guardians.
- The safeguards afforded by the above to safeguard against privatisation.
- The move to pay for the public benefits that flow from the PFE through a system of Eco-System Services.
Given the above, we believe that the time for talking is over and urge you to include a Forestry Bill in the Queen’s Speech in June so that it can be scrutinised and passed before the end of this Government in 2015. We feel that doing this would complete the work started by the Independent Panel, keep faith with all those thousands of people who fought to save the PFE from the sell-off and secure this much loved national asset for future generations.
Save Sherwood Forest