Mary hails people power as Government u-turn on forest sell off
Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh welcomed the Tory led Government's u-turn on plans to sell Englandís 1,400 public forests on 17 February.
In a statement to the House of Commons Caroline Spelman apologised to the nation and agreed to:
End the consultation on the future of the Englandís woodlands;
Drop the forestry clauses from the Public Bodies Bill which would have allowed Ministers to dispose of all public forests;
Establish an independent panel to look into the future management of forests that will report in the autumn.
Mary said "This is a victory for people power: more than half a million people signed the petition and joined local groups to fight the Governmentís plans to privatise public forests. But the campaign to save our forests is not finished. We need to ensure that Englandís forests are protected now and for future generations."
The Government still intends to sell 15 per cent of the Public Forest Estate Ė the maximum sales allowed under the law as it stands. They have simply delayed the sale until the autumn.
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