More news on the plan to consider selling off Britain’s publicly-owned forest. The government cannot do it under present legislation. But if the bill they are trying to push through now – the Public Bodies Bill – is approved, they will have the legal ability to do so. The bill is currently with the House of Lords and we need to show our disapproval of it. A comment on this blog from someone at the Public & Commercial Services Union reads:
Well, I hope you’re right (referring to my ‘strategic’ post a few days back) and they do back down — as you say they are losing so many friends they really should.
However we should make as much noise as possible now — no need to wait until the consultation document is issued. All the fuss we made before Christmas made them delay their consultation.
We have a good idea what it will contain — although we don’t know the detail yet. But it would be better if we stop them even putting in on the details that will cause so much damage.
We know that the Minister wants to have the ability to sell all of the forests that are currently held publicly for all our benefit. And we know that the government is pushing through the public bodies bill, currently in the House of Lords, which amongst other things allows them to sell off all the forests and change the organisation that runs the and manages woodlands throughout the country.
The bill has a number of other worrying aspects — mainly the way it allows a minister to make drastic cuts and other changes to public bodies. The unions who work in these public bodies are joining together with people who use their services to tell the government to reconsider. Join us in a rally and mass lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 9 February, 1230 at old Palace Yard opposite Parliament.