Forest consultation halted

The minister responsible for the nation’s forests and woodlands came to the House of Commons yesterday and said, “…I am sorry, we got this one wrong-but we have listened to people’s concerns…” What a refreshing change to hear a politician say sorry, we were wrong and as a result, we are changing the policy.

It’s a big difference from what we were used to under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Do you remember either saying sorry for, the Iraq War or the economic decisions that led to the worst recession in nearly a century? Their approach was to go in to media manipulation overdrive in an attempt to spin their way out of trouble, simply denying that they had anything wrong.

Nearly everyone cherishes our country’s forests and woodlands; the media coverage about our proposals has shown that many have strong views about their future. Rather than blindly continue with the proposals, the government took the right decision by halting the current consultation. A new independent panel will investigate ways of managing our forests so that wildlife is protected and we continue to enjoy access for leisure activities.

A sustainable future for our woodlands remains the government’s top priority. I agree with this and feel that areas of natural beauty such as Fritton Woods are a fantastic asset to Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area. They must be managed in the most sustainable way for future generations to enjoy.

18th February 2011