WHO SOLD CORNWALL’S WOODS?
5 March 2011
Like more than half a million others I signed the petition against the Tory Libdem proposals to dispose of the national forest in England. I was against the proposals and I also thought the consultation was seriously flawed: it did not ask whether one was for or against but drew one into supporting the disposal by inviting one to choose between various options in making it. All the Cornwall MPs voted against (see item 20) the Labour motion calling for a rethink of the disposal plans – except Stephen Gilbert who voted for and against which means an abstention.
When the government, in the face of widespread opposition from all sorts of people, sensibly called off the flawed consultation and abandoned its current proposals, Andrew George (Libdem MP, St Ives) extraordinarily said on 17 February 2011 that the consultation should have “run its course” and “having commenced the consultation, the prime minister should have allowed it to have been brought to a conclusion”.
The Tory Libdem government in its disposal plans was building on the work of its Labour predecessor.
Here in the deposited papers of the House of Commons library is a list of woods in Cornwall sold by the forestry commission since 1 January 1997: look at the file DEP 2011-0200 of 3 February 2011.
The lists shows that in Cornwall 41 hectares were sold in 1997; 91.74 hectares in 1998; 21 hectares on 20 July 2007; and 31 hectares on 2 February 2010. That’s a total of 184.74 hectares, about 456 acres, in Cornwall, mostly, perhaps entirely depending on the date of the 1997 sales, under Labour.
Pots and kettles, I think.