Letters, Tuesday, June 10, 2014

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Join the fight to save our woodland

IN 2011 the Government announced plans to sell off England’s public forest estate.

This proposal was met with intense opposition from The Woodland Trust and campaign groups. The outcry forced the Government to withdraw its plan and promise to create a new Forestry Bill that would ensure the secure future of publicly owned forests.

An Independent Panel on Forestry was set up in 2012 that recommended a new management structure to care for the estate, which received broad agreement from Parliament.

In 2013, these intentions were expressed again by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson, and yet we still await any significant progress.

Since 2011, woodland users, communities, and key stakeholders like the Woodland Trust have worked to influence government thinking. We feel that the Government should acknowledge the endeavour and foresight of the thousands who battled to save England’s public forest and secure its future. Time, however, is running out. Decisions are being made regarding which Bills the Government should seek to pass in the coming 12 months.

We urge everyone to write to their local MP outlining the importance of forestry legislation to local communities. The future of estates such as Kielder Forest depends greatly on Government safeguarding. These woodlands are an asset to the North East, which, if managed correctly, will be enjoyed by many generations to come.

We ask you to insist on the pressing need for the Forestry Bill to be brought back into the political spotlight.

Darren Carlaw,

local media volunteer,

Woodland Trust

Vibrant opposition

I WOULD like to thank all those people in the Copt Hill ward who supported me in the recent Local Government elections by voting for me as the Conservative candidate.

It is important that there exists a vibrant opposition to the Labour group in the council. It is only the Conservatives who are prepared to scrutinize everything that is planned for the city.

Pat Francis

Here to help you

I WISH to thank all the residents of Doxford ward who voted for me in the local elections.

Your support is very much appreciated and I will continue to represent you all as I have done in the past. Any issues that you wish to raise will be given my prompt attention.

I look forward to working once again with you all.

Coun Elizabeth Gibson,

Doxford Ward

Support for all

I WOULD like to thank everyone who supported me in the local elections.

As the St Chad’s Councillor for the next four years, I shall do my best to help and support everyone in the ward irrespective of political preference.

Gillian Galbraith

Councillor St Chad’s Ward