Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (4th July 2012) said that the “Government must now accept once and for all that any ideas to sell of forestry land is dead in the water” after an independent panel delivered their report concluding that forest land is valuable to both the community and the environment and should not be put into the hands of the private market.
“As the government set up this panel and appointed the members, they cannot now try to wriggle out of its conclusions. I am aware that commercial interests have been continually lobbying to try and revive the sell-off scheme, fortunately this has not worked. The panel have now concluded that woodland is a key economic resource as well as providing a valuable leisure environment for nearby towns.
“I was very concerned that Guisborough Forest could have been on the sell-off list given the pressure from volume house builders to acquire land for possible developments. If the report is accepted – as I believe it should be – then this possibility is dead and buried.”