HOW safe is the Forest of Dean from being sold off to speculators?

Mr Mark Harper, our local MP, is also the Minister for Policy and Constitutional Reform, based in the Cabinet Office.

This same Cabinet Office is introducing a new Public Bodies Bill, enabling Whitehall to abolish or change – without needing to get full legislation through parliament – bodies like the Forestry Commission.

Because the Forest of Dean is in England it is not safe from privatisation.?The Welsh and Scottish administrations have responsibility for approximately three quarters of Forestry Commission land, under devolved powers. Both administrations have clearly stated that they have no intention of selling off any of their woodlands.

I look forward to hearing Mr?Harper giving his views on the subject.

Does he, for starters, think the Forest of Dean woodlands should be privatised?

If the Forestry Commission was to be abolished, the Forest of?Dean could be privatised much more speedily and public access denied to us all.

Is Mr Harper involved with drafting this new Public Bodies Bill that could do away with the Forestry Commission at the stroke of a pen?

Remember, it was a Conservative govern­ment, led by John Major, that last tried to sell off the Forestry Commission back in the 1990s. – Stuart Payne, Lydney.