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That this House is deeply concerned at the threat to the future of the Forestry Commission and the current cuts in its funding; notes with concern that more than one year after the Government abandoned its consultation on disposal of the Public Forest Estate (PFE),the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairshas provided no clarity on the way forward or guarantee of protection of jobs for the hundreds of workers employed by the Forestry Commission; recognises the outstanding public service provided by the Forestry Commission and the strong public support for keeping the forest estate under public control to protect the public's rights of way and the other services it provides; further notes the Forestry Commission provides exceptional value for money, costing less than a second-class stamp to each English taxpayer to fund the PFE's 258,000 hectares and 1,500 woods and forests that it still holds; further notes that independent economic research demonstrates that the benefits the Forestry Commission delivers greatly outweigh the cost, which is a tiny draw-down on the public exchequer for public goods and benefits estimated in the region of 1.8 billion annually; further notes approximately 70 per cent of Forestry Commission PFE costs are raised from revenue generated on and around the PFE via recreation, timber and cafe franchise; and therefore calls on the Government to publicly endorse the Forestry Commission, reverse its cuts and ensure it is funded sufficiently to be able to properly remunerate its employees and to continue to deliver a service up to the level of public expectation.
Total number of signatures: 25
Showing 25 out of 25