Save Forestry Commission Wales
Today the Welsh Government announced that Forestry Commission Wales is to disappear by April 2013 to become part of a new Single Environment Body in Wales. This also means the Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency Wales will disappear into this new quango. This will also have an effect on the remaining parts of the Forestry Commission in England and Scotland. Save Forestry Commission Wales - save the Forestry Commission!
Now that the Welsh people have, or have almost become, an ethnic minority group in this country should we not be considering the need to remove the forests of Wales to provide room for more housing for our new immigrants. Doing away with the forestry commission will save millions of pounds of tax payers money. The ex employees will be able to retrain privately at great expense to get jobs removing the forests. This massive new source of timber will reduce the cost of timber worldwide and potentially save the rainforests as their destruction becomes less profitable. The removal of the forests in Wales will in turn be able to be blamed as yet another cause of so called global warming generating the justification for more legislation and taxation. Not forgetting that the removal of the Welsh forests will further serve to boost the coffers of the private corporations involved. Much of the timber could be used to provide more sub-standard timber framed homes in Wales as it built over to provide the afore mentioned homes.
David Williams commented
The Forestry Commission is another nationwide body that will probably be better left like that and publicly owned, for all sorts of reasons, especially that of being a strategic national asset.
Give a thought to those other national strategic assets which were split and see what a good idea it wouldn't be:
G.P.O. The splitting of telephone and postal services has left us with a total shambles, and of course the "lame-duck" post delivery, hideously expensive and unreliable.
C.E.G.B. and regional electricity boards - expensive and disorganised, with some of it owned by foreigners, and people forever "jumping supplier" to get the "best deal". Taxpayers lumbered with the "lame-duck" nuclear generation sector while prvate companies elsewhere cream off profits which would help support it.
British Railways - we invented this way of travelling and trading, but it's an utter and expensive shambles, with plenty of it owned by foreigners, all railway workshops shut and huge subsidies from tax-payers for participating franchisees.
Water boards - same as for electricity.
Gas boards - as for water and electricity
London Transport - a local strategic asset, the world's biggest transport undertaking with all sections managed excellently from one place, now a shambles with central 'bus and train works shut.
The Nature Conservancy. The national statutory body for advising the British government on the state of the environment, laboratories removed from its control in the 70s, split in the 90s because of government and private self-interest into English Nature, C.C.W. and Scottish Natural Heritage. Such a stupid idea that the new bodies had to have a co-ordinating body called The Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
See what I mean? Strategic national organisations should stay that way!
Hard times ahead for the public sector, whatever happens to FC Wales (or is that Comisiwn Coedwigaeth Cymru?). I moved to FC Scotland from Forest Service NI 4 yrs ago, with it's own forestry service, 'Norn Iron' did pretty well. Separate forestry services for Wales, Scotland and England might not be a bad thing, opportunities to be had maybe? But..... from my perspective in Scotland, FC Wales has a recruitment barrier, most management jobs require conversational Welsh. So in effect it has already isolated itself from the rest of the FC GB. Rightly or wrongly, Forest Service NI doesn't require conversational Irish or Ulster Scots, not does the celtic bit in England (i.e. Kernow), require conversational Cornish. Luckily FC Scotland doesn't require conversational Scots Gaelic, but then much of the country never spoke it. This is a good opportunity that will enable FC Wales to fully meet the needs of Wales, without being tied into to the rest of GB.
The purpose of this new body is to secure control over the Environment Agency in Wales. Including CCW strengthened that argument. Including FCW was an afterthought, perhaps to reassure CCW that they simply weren't being taken over. This new body will result in the break-up of the FC across Great Britain. It will ultimately mean the loss of Forest Research and it will be bad for forestry. None of this was thought through properly, as it isn't important to the civil servant involved. If you care about the FC and about forestry then bring the strength of 38 Degrees to bear!
Now the decision is made we all have to tow the party line, whether we like it or not!! Sadly the time for debating whether is should happen has gone, thanks to those who are more focused on economics that anything else. SEB has been driven by one persons ambition to be the one who created a SEB, with no regard for the staff in those organisations. The danger for FCW is that once the public bodies bill goes through, thus amending/changing the Forestry Act, woodlands & forest can be sold off quite easily. Terms and conditions will be agreed, no doubt de-valuing what FCW employes have worked hard to achieve. The beginning of the end........................................
this is the chair of forestry commission wales against the merger now hes all for it! unions not getting to see business cases till after the descion all adds up to something else in the water
FC Worker and Forest Gump, wake up and smell the coffee! Joining SEB means that we will have very little control over our terms and conditions, pensions, etc.
Forest Gump commented
As an FC employee, I have to agree with FC Worker. Let's get on with it and focus on getting our Terms and Conditions in order.
Ultimately, down the line, if this new body finds itself short of funds, the only asset they will have to sell are the forests. This would mean loss of access for walkers, mountain bikers, horse riders and all other forest users. They will say there are no plans to sell, but it is highly likely to happen.
Whilst the idea of a single organisation is not a bad one in principle if the specialised serviices are retained, this was rushed through without any thought as to how it will be organised, in typical knee-jerk fashion. We face major restructuriing and the highest level of directors in the organisation either do not know or are not saying how specialised skills and jobs, and ultimately public services, will be remain in place. A Welsh Assembly member recently stated at a conference that I attended that they had not been given an opportunity to see the business case before it was ratified. There is a political agenda here which is going on in secret
Political will and gold starts fro the senior civil servants involved - of no benefit whatsoever to public services
FC worker commented
Come on folks get real - so we're taken over by a SEB - does that mean our facilities will close down overnight - I don't think so - why would they do that we are the jewel in their crown. I suggest the union accepts whats happened gets on with it and focus there attention 100% on making sure FC Staff like myself get our Terms and Conditions and Pensions etc guaranteed when we transfer over to the new SEB and NOT on this wishy washy issue.
There seems to be little positive in this new idea. The Forestry Commission is tried and tested and works. It already provides wonderful facilities for all sorts of forest users, including disabled people, walkers, mountain bikers, families, and horse riders. We are told there is going to be more focus on the environment, but will the current recreation facilities and welcoming woodland access (car parks, picnic areas, etc.) be under threat?
Everyone please spread the word to all your friends who will be willing to support the campaign. Thanks
When its gone its gone commented
If the forestry commission Wales disappears just think of your rights to access woodland, especially if the environment agency just see it as a cash injection and treat it as a resource they can spend to cover other failing projects that they want to see through! BAD IDEA and we need more people to see the problems before its to late! YOUR VOICE COUNTS!
Mr worried commented
The Forestry Commission is the biggest provider of outdoor recreation in Great Britain - and does a great job with its mountain bike trails, walks, visitor centres, events and even car parks and picnic areas. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Let's keep the Forestry Commission. Who wants a new faceless quango? Yes, let's save Forestry Commission Wales and prevent the whole Forestry Commission from unravelling, especially after just having survived the attack of the present government in England.