Forest of Dean 'will not be sold' says council leader

A council leader said he believes the Forest of Dean will be protected for future generations, after meeting with Lords at Westminster.

Peter Amos, leader of the Conservative-led district council, went to London with members of the Hands Off Our Forest group.

The group was set up amid fears the government could sell large swathes of forest to private investors.

Other members of the group said they still had concerns.

If passed in its current form, the Public Bodies Bill would allow ministers to dispose of parts of the Forest estate.

'Very concerned'

The bill is part of the government's plans to scrap or merge quangos such as the Forestry Commission.

Hands Off Our Forest expressed their concerns to peers and asked for the Forest of Dean to be exempt from the bill.

Councillor Amos said he now believed "amendments to the Public Bodies Bill will be put forward where the Forest of Dean will be made a special case".

He said: "I'm confident the Forest of Dean will be protected into the future for the enjoyment of all generations at the same level we are able to enjoy the forest now."

But Independent councillor Andrew Gardiner said it was "outrageous" for Councillor Amos to say the forest was safe.

"The whole of Forest of Dean are up in arms about this. We are very, very concerned and with good reason too," he said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites