Public Bodies Bill [HL] — Committee (7th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:00 pm on 28th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 5:00 pm, 28th February 2011

My Lords, perhaps I might ask one question on Scotland. Before anyone jumps up and says that this legislation does not affect the forests in Scotland, I acknowledge that it does not. However, as the headquarters of the UK Forestry Commission are in Scotland, the legislation could, as I understand it, have a significant effect on Scotland. The original proposals involved a substantial loss of jobs at Silvan House in Corstorphine. Now that there has been a U-turn and the Forestry Commission is to continue with its responsibilities for forests in England, will all the jobs held by people who are administering and dealing with the English forests be retained at Corstorphine in Edinburgh? As I understand it, no announcement has been made about a U-turn on the jobs. It was announced that 150 jobs would be lost at Corstorphine in Edinburgh, but that would seem a strange thing to do in the light of the announcement of a policy U-turn. It seems that the jobs in Edinburgh will still be necessary to carry out the tasks that have been done very well for many years.