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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 28th February 2011.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Holbeach Lord Taylor of Holbeach Conservative 5:15 pm, 28th February 2011

My Lords, I never like to accuse the noble Lord of not having done something, because he is assiduous in his parliamentary work, but it is obvious from what he says that he has made no effort to read the entire forestry consultation that we put forward and have now withdrawn. If he had read that, he would have known that there is no immediate plan to sell off everything willy-nilly, as he seems to be suggesting, and as a result lay off half the Forestry Commission. We were looking at very long-term plans possibly to change the ownership of this forest or that but, in many cases, it would have involved transferring money to whoever took over some of those bodies. We were not at that stage considering reducing the number of staff, but we are asking the Forestry Commission, like all other bodies attached to Defra and other government bodies, to take its fair share of the reductions that the Government are having to make as a result of what we inherited.