Readers, the Infrastructure Bill and Deregulation Bill are quite advanced in terms of legislation stages in Parliament, but there is still time to defeat them both.
Both threaten the integrity of our forests and our environment in general-even after a public outcry persuaded the Con-Dems to avoid selling off our forests to private developers and aristocrats.
Why does the Infrastructure Bill threaten our forests and our land?
The Infrastructure Bill, currently going through the House of Lords (where it started under former Lib Dem MP Susan Kramer, now Baroness Kramer) will essentially allow the government to sell of any public land, without consulting local authorities or local communities. Only lands owned by the Crown are exempt-unsurprisingly. Anything else, especially our forests, could be sold off to private developers who have no concern other than profiteering and speculating on the land.
Why does the Deregulation Bill threaten our forests and our environment?
The most dangerous clause of the Deregulation Bill, which passed through the Commons and is now in the Lords, will require most public bodies to have a duty to 'promote economic growth' at the expense of other priorities. Even the Forestry Commission is not exempt from that particular clause-this puts our forests in great danger if the Forestry Commission found itself forced to not oppose another road-building project, for example. Other environmental bodies will also have their essential duties threatened under that clause as well.
Please find any petitions and information you can relating to these two bills, as well as any other bills that threaten our land or any natural parts of it (trees or otherwise), and help us defeat them so we can protect our environment from neoliberal greed.