It's a win for our beautiful Forest
WE welcome the pledge from the Government yesterday that our county's beloved Forest of Dean is not to be sold off.
But in doing that, we also welcome the campaign from the Hands Off Our Forest group, whose activities have really struck a chord among Foresters and woodland supporters throughout the UK.
Its campaign highlighted the fantastic assets the Forest of Dean has which should be preserved. For that we must all be grateful.
To see the scenic charm of the Forest on national television news throughout its campaign was in itself a great advertisement for this lovely area where so many people from all over Britain, let alone the county, spend so much time walking and cycling.
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The minister involved in yesterday's announcement on the Forest, Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has written a special article for The Citizen on page 6.
It is a good, honest piece in which she has made pledges to us.
They are solid pledges and The Citizen will ensure the Government is held to them.
The local MP here in the Forest, Mark Harper, has had to steer through some choppy waters with the campaign firmly firing its arrows at him and the Government.
He has always insisted to The Citizen, and to everybody in fact, that the Forest would not be sold off by the Government. A lot of people did not believe him.
We did believe him. Why?
Firstly, he is an honest politician, in our view, and he is also a Cabinet Office minister. What would be the mileage for him lying to us and his constituents? That would have been an electoral suicide note.
So, well done Mark Harper and well done to the campaigners. It must be a win, win situation for the Forest, one of the most beautiful areas of Britain which is now well and truly on the map for the right reasons – as one of our national assets.
AFTER it was revealed yesterday that half of the country's speed cameras do not work, The Citizen can today tell you that just five speed cameras are working at any one time in Gloucestershire.
We know that the police do not have the resources to operate all the county's cameras and we think that is generally accepted.
But The Citizen believes that the sight of a speed camera, whether it works or not, is still a deterrent to motorists who speed.