Axe hangs over forestry jobs

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THE future of Forestry Commission jobs in Northumberland was under discussion when MP Sir Alan Beith visited the Forestry office in Rothbury on Monday.

Sir Alan said: “The Government has halted all sales of publicly-owned forest areas in response to public demand, but it is not clear how this is going to affect the job cuts which the Commission had already planned, including closure of the Rothbury office. Redundancies under this plan were to have been funded by part of sale proceeds.

“Now the advisory panel which the Government has set up might recommend that the Forestry Commission expands its work on conservation and biodiversity, which will create a need for more staff.

“There is also a strong case for bodies like the National Park and Natural England to work together on sharing offices and staff, maintaining local jobs and local services. I will be taking these issues up in Parliament.”