The more eagled eyed amongst you will have spotted the link on my blog to Save our Forest petition. Like many mountain bike enthusiast and normal members of the public that like our forests and woodlands, I was not impressed with the governments intention to sell our public forests and woodland to the private sector on the pretence that the government would ensure our current access rights were maintained, while the new owners ruined our natural environment, so I signed the petition to register my displeasure at the idea.
Well I was glad to hear on the news today that the government has dropped the idea, to much of a public outcry apparently. I still have my concerns as to what the government still may do (via the back door) but we will have to watch for that when it happens.
Well around the same time I signed the petition I came across Fix my street which led me to My Society web sites. Fix my street web site is basicly a site to report, pot holes, broken kerbs, broken street lights, telecoms cabinets etc. in your neighbourhood which they then pass on to your local council to get them repaired. But more interestingly this lead me on to My Society web site, they encourage you to get involved in your society, by entering your post code they will tell you who you local councillor are and who your MP and MEP is (this only a small section of what the web site offers).
So I typed in my post code, found out who my MP was, they offer you a contact form for you to write to your MP, along with a few suggestions and more links to see what your MP has been up to. So I duly typed a short note to my MP outlining my displeasure for the proposed forestry sale. That was a couple of week ago, imagine my surprise this afternoon when I walked in to find a letter from the House of Commons on the door mat for me. As my MP is a conservative, it basically outlined the party line for the sale and the measure they would take to ensure that my (our) fears were dealt with and everybody would be able to carry on using the forest and woodlands (bear in mind this was written before today announcement).
Now to be perfectly honest I did not expect a reply but thinking about it, the MP life is now monitored for the freedom of information act to see what they do, I guess passing the letter on to an underling in his office to write the reply for him to sign now constitutes dealing with a constituents concerns, then I guess he has ticked that box. Had the news about dropping the bill not been announced today then I think I would of written back and challenged him on the measure the government were going to take to protect our rights, but it is now a mute point.