The Voice Of The People Of The Forest of Dean
Parts of the Forest of Dean could be about to disappear forever. Over 120 acres of statutory forest looks set to be developed soon - is this what we really want?
A series of September public debates to discuss the pro's and con's of developments in the forest is being set up by Dean Forest Voice with funding assistance from the Countryside Agency. The money was granted to ensure that both sides of the argument are aired in front of as wide an audience as possible.
Dean Forest Voice's response has been to set up "The Great Forest Debate" a series of 3 debates to be held in Coleford, Cinderford, Yorkley, culminating in a "grand finale" session to discuss all the views expressed at Speech House. All four debates will take place this September. DFV hope to invite Government ministers to attend the final session through the appropriate channels later this month.
During the debates two speakers will put forward arguments for and against a "motion" and then the audience will be asked to contribute to the discussion and cast their own vote in "The Great Forest Debate".
Rich Daniels of Dean Forest Voice believes that the evenings will be well attended, "This is an opportunity for people to show how much they really care about the future of the Forest. We all know that there are strong views out there - this will be a chance to hear the options and make your own voice heard".
The organiser's hope Forest of Dean Radio will broadcast the debates into the homes of people unable to attend the debates in person, and local newspapers will help to spread the word and cover the issues.
Venues for the debates are being selected at present. Information pamphlets, posters and letters will be circulated around the forest during early August. Dean Forest Voice's website: www.deanforestvoice.org will publish weekly updates about the event, the speakers, and the issues.
A campaign spokesman said, "The Great Forest Debate will be an ideal opportunity for both sides of the debate to be heard - and all residents to show what they think".