February 17, 2011 1:57 PM

Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cardiff Central, has welcomed a decision by the Government to abandon plans to sell off large areas of publically owned forests in England.

The Government has confirmed that in response to a public consultation on the issue it has decided to scrap the plans and to set up a panel to look at ensuring public access to forests.

Jenny had already expressed her concerns about the proposals, abstained on a vote to support the plans in Parliament earlier this month and written to the Secretary of State asking her to have a rethink.

Commenting Jenny said:

"I am really pleased that the Government has dropped these plans. I have been very concerned by the proposals which I feared might have affected public access to our forests and damaged wildlife diversity.

"Unlike the last Government, who held public consultations only to ignore the results, the coalition is actually listening to people's views.

"I hope that this kind of open and honest discussion will continue and will be embraced by people from every political party and none."

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