Monday, November 20, 2023
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Robbie Moore MP has been confirmed as the new Minister with responsibility for forestry after the UK Government reshuffle – and will appear before a forestry and timber audience for the first time at the policy conference organised by Confor in London on December 7.
Confor CEO Stuart Goodall welcomed the appointment of Mr Moore, MP for Keighley in West Yorkshire, who previously worked as a rural surveyor and served as a county councillor in Northumberland. Mr Goodall also paid tribute to his predecessor, Trudy Harrison MP, who had previously announced that she would not be standing for re-election.
“It’s very positive to have another Minister with a strong rural background in the Defra team,” said Mr Goodall. “Robbie Moore has spoken publicly of his support for the Government’s annual woodland creation target of 30,000 hectares and we look forward to discussing that and many other issues with him – building on our extremely constructive work with Trudy Harrison.” Mr. Goodall.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to hear from the new Minister about his rural background, and how he plans to approach the forestry part of his brief. It also gives us the chance to maintain ministerial momentum on important areas like the National Wood Strategy for England, the Timber in Construction Roadmap and a potential Timber Sector Deal.”
Mr Goodall said the 2023 policy conference signalled an important step change for the industry as Trudy Harrison has been working with the sector to tackle areas like over-burdensome regulation and supporting a significant increase in productive planting and greater use of home-grown wood, and the expectation is that more detail on these issues would emerge in the run up to, and at the conference.
“We look to forward to hearing more from Robbie Moore on December 7,” he added.
Paying tribute to Trudy Harrison, Mr Goodall said: “Confor enjoyed a very constructive relationship with Trudy Harrison MP and we were very grateful for her enthusiastic support for the forestry and wood processing industry.
“She demonstrated a genuine interest in timber production and the benefits it can deliver for rural economies, employment and the environment and made clear that she saw conifers as a good thing to be encouraged.
“On a personal level, I found Trudy to be a hard-working and proactive Minister who was never afraid to ask challenging questions. She described our sector as one of the areas she found most enjoyable to work with and where she wanted to make a difference during her time in office.”
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