Posts Tagged ‘Government’

Fact or Fiction – Fake News

As a reader of this blog you probably subscribe to the proverbial view ‘Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear’. Well there is one charity, with cross political party members of the House of Lords as trustees, who seek to call fiction and fake news to account.
Registered charity no. 1158683 Full Fact seeks to improve the integrity of ‘facts’ quoted by others including politicians and the media.

‘It’s easy to trumpet the facts you care about, far harder to support the ones you don’t.’

Fact checks alone are not enough to halt the spread of misinformation but accurate and balanced information will help.  The charity says ‘It is also necessary to push for corrections where necessary, and work with government departments and research institutions to improve the quality and communication of information at source’.

Like Caesar Wife

  • Full Fact seeks to be beyond reproach and does not employ outside external  fundraisers or employ the kinds of fundraising tactics that give rise to recent public concern.
  • They had no recorded fundraising complaints in 2017.
  • The approach is that donors are a crucial part of the extended Full Fact team and deserve to be treated with respect.
  • They solicit donations from the public on the website and other online channels but are also supported by other charitable trusts. Funders giving more than £5,000 should be listed on the website.

Aspirations for 2019

  • Clear well presented facts reflecting both sides of an argument should be checked and treated with integrity.
  • Admission of any vested interest by public figures and the media.
  • Improved political debate followed by rapid and appropriate action.

Shortage of Tree Planting

Four main government quangos responsible for planting and maintaining the British tree-rich landscape are a bit stumped.  According to new information from the Forestry Commission less than 900,000 trees were planted in 2016 the lowest number for 40 years. According to the Daily Telegraph it is believed that during the year three full-time professional tree planters could  exceed this total. That is where they are going wrong, t’ree fellas are not what is needed.

Government Assistance & Bureaucracy

1. Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in England and Scotland. Budget £55m pa. They have launched  The Woodland Carbon Fund  scheme to boost the rate of woodland creation that sits alongside the grant support available via Countryside Stewardship. DEFRA’s Forestry Innovation Fund is a nationwide £1 million fund to support schemes that will promote the growth of the forest industry

2. Natural England  is a £200m pa non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the 2000 staff promote nature conservation, protect biodiversity and enhancing the landscape

3. The Rural Payments Agency is an executive agency of the UK Department for Environment paying out over £2 billion in subsidies each year.

4. Countryside Stewardship Scheme now part of the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 which targets £3.1bn of government support for agri-environment and forestry.

Charity’s Contribution

294344 – The Woodland Trust  a £37.5m pa charity with the following objectives: ‘to conserve, restore and re-establish trees, in particular broad-leaved trees, plants and all forms of wild life in the united kingdom of great britain and northern ireland and thereby to secure and enhance the enjoyment by the public of the natural environment of those territories.’

279000 The Tree Council works towards making trees matter to people; more trees, of the right kind, in the right places; better care for all trees of all ages and inspiring effective action for trees.  An umbrella body and a forum for tackling issues relating to trees and woods, it  promotes the improvement of the environment by the planting and conservation of trees and woods throughout the UK with a comparatively modest budget of £378k pa

1032154 – Trees For Cities spends £1m pa for trees in inner cities.

 Concerns

  • What happened to the bonfire of the quangos? No wood to get the bonfire going?
  • Charities fight bureaucracy on a regular basis not least when they want to organise and fund local tree planting.