Liberal Democrats call to improve street tree maintenance today received cross-party support in the council chamber at Shire Hall.
Cllr. Klara Sudbury (LD: Charlton Park & College) who brought the debate to council said:
“I am delighted that cross-party support has been given to improving street tree maintenance. Trees are an important environmental asset in many parts of our beautiful county. They clean the air we breathe by removing certain pollutants and they also provide havens for wildlife.
“In Cheltenham, street trees are an intrinsic part of the character of our town, but as I know from speaking with residents that there is concern about the current maintenance of our street trees. At present when a tree has to be removed it is taking far too long for the stump left behind to be removed.
“I also know of many examples where street trees have been allowed to grow to such enormous proportions that they dwarf residential properties nearby. I am hopeful that finally we’ll start to see real improvements in the way highway trees are maintained.”
Cllr. Bernie Fisher (LD: St Paul’s & Swindon) who spoke in support of Cllr. Sudbury and reiterating the importance of trees both in Cheltenham and across the county also said:
“Trees are both vital and beautiful. We must do everything practically possible as a council to maintain and protect the life of such trees. I believe the council’s current tree maintenance programme however doesn’t go far enough in removing tree stumps within an adequate timeframe.
“I’ve seen tree stumps left behind for months before they’re removed. I would like to see them removed much sooner. I look forward to seeing the action plan that will be looked at through both the Highways Advisory Group and this Council’s Environment & Community Scrutiny Committee before being reported back to full council.
“At last we might be getting somewhere.”
The motion slightly amended in red font below, voted upon and supported reads as follows:
Motion - Improving Highway Tree Maintenance
This council notes that there are approximately 8,000 trees on highway land in Cheltenham alone, and many more right across the county.
It is understood, that the highways contract with Amey is under review and that Liberal Democrats have already asked the cabinet member to consider improving highway tree maintenance.
This council asks the cabinet member to report back to the Highways Advisory Group on measures to improve the county council's tree maintenance programme, before reporting back to the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee.
Proposer: Cllr. Klara Sudbury
Seconder: Cllr. Bernie Fisher