With ambitious planting targets announced, more resources are needed to clear away the remnants of dead trees littering Gloucestershire.
Trees and planting in urban environments clean our environment, aid our mental and physical wellbeing and increase biodiversity. Despite this, trees require proper maintenance and sometimes to be replaced – yet due to a lack of resources Gloucestershire is now littered by dead stumps, making it harder to find space for replacement trees to grow.
That is why Gloucestershire Lib Dems, are bringing a motion to full council aimed at targeting the dead trees that have been left to scar our highways.
Cllr Jeremy Hilton, proposer of the motion, said:
“Trees are essential on both our urban and rural streets, yet despite the known benefits, a legacy of under-resourcing has left us with dead wood in place of flourishing trees.
“Many of our residents will know of stumps on their street that have lingered for many years. Not only does this make an area look scruffy and uncared for, it limits space on the roadside for new trees to be planted. Space this administration can barely afford to waste given its challenging tree-planting targets.
“That’s why we’re calling for a review of the highway tree maintenance team, to increase the number of personnel monitoring existing trees and give them the resources they need to grind out old stumps scarring the environment.”
Cllr Bernie Fisher agreed, saying:
“The feeling of an uncared-for community is infectious, and something as seemingly innocuous as a tree stump left to scar the roadside is enough to make people feel like the council has left them behind.
“It’s essential that we invest in our communities and provide a sense of civic pride to all our residents – and removing the dead-wood is the first step before we can provide more trees and greenery.”
The motion being brought to Full Council is:
Motion 867 - Highways trees maintenance
Proposed by Cllr Jeremy Hilton
Seconded by Cllr Bernie Fisher
This Council agrees that highway trees are an important part in tackling the climate emergency, great for increasing biodiversity and they make both urban and rural street scenes more attractive.
However, it is important that the trees along the highway receive proper maintenance to keep them in a healthy and safe condition, and ensure they remain a positive addition to their neighbourhoods.
This Council notes that its resources for maintaining the highway network’s trees are inadequate.
This Council therefore, calls on the Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood to prepare a report in time for budget setting to show he can enhance the highway tree maintenance service by at least 100% and how GCC can significantly increase the total number of highway network trees to contribute towards the new 35 million trees commitment.