VALE COUNCIL COMPELLED TO REVEAL THE TRUTH ABOUT PENARTH’S TREES

Typical Penarth street trees - these are cherry trees flowing in Westbourne Rd, Penarth a few days ago

Why people love living in Penarth: Cherry trees blossoming in Westbourne Road a few days ago

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has now been forced to reveal the full extent the controversial tree-felling and tree-pollarding it is has carried out on the streets of Penarth .

Environmental campaigner Anne Greagsby

Environmental campaigner Anne Greagsby

Prominent environmental campaigner Anne Greagsby has lodged formal Freedom of Information request with the Vale Council which has required it to disclose – for the first time – the full details of the number of street-trees which it has felled, and pollarded, in Penarth over the last two years – and their locations.

There is growing concern in the town about the removal of Penarth’s distinctive street-trees and the Vale Council’s failure to replace trees it has felled.

There are also worries about the aggressive “pollarding” of living trees carried out by  the Labour-controlled Vale Council to restrict their natural growth –  which many residents say has left some trees looking stunted and struggling to survive.

The felling of this horse-chestnut tree in Augusta Road last month became a "cause celebre"

The felling of this horse-chestnut tree in Augusta Road last month became a “cause celebre

 

A tree in Church Road is brought down - piece by piece.

This tree in Church Road was felled in 2014 – a year not included in the Vale reply.

TREES FELLED IN PENARTH 2015:- 

  • Mountjoy Avenue – 1 Tree
  • Clive Place – 1 Tree
  • Cliff Road – 1 Tree
  • Fairfield Road – 1 Tree
  • Lavernock Road – 1 Tree
  • Marine Parade – 1 Tree
  • Paget Road (Junction of Queen Rd) – 1 Tree
  • Plymouth Road – 1 Tree
  • Salisbury Avenue (Side of Archer Road) – 1 Tree
  • Victoria Road – 2 Trees
  • Windsor Road – 1 Tree

Total 12 

TREES FELLED IN PENARTH 2016 to date:-

  • Cwrt Y Vil – 1 Tree
  • Augusta Road – 2 Trees
  • Llandaff Close – 1 Tree

Total 4 (to date)

A "pollarded" tree on Beach Road - the main route to the Esplanade

The “pollarded” tree on Beach Road – the main route to the Esplanade

TREES POLLARDED IN PENARTH 2015:-

  • Cornerswell Road– 1 Tree
  • Hickman Road – All Trees (20)
  • Windsor Road – All Trees (33)
  • Plymouth Road – 1 Tree
  • Clinton Road – 1 Tree

Total 56

TREE POLLARDED IN PENARTH 2016:-

  • Beach Road – 1 Tree (to date)

Anne Greagsby also asked the Vale Council to detail its costings – but the Vale replied  “no costing’s available” ( sic) .

The council also declared that there is no programme for pollarding trees in Penarth for the next 2 years  – and no program to fell any further trees in Penarth for the next 2 years. However the council added the caveat that “Dead, dying or diseased trees will be felled”.

Crucially, Ms Greagsby (who is a member of Penarth Civic Society) had also asked the council to provide her with details of  “any ‘Tree Replacement’ programme for 2016/2017 for Penarth.”

All the council would say in reply is that “If funding is available new trees will be planted where a need has been identified”. 

This appears to suggest that street trees will only be replaced if the relevant council department has been allocated the funds to do so and, on top of that, it is now apparently necessary for local residents to prove there is a “need” to replace the individual  tree in question.

PDN NOTE: In some cases in answering the questions the Vale of Glamorgan Council has – rather than give a figure – just used the word “all“. In those cases PDN has counted the trees as shown for each street on Google Earth and inserted the actual figure.

 

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time.
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27 Responses to VALE COUNCIL COMPELLED TO REVEAL THE TRUTH ABOUT PENARTH’S TREES

  1. Christopher David says:

    “No costings available” !! Either a lie or they consider the question inadequately worded (so can dodge it) or they are indeed a feckless bunch of amateurs. The VOG are constantly telling us they are underfunded but they appear to state they didn’t keep details of costs incurred for felling and pollarding. So they had no budget set for felling and pollarding and kept no records. If that’s the case how do we know money is not being unaccounted for? I.E going missing. So- they appear to state they may allocate a budget for tree planting, but to reiterate, also appear to state they allocated NO budget for previous felling or pollarding. A paradox? Mind these are the geniuses that employ managers on over a £100k PA that cant even work out a meals on wheels budget. This matter needs pressing further if for no other reason that the VOG are either liars or grossly incompetent.

  2. Martin Coffee says:

    Those statistics look odd to me. There are no trees recorded as felled at Penarth Marina this year.

  3. M davies says:

    The council must know how much it cost or did the tree fellers work for nothing?

  4. Rich says:

    They must just hate trees …😦

  5. Brickie says:

    Shoddy way to run a council if it can’t account for its own expenditures

  6. David Davis says:

    Well the 12 mature trees on Hickman Road have been pollarded then pollarded again if you care to look these 12 trees have about 40 leaves to share amongst them all . Not content with the pollarding the workmen have cut off ever twig or growth from ground level up to and including the severed boughs . We know that outcrops from ground level up to say 6 feet need trimming as they will grow bush like , but there is and was no reason to shave off every sign of growth the entire length of the tree. Anyone would think the Council had been given the chainsaws for Xmas and want full use out of them . I do know if they if they had to use bowsaws they wouldn’t be so keen , its all too easy with a chain saw . So we now have Hickman Rd with small trees in leaf one side of the road whilst the other side has almost bare trunks, and in Springtime too . I did not see any mention of the tree clearance near Penarth Heights does that not count ???

  7. Rich says:

    They left out all the trees they cut back this year on Stanwell road too!!

  8. Ivor Bagman says:

    I know tree fellers from cork
    Who would have done it
    If you stumped up
    Half the cash !

  9. 249ers says:

    i agree a newly pollarded tree looks awful but those near us that were cut back a couple of years ago now are bursting into leaf and look like lollipops. We must have some compromise as the branches mirror the root structure beneath and there are many who complain about the uneven pavements caused by these bulging roots.

  10. Penarth Resident says:

    I too have place a couple of FOI questions to the Vale Council.
    To say the answers were misleading is an understatement.
    They regard us, that pay their jobs, as an annoyance.

    • Ian Perry says:

      Sometimes they regard us as worse than an annoyance.

      And there really does seem to be an us and them attitude amongst some of the officers. They have all the power, and yet, within the community, we often have more knowledge than they do. Their task should not be to dictate to us what their limited knowledge tells them we should have, but to engage with us, so that all the knowledge within the community is utilised for the benefit of all.

      • Katie says:

        Wow! Ian Perry this is the most accurate description of my experience with the council. Thank you

  11. David Davis says:

    Lets just say the replies given to the Civic Society was incomplete and I for one cannot believe the numbers and locations they gave are the complete picture . I used to be in a Volunteer Conservation Group back in the 1980s for 5 years , and although we only cut down a handful of trees we dis other work like dry stone wall building , hedge laying and various other jobs most done at weekends . So I do know any woodland tree should not be planted less than 20 feet away from buildings , but of course long ago when the trees in Penarth were planted that wasn’t the rule.

  12. johnm says:

    The answer to me is clear, the people of penarth should
    het together, select a slate of sensible individuals wishinh to put the town, its folk and environment first, and run 8 candidates for the vale council next month.
    as, I think, the next council will be there for 5 years, to 2022, there’s a lot to lose.

    • newsnet says:

      The next Vale of Glamorgan Council elections and Penarth Town council elections are not due to be held until
      Thursday the 4th of May 2017. The term of office of both authorities was extended by the Welsh Government – extending the four year term for which both were originally elected 2012 by an extra year.

    • Oakie Doke says:

      Is the right answer! if you don’t like the current lot, stop whinging from the sidelines and put yourself up for election.

  13. Christopher David says:

    Jeeeezz stuck with that Barry lot for another year. When’s Cardiff shutting them down?

  14. Peter Church says:

    Looking at the “pollarded” trees on Hickman Road. It really looks as if the council want to kill them. Not a bud or leaf on them and its mid May.
    If they do die, can we sue the council?

  15. The voice of reason says:

    If you want to be among trees go live in a wood. Don’t buy a house in a town. Simples.

    • Paul says:

      The voice of reason… yes, you must be simple. The trees in Penarth make the place look lovely, there’s no reason why any town has to be a concrete jungle. Cutting them down makes Penarth look a little more drab and dull

    • I’m with you Voice of Reason!! Either it’s all ecowarriors posting here or anyone would think the trees are more important than anything else in the town!!
      I’ve absolutely NO issues with the Council’s actions, sorry🙂

      email me on heath11wow@yahoo.co.uk

  16. Andrew sarchus says:

    Sili boy indeed- “you” own the council. They’re there to do your will. Voice or reason, what a crass and stupid comment. I despair of the sheep brained being taken advantage of so easily. It brings us all down.

  17. David Moorcraft says:

    I’m genuinely puzzled at the way in which elected Vale Councillors continue to ride roughshod over (sometimes widely expressed ) wishes of large numbers of Penarthians : an elitist , almost arrogant attitude seems to prevail , where notions of transparency , partnership , and yes, consulting the ‘natives’ , are noticeable by their absence.
    I’ve lived in a town twice the size of Penarth where the Mayor and Council were clearly Anxious to be seen to be answerable to the townspeople.
    Its easy to criticise- but I’d really love to understand the thinking of this lot – especially those Vale Councillors who claim to represent Penarth.

  18. AK says:

    Once the councillors are elected (standing ‘for the good of the community’), they immediately revert to party lines with no benefit to the community whatever.

  19. Betty Boo says:

    Servants of the people, paid for by the people! Why do we let them get away with their outrageous behaviour? it is NOT acceptable to withhold accounts and falsify or hide information from the public.. Nor build monstrosities (Penarth head concrete based so called ‘viewing point) with no planning permission, no public consultation etc etc they just make up and break rule after rule! We should demand it be taken down and given our money back to fix roads, get some street lighting etc

  20. Andrew sarchus says:

    Paid for indeed- post it Burnett does rather well for an amateur “volunteer”
    Lis Burnett, is far left, also is deputy leader of Vale of Glamorgan council
    The deputy leaders of Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Newport, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Vale of Glamorgan and Wrexham.
    £30,000 Source Wales Online no pic but explanatory alteration.

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