The Labour-run Penarth Council – which had set itself an annual budget of £7,500 for looking after trees in the town – has chopped that figure down by 60% – to just £3,000.
Most of the trees lining the highways in Penarth are actually the responsibility of the Vale of Glamorgan Council – which is also responsible for the trees in the town’s parks – but Penarth Council is responsible for trees at the Kymin, the grounds of West House and places like the St Augustine’s Triangle – where a large tree collapsed in July 2015.
Removing that huge tree at St Augustine’s cost the council an unexpected £1,012 and it remains unclear as to whether the council was able to recover its costs from its insurers.
The council’s tree budget for 2017/18 has now been set at only £3,000 – despite the fact that in October 2015 – when quotations for professional treeworks were obtained – quotations came in at between £5,250 to £5,922.
The council is clearly taking a gamble that far fewer of the trees for which it is responsible around the town are going to need attention in 2017/18 – and is projecting an actual spend of only £200 .