All the candidates standing for election to the Vale of Glamorgan Council in next month’s local government elections are being challenged by Penarth Civic Society to declare whether or not they support the “care and maintenance of Penarth’s tree canopy – in particular street trees”.
The letter is being sent to each of the candidates by the chairman of Penarth Civic Society James Long who says the preservation and maintenance of street trees is one of the Society’s main concerns.
Mr Long then plans to publish the replies he receives in The Penarth Times – although apparently not all Vale Council candidates have yet have received copies of the letter
Mr Long’s letter does not make it clear whether the views of candidates standing for Penarth Town Council – which slashed its tree budget by 60% for the current financial year – are also to be solicited.
The Labour-run Penarth Town Council – had originally set itself an annual budget of £7,500 for looking after the trees in the town for which it is responsible . That figure was reduced in December to just £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 Penarth Town Council Tree Budget is meant to cover 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 costs were recovered from insurers.
Penarth Council’s tree budget for 2017/18 has now been set at only £3,000 -taking a gamble than far fewer of the trees are going to need attention in the current financial year. The council believes it will only need to spend £200 .