Tree decision needs scrutiny

PUBLISHED: 15:50 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:37 26 October 2009

SIR -Regarding the felling of the poplars at Stanborough Lakes, the public was told that a decision had been made to fell the trees. A statement by councillor Clare Berry appeared on the council s website, at 9.53am on July 22. It included information

SIR -Regarding the felling of the poplars at Stanborough Lakes, the public was told that a decision had been made to fell the trees.

A statement by councillor Clare Berry appeared on the council's website, at 9.53am on July 22. It included information that a decision had been made to fell the 700-odd poplars in Stanborough Lakes car parks.

". . . the council, in partnership with Finesse Leisure Partnership, who (sic) manage the site on the council's behalf, has decided to remove the trees."

I attended a shambolic 'consultation' at Stanborough Lakes south car park last Thursday evening, where the public was told again that a decision had been made to fell the trees.

It appears that the author of the 'independent' report on which the decision was based, was connected with a company which is tendering for the £40,000 contract for felling the trees.

Councillor Skottowe promised to investigate and to call-in the decision, and/or to ask for scrutiny, as relevant.

Before the weekend was done, an email from the group hastily set up by Dr Dennis Lewis, indicated that in fact no decision had been made and ward councillors would be consulted and the decision would be taken at a later date.

In the meantime, the trees will evidently not be felled. Councillor Berry's statement has been hastily removed from the council's website.

This leaves me asking when a decision is not a decision? And when is an independent report is not an independent report? Or is this a case of a Humpty-Dumpty council world in which words can mean whatever the council chooses?

Councillor Louise Lotz,

Peartree Ward councillor and member of the environment overview and

scrutiny committee.

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