Councillors Mrs J Tavener and J W Davies will give the Panel a final update on the work of the Tree Strategy Working Group. An Arborticultural Officer will also be in attendance to explain the revision and proposed structure of the Tree Strategy 2020-2030.
Contact:Cllr Mrs J Tavener (01487) 823082
With the aid of a presentation and an executive summary (copies of which are appended in the Minute Book) the Panel received a final update on the work of the Tree Strategy Working Group. Councillors Mrs J Tavener and J W Davies of the Working Group gave a verbal update of the Group’s work to the Panel. The Arboricultural Officer, Ms T Miles, presented the slides to Members.
The Executive Councillor for Housing, Planning and Economic Development was also in attendance. In introducing the item, the Executive Councillor thanked the Working Group for the work they have done in assisting with the revision of the Tree Strategy. He also added that he is keen for Overview and Scrutiny Members to get involved in policy development and that this Working Group is a good example of that.
Councillor Tavener informed Members that the Working Group met with Arboricultural Officers, Ms T Miles and Mr A Sargeant, on a regular basis. In addition, the Working Group’s observations (a copy of which is appended in the Minute Book) were read out to the Panel.
Councillor Davies added that due to recent events, people are realising the importance and benefits of trees. He added that the original reason for the Tree Strategy was because too many trees were being cut down. However the strategy has evolved to include other elements, including recognising the need for dead or rotten trees in order to support wildlife and tree canopies. Councillor Davies added that the Working Group is pleased with the work Ms T Miles and Mr A Sargeant have been doing.
In presenting to Members, Ms T Miles highlighted the need for review including internal factors and external influences. The revised strategy will highlight the fact that there are two services responsible but only one tree population and it will cover the aims of the strategy.
The Panel was informed of the principle alterations to the Tree Strategy including: moving from a five year plan to a ten year plan but with a five year review and annual reporting; a single document that encompasses all elements; a document that reflects government and industry best practice; revised policies and an action plan.
The next steps were outlined and Members were informed that it is planned the revised Tree Strategy will be adopted in June 2020.
Councillor S Bywater expressed concern over the management and maintenance of extra trees, although Ms T Miles stated that this will be considered when planting additional trees.
Councillor B Banks stated that as many trees as possible should be planted and that the Council should consider planting on the small parcels of land it owns. In response the Panel was informed that there is currently a push on local authorities to plant more trees but that the right balance needs to be struck.
The Panel welcomed the Working Group’s verbal report and the presentation by Ms T Miles and thanked the Members of the Working Group for their hard work. The Panel,
to dissolve the Tree Strategy Working Group and regain oversight of the Tree Strategy. Reviewing the strategy as and when required.