Council’s tree co-ordinator role ‘to be cut’ in new year
- Credit: Archant
Huntingdonshire District Council has been criticised for a decision to cut its tree warden co-ordinator role in a bid to make savings.
From April 2017, the position will no longer exist within the authority, which, critics have said, will result in a disconnected service between the council and the tree warden community.
The tree co-ordinator works to manage the district’s tree stock, which includes, maintenance.
The co-ordinator, as a part of the tree and landscape section of the planning department, also provides advice on the removal of trees and forms part of the overall planning application processes.
The co-ordinator also works with the tree warden community within Huntingdonshire, a network of volunteers based in parishes, which has been utilised to help plant new trees and conduct surveys.
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The proposal has been met with “considerable concern” from parish and town councils around the district.
A spokesman for Holywell-cum-Needingworth Parish Council said: “It is difficult to understand how this decision has been arrived at, bearing in mind the relatively small savings compared with the costs which benefit the whole community.”
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There are now calls for the district council to rethink its decision to allow for a consultation to take place before reaching a decision.
Councillor Graham Bull, executive councillor for planning policy, housing and infra-structure, said: “The district council is the only authority in Cambridgeshire that still has a tree warden co-ordinator.
“The council still has to find savings, and this means difficult decisions have to be made. As part of these savings, we have decided that we will not be funding a tree warden co-ordinator post in the medium to long term.
“We understand and appreciate the work that tree wardens do, and understand the work the council’s tree warden co-ordinator provides is valued support to tree wardens.”
In future, the work of the tree warden will be divided between an arboricultural officer and landscape officer.