£40,000 scheme to prune problem trees in Cumbria

by | Nov 4, 2014 | Featured Slider, News

A £40,000 scheme to prune problem trees has been launched – but some residents could be waiting years for their current complaints to be dealt with.

Cumbria County Council is paying for the work to be carried out at various places across Carlisle over the next three months.

Further funding is also being secured to ensure a tree maintenance programme is carried out every year.

It comes after Carlisle’s county councillors were warned that work could take a “number of years to complete the current list” of planned work because some trees have not been maintained for years.

Cumbria County Council took back the responsibility for tree maintenance from Carlisle City Council last year.

Since then a priority list has been drawn up following a full assessment of 2,242 council-owned roadside trees.

That review has found that the majority of trees are in an “adequate” condition.

Twenty-five need remedial work to reduce the risk they may pose to the public and 65 of them, while not presenting immediate danger, must have work done to improve safety and cut complaints.

The county council received a “large number of complaints” about problem roadside trees and a lack of maintenance during the summer of 2013.

Members of Cumbria County Council’s Carlisle local committee were updated on the situation when they met.

Councillor Stewart Young (Lab, Upperby) said: “We have taken back responsibility for these trees from the city council and it’s quite clear that there is a significant backlog of many years so our officers have had to commission a survey to assess the situation.”

When responsibility for tree maintenance returned to the county council 43 of them were cut down and left as 1.5 metre high stumps.

Residents in Percy Road, Longsowerby, and Broad Street and Hart Street, both close to the city centre, have campaigned and lobbied councillors for action.

In Percy Road, people have argued that sycamore trees lining the street have not been properly maintained for years and as a result roots are lifting up the road and causing a hazard.

Similar complaints have been made about mature trees from residents living in and around Broad Street.

Broad Street resident Marjorie Graham, said: “We have been complaining for 26 years about these trees. The leaves are in the back and front of the houses. This year was horrendous – you have to sweep them two or three times a day when it’s windy and the leaves clog up the gutters. They’re bringing all the pavements up.”

Mrs Graham voiced concerns that £40,000 would not be enough money to sort out all the tree problems in the city.

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