Council can’t afford to prune trees so tells 83-year-old to do it

by | Aug 7, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

Cambridge City Council has told a working pensioner to deal with trees obscuring her garden herself – as it cannot afford to do so.

83-year-old Tilly Thornton has seen her garden overshadowed by 40-foot conifers growing from a neighbouring council property.

The Alex Wood Road resident told the local paper she had spent years trying to get the trees pruned.

She said: “As soon as that sun goes over the hedges it’s awful.

“It’s like I am in a cocoon; I don’t get much light in my bedroom because the branches almost touch the window, and they bang against them when it’s windy.

“All the needles are coming off all over my plants.”

She has lived at the former council house for 63 years, and now shares it with her son Mark.

While the property with the trees is owned by the council, she was told it was not prepared to do anything about them – despite the tenants agreeing about the problem.

She said: “It has only been this last year I had someone from the council come to have a look at them. He said yes, they are enormous and he gave me the hope they would be either cutting it down or removing it.

“When he got a cost he said it would cost £4,500, and that the council’s budget would not pay.

“The neighbours say they don’t have that kind of money to pay out, so it has been back to square one.”

Andrew Latchem, the council’s area housing manager for north Cambridge said the trees were not considered hazardous.

“Our tree expert has been out and said they looked healthy”, he said. “If they were likely to cause danger or hazard we would raise the priority.

“She can talk to the neighbour to try to come to a compromise, or she can cut it back herself.”