Sunday, 13 March 2011

WAAAH! save the trees in whalley range

On Monday the council are returning to Whalley Range to start the cull of healthy and much loved trees. There is a gathering outside the tescos on whalley range/ dudley road to challenge the chainsaws, meeting 10am tomorrow morning (14th March) I live in whalley range and the trees give much of the character to the neighbourhood as well as providing havens of biodiversity in the city. The reasons for the massacre seem spurious at best, and actually the closer you look (and the more you consider current budget issues) damn illogical. It's yet another example of crap community consultation. Sadly i am down south at the moment but much love and power to all those doing something - please join them if you can xx

The following is from the campaign group (sorry this wasnt clear before hence my editing, as usual i'm in a rush) xx

On March 7th 2011 a brave local resident faced and blocked the Manchester City Council's chainsaw contractors (short film While elsewhere another resident challenged why another half grown apparently healthy tree was being cut down. The tree had its crown removed and another tree with no obvious sign of decay lost several branches before contractors called in David Davidson the councils green space manager.

A face-to-face stand off with the resident followed and the resident reported climbing on a second contractor’s truck to prevent further cutting. "I don't usually do this sort of thing the resident said, but hearing the chainsaw I had to do something". A subsequent phone call to the MP Sir Gerald Kaufman generated a call to the council to halt work and send the contractors and there trucks home.

Both residents are part of the Whalley Range Tree Group a large group of concerned residents, that has been petitioning and dialoguing with the council for months to get a mutually agreed plan. They see the action as highly out of line with a democratic process that is still in process to find an agreeable way forward. Regretfully, despite additional representation, Sir Gerald Kaufman has advised residents that the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council is insisting that the Council will go ahead with the tree cuttings on Monday of next week.

The concerned local residents do not feel the council has addressed their specific concerns for more detailed scientific proof to warrant cutting of the individual trees targeted by the council which create a special natural environment in their local community of Manchester. "I don't understand what all the rush is about to cut these trees" said another local resident who lives next to the tree that survived Mondays incidents.

The last 2 mins of the film summarise the Whalley Range Tree Group request- who they are, their concerns regarding the proposed timescale and rate of felling and replacement of 473 trees (half the Whalley Range Tree stock) and their request to the Manchester City Council to delay the felling for one year to allow time to develop a mutually acceptable plan which meets the needs of Council and residents alike.

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