Council to 13,500 trees to replace those killed in drought by | Gloucester News Centre - http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk/
More than 13,000 trees will be planted to replace the newly-planted ones which died in Gloucester after not being watered during last summer’s drought.
Gloucester City Council planted thousands of new saplings across all the city’s wards last year. But the trees died due to lack of water during the summer heatwave.
Now council chiefs say they plan to replant all 13,500 trees during the current planting season, as well as an extra 6,000 trees which have already been planted.
The trees have been funded by the Forestry Commission and have been supplied by Gloucestershire County Council at no cost to the city council, they say.
They say officers have worked with contractors to establish an improved care schedule and we plan to replant all the trees.
Councillor Alastair Chambers (I, Matson, Robinswood and White City) who raised concerns about the issue last summer, says he hopes the council has learnt its lesson and will ensure the same mistakes do not happen again. He said it resulted in £47,325 of taxpayers money wasted.
“It makes me worry that senior officers are being flippant with residents’ money and taking for granted the worries of the Gloucester residents trying to make ends meet by paying their council tax.
“The public think we councillors are employees of the city council. We are not, we are elected to check the processes and procedures of the city council and request checks on public money. Please rest assured I am investigating every penny spent and where it goes.”
A spokesperson for Gloucester City Council said Summer 2022 in the UK was the hottest on record, which led to drought conditions and the disappointing loss of trees in the city.
They said: “We have reviewed our options for replanting as trees are a vital resource to tackle air pollution and encourage better biodiversity.
“Officers have worked with contractors to establish an improved care schedule and we plan to replant all 13,500 trees during the current planting season, as well as an additional 6,000 trees which have already been planted.
“All the trees in this project have been funded by the Forestry Commission and supplied by the county council, at no cost to the city council.”
By Carmelo Garcia – Local Democracy Reporter
Gloucester News Centre – http://gloucesternewscentre.co.uk