Trees are beautiful, trees help oxygenate the planet, trees are crucial in the fight against climate change. Who on earth would want to harm a tree? Certainly not people such as arboreculturists who have chosen this career due to their love of trees. However, at Somerset County Council workers are being put into this position by cutbacks and budget restraints. Following a public outcry when trees at Bridgwater’s Hamp Green Rise were threatened with felling this month, County ward Councillor Leigh Redman and Town Council Leader Brian Smedley, met with County officers today (Friday 17 May) and agreed a further stay of execution on the trees and an agreement for a public summit on the entire subject of the County and Districts tree felling policy. The summit meeting was set for Tuesday 4th June at 7pm at Bridgwater Town Hall. Specialists will be present and the public are encouraged to attend.
Mayors don’t usually get awards. They get elected and then devote themselves to their town for a year and then go back to civilian life. Which is almost exactly what former Bridgwater Mayor Diogo Rodrigues said when he was presented with an award for ‘Community Hero’ at this years Pride of Sedgemoor gala evening at the McMillan theatre. “I was just doing what I was elected to do” said the 29 year old Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group and Town Council Portfolio Holder for Youth. “I was quite literally shocked when I was told of this”.
The Pride of Sedgemoor Awards are organised by the Bridgwater Mercury and sponsored by local businesses. Indeed each contributing business gets to nominate their own winner for the category in question and so it was the Solicitors firm Amicus Law that nominated Diogo in the ‘Community Hero’ category saying “When taking the Mayoral Chains in May 2018, Diogo also took on the responsibility for promoting Bridgwater-and his efforts have beennothing short of astounding. He is a real community hero.” Continue reading “Diogo Scoops ‘Community Hero’ Award at Pride of Sedgemoor”
Bridgwater has seen trees chopped down and left half standing over the past few months leading to a sense of despair that there was a concerted plan or maybe lack of one, by ‘the council’ to get away with this widespread destruction of our greenery. So on Friday when a post appeared on Bridgwater Past n Present facebook site claiming ‘the council had plans to chop down most of the cherry trees in Hamp Green Rise’ more than 200 comments vented their opposition and a petition to prevent further destruction went viral. For ward councillors – who knew nothing of this – immediate investigation was needed.
Town Council Leader and Westover ward councillor Brian Smedley visited the site at once with new Town Council Climate Change portfolio holder Li Gibson and found no indication of intent by any of the 3 councils and so ,as Town had no ability, power nor desire to destroy trees, it must be one of the other 2. Someone ‘in a Sedgemoor van’ had been there and one resident said she had been told of 7 or 8 trees ‘facing the axe’. But Sedgemoor District Council owned no trees in the area -however it did act as an agent for Somerset County. The mystery was unravelling. Continue reading “Bridgwater Breathes Again as Tree Programme Paused”