Report Says All But One Tree Should Stay

Only One Tree Should Be Removed!

Tree Update

The BHA Ltd Report has been submitted to the Parish Council and the recommendation is that all bar one tree can be saved.  Also the report states that none of the trees pose a threat for health and Safety in their current condition, but due to a systemic fungal infection one tree would irreversibly decline and is recommended for felling.

A copy of the Report is available at Formby Library and can be found by clicking here

More news to follow.

Parish Council Approve Tree Survey

The 'Go ahead' Given for Village Tree Survey

Approved Survey

Formby Parish Council have approved funds for a full tree survey for the 5 trees in Formby Village scheduled for removal by Sefton Council due to health and safety concerns.

A new date has been set by Sefton Council, the 19th of February for the removal of the three large horse chestnut trees with another 2 slated to be removed later this year or next as part of a phased removal.  However the protests in the village has given time for an independent survey to be carried out.  Chief Executive of Sefton Council Margaret Carney has agreed to consider the independent report commissioned tonight Tuesday the 6th of February.

The Parish Council have chosen BHA Trees Ltd Arboricultural consultants, who can list amongst their clients the Royal Household and the Highways Agency.  They are equipped to carry out a full suite of tests on the trees and carry all the necessary qualifications to give a full risk assessment.  The survey will be carried out on the 12th of February, we understand a report can be prepared for the following day to meet the 13th of February deadline set by Sefton Council.

Fingers crossed it will be good news.  Well done to the residents who made this possible.

Save Formby Village Trees

Campaign Continues to Save the Formby Five!

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Formby Residents once again stepped in to prevent contractors removing the 5 large trees in Formby village earmarked for removal by Sefton Council.  Local people stood guard as others pursued a high court injunction to try and force Sefton to reconsider the fate of the Formby Village trees. 

For a second day all but minor pruning activity was brought to a halt, and as the hope of an injunction faded campaigners questioned if a bat study had been carried, as the holes (in the trees) described by the tree surgeons are potential roosting grounds for the nocturnal animals. 

Sefton Council has now sought a bat expert to survey the three large horsechesnuts in the village and this activity will be carried out on Wednesday.  Sefton FRAG Councillor Maria Bennett has recieved an email from Sefton's tree officer stating that there will be no tree removal tomorrow and depending on the result of the Bat Survey, work will begin again on Thursday.

Councillors and Parish Councillors have just recieved a letter from Sefton Council's Tree Officer stating the following.

"Dear Cllrs and Parish Councillors,

As per outcome of today there will be a bat survey undertaken tomorrow on the three Horse Chestnut trees planned for removal. I am writing as I wanted to let you all know that two members of staff from the contractor (idverde) will be climbing the trees and placing the equipment supplied by the professional independent bat expert in the trees. They will not be undertaking any cutting and we would appreciate it if people on the ground could give them space to undertake these works safely.

I did say today that no contractors would be on site tomorrow hence this email clarifying things – I reiterate no cutting of the trees will be taking place tomorrow 31st January 2018.

Kind Regards"

Well done to all who took part in today's protest, See you all on Thursday!

Please watch this space for updates or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow FRAGOFF on facebook and twitter.

 

 

Stay of Execution for Trees (Updated)

Trees to Stay, Independent Report Sought By Parish Council

Tree Update

Breaking News

Cheif Executive Margaret Carney has informed Cllr Maria Bennett that there will be no felling of the trees this week.  "She said in an email  this is to enable her to have further conversations on the way forward to ensure that the health and safety risk is mitigated whilst responding to the concerns of residents".

Updated 2/2/18

Letter From Chief Executive Margaret Carney

On Fri, Feb 2, 2018 at 8:01 AM, Margaret Carney <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

Dear Councillors

 I refer to my previous emails regarding the trees in Formby Village.  Having discussed this matter with Council officers we remain concerned about the health and safety risks associated with these trees. We also want to ensure  the views of local communities are heard and that we take a balanced view whilst always prioritising the safety of pedestrians and road users.  Delaying the removal of the trees obviously increases the risk however having sought internal professional advice I am proposing a way forward that I hope you will be able to support. 

  1. I am minded to agree to an independent inspection of the three worst trees  i.e. those outside (Waterfields, Boots and  Cassidy’s) providing it is commissioned and funded by either the Parish Council or Ward Budgets and includes the requirement to assess the health and safety implications.  Whilst not being bound by the inspection the Council will consider the results and our internal experts will scruitinise the report. The inspection must be carried out by a suitably qualified and experienced person and we would ask that provision be made for a conversation on any report with the Council’s experts if required.  I have to remind councillors that liability remains with the Council and therefore this inspection will need to be completed quickly.  The independent report would need to be received by 13th February  and the intention would be to carry out any work in the week beginning 19th February.
  2. The two other trees will as previously advised be left in situ and we will assess these in Summer when they are in leaf.  It remains our view that these trees are in decline and will need to be removed in the near future.  We currently assess these as needing to be removed next Winter.  However this will be subject to a further consultation with ward and parish councillors nearer time. This complies with the approach outlined in my email of 31st January of a phased approach.

 I understand the Parish Council is considering the proposal to commission an independent survey next week. Obviously the proposals above  is dependent upon that or another funding source being identified.  I would be grateful if you could indicate your support or otherwise for this approach.  If I do not hear from you by 5pm on the 5th February, I will assume you are in support.  I would ideally like to achieve unanimous support for this way forward.

 

Regards

 Margaret

We can confirm that Formby Parish Council has put the issue of the trees on their Agenda for next weeks full Council Meeting and will discuss funding a full and independent report on the Chapel Lane trees. We have also been reassured that should the motion for funding be passed then an independent report can be produced by the 13th of February.

Cllr Bennett Submits 'Beefed Up' Fracking Motion

Cllr Maria Bennett Seeks to Strengthen Seftons' Stance on Fracking

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With Fracking companies camped out on the border of Sefton, FRAG Councillors have sought to strengthen Sefton Councils' resolve in shutting the door to this industry and sending a clear message to national leaders.  A previous motion put forward by Sefton Labour Party was not as strong as it could have been and reflected the then position of the National Labour Party in supporting Fracking in the right circumstances?  However a change of leadership and the election of Jeremy Corbyn saw a commitment to a complete ban on fracking in Labour's 2017 Manifesto. 

Cllr Bennett's fracking motion will be presented to the Full Council Thursday 25th January 6:30pm Bootle Town Hall (see upcoming meetings).

Maria Bennett and other members the Sefton Independent group will be asking the full Council to support "Commiting to not allow any fracking activities, including survey work, on Council owned or controlled land and property".and committing to the "need to demonstrate beyond any doubt that any adverse affects can be eliminated"

Maria said "its important that our Council is taking all the active steps it can to prevent Fracking getting a foothold in our borough, as well as being outspoken in its opposition to the onshore shale gas industry".  She also said that "demonstrating that adverse affects can be eliminated, is an important choice of words.  Many planning applications seek to mitigate any harm caused by their development.  Too often their proposed mitigation measures fail to address the full harm of development. Be it that they weren't rigorous enough in the first place or that they are not implemented properly.  What I am asking for is that the Industry demonstrate that they can develop without any harm that would require mitigation.  This I feel raises the bar a little higher". Finally she concluded that,"although stronger than previous motions on fracking I was disappointed at what I was told I had to remove by Sefton Legal Officers, in order for my motion to be allowed to go forward to a vote.  I will be taking further advice on this matter and I'm quite prepared to revisit this issue if I discover a stronger position was possible.  Other parts of the UK such as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have banned fracking.  Its only England that has had this practice unwantedly heaped upon us.  It is more than a little hypocritical that the Conservative Government uses votes from the DUP, an Northern Irish Party to to achieve support for a practice banned in Northern Ireland".