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Disappointment as Wiltshire Council votes against planting more trees

Wiltshire Council has  voted against backing a Lib Dem proposal to advocate a minimum of a 25% canopy of trees to be planted in any new housing estate.

Despite gaining cross-party support, including from members of the cabinet, the Lib Dem motion to amend the council’s core strategy was narrowly voted down by the Conservatives.

Cllr Pat Aves from Melksham, who proposed the motion, was disappointed that it had not been taken forward. She said, “This is a sad day for the people of Wiltshire and their future health and well-being. This was an opportunity for the council, which claims to be for “Everyone”, to be genuinely forward-looking and take a lead in promoting and addressing an inspired plan to make life better for all of us, as several other councils have already done.

“I am especially disappointed in view of the fact that in a recent Freedom of Information request by a leading newspaper, WCC freely admitted to having cut down 4,778 trees in the last three years. Whatever the reasons they were cut down, justified or not, I know of no plans to replace any of them. A recent experience in which we succeeded in saving a row of poplars in King George V Park in Melksham does not inspire me with confidence.”

Cllr Brian Mathew who seconded the motion was equally disappointed saying, “Considering that Bristol City Council in partnership with the Woodland Trust are planning to go for 30% tree cover, it’s a shame Wiltshire couldn’t have been as equally aspirational.”

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