Bristol Street Trees – A Temporary Reprieve

Street Trees (3)At last, funding for the routine maintenance of Bristol’s street trees has been secured – albeit only for 2018/19.
Following pressure from the Bristol Tree Forum, the Mayor’s budget proposals to stop maintaining street trees has been reversed – initially for one year – with the extra money found in the Parking Services budget.
Unfortunately, the budget is not as large as in previous years but at least it’s a start. It is hoped that the reprieve will allow the Tree Forum sufficient time to engage with Council Officers to secure alternative funding for future years.
Confirmation of this about-turn was given at the Full Council Meeting on 23 January 2018 by Cllr Mhairi Threlfall (Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity), in response to a question from Cllr Clive Stevens. The full text of the response is reproduced below:

  1. Further to the revenue budget reduction for 2017/18 the authority has continued to undertake its statutory duty in accordance with the legislation under the Highways Act.
  2. A recent revision to the forecast income from Parking Services has concluded that the pollarding and epicormics programme for 2018/19 can be reinstated. Officers are currently negotiating with the supply chain to confirm the programme of works.
  3. During 2018/19 the authority will review the outcomes of year 2017/18 and undertake the necessary business case work and work with interested groups on how the service will proceed in future years.
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