Shrubs removal leaves residents and councillors stumped

Posted on 12th October 2023 | in Amble Town Council , Community , Northumberland County Council

A local councillor has cited ‘poor communication’ by the county council, after residents were shocked to see mature shrub beds being removed from their street without warning.

Mature shrubs on Ivy Street were removed to the surprise of residents

Residents of Ivy Street were astonished to find council contractors removing large beds of shrubs from communal grassed areas outside their homes. A mature Whitebeam tree was also earmarked for felling, but was saved after hurried phone calls to Northumberland County Council (NCC) and a local councillor.

Ivy Street resident Robin Lewsey told The Ambler he had known nothing about the decision and was dismayed to see the bushes being removed as he could not understand why.  He said “These were planted by the same County Council about 15 years ago. They were also a site for birds to nest in particularly the sparrow, a bird which is in serious decline mostly caused by ‘lack of habitat’.

County Councillor Terry Clark, in whose ward the removals took place, said he had been unaware of the decision to take out the shrubs and tree, and said there had been poor communication from the council to both himself and residents.

He told The Ambler, “Several residents contacted me concerned regarding the removal of bushes and a tree on the grassed area within Ivy Street. I do believe these were planted several years ago to stop children playing football in the residential area, stopping the ball from hitting windows/doors or going onto the road putting children in danger.”

The Whitebeam tree was spared the chop

The decision to remove the bushes and tree on Ivy Street was made after a walkabout by NCC, Amble Town Council and various other parties including police, and housing officers. The Ambler understands a number of complaints had been submitted to NCC by residents requesting the shrub beds be removed.

However, Amble Town Council told The Ambler they too had been unaware of the decision. A spokesperson said, “Amble Town Council have not been involved in the decision making regarding the removal of shrubs and bushes in Ivy Street, St Cuthberts Avenue or Redesdale.”

Cllr Clark said “I knew nothing about this until approached by residents wishing to keep the bushes, which came too late. There has been poor communication through the council involving myself and all the residents who live in the vicinity.  I am glad we have managed to save the mature tree.”

The County Council was asked to comment, but so far have not replied.
Anna Williams

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