Below is a summary of what has been going on with the trees, CSM and TARA lately.
There are four separate phases of tree work to be carried out on the estate. Two of these have already been completed, between the back of Rockdove and the Princess Parkway/Mancunian way sliproad, and on Jackson Crescent next to the park. The remaining two phases involve the community garden of Leaf Street and the woodland garden of Letsbe Avenue.
City South Manchester (CSM) have only informed residents of the work that is to be carried out in the areas adjacent to their flats, so everybody on the estate has had one of four different letters at different times and nobody has been informed of the whole picture.
The letters regarding Leaf St and Letsbe Ave have resulted in a number of members of the community contacting CSM and TARA because of concern about these communal areas. The letters that have been sent have only stated the total number of trees to be felled (16 on Letsbe Ave, 9 in Leaf St area) or crowned, and not specified which trees they are.
I (Leonie, TARA facilitator/chair), got through to Tom Rock at CSM on Friday 7th February by telephone and was informed that a consultation had occurred in September and that the only way to view the plan for which trees are to be removed was to meet with him at the CSM offices.
It has since been clarified that the “consultation” was supposed to have taken place during the Hulme Street Open Day event. However, the organisers were not informed of the consultation happening, and people that attended on the day were unaware that there was supposed to be a consultation taking place. TARA has not been presented with the results of any consultation and we do not accept that a consultation has taken place.
A meeting was organised at short notice on Sunday 9th Feb. It was agreed that:
1) We support work being done on the trees, the removal of dangerous or diseased trees and some crowning/pruning
2) A letter would be sent to CSM from TARA (see attached)
3) Hulme Councillor Nigel Murphy would be informed
4) Another meeting will take place before the TARA AGM on Thursday 13th Feb at 6pm in the TARA office (26a Humberstone Avenue)
5) The Manchester Biodiversity Team would be contacted
6) A draft leaflet for the whole estate would be produced to be agreed at the TARA meeting on Thursday.
7) Myself and Gemma would meet with Tom Rock on Tuesday 11th FebNo actions were agreed regarding contacting the media at the present time.
The letter from TARA was sent to CSM staff and Chief Executive on Monday 10th Feb.
On Tuesday 11th Feb myself and Gemma attended a meeting with Tom Rock and Sam Lennard. Their request to take a copy of the plan for trees to be removed was refused. They had taken a street plan of the estate with them with some information about trees already on it. They therefore had to copy the information provided to them by CSM out by hand onto the plan they had bought. Tom Rock and Sam Lennard also did not agree to halt felling until a consultation had taken place.
The trees that are to be felled have since been marked with a cross in red spray paint so that the whole estate now has access to that information.
TARA would like to invite anyone with an interest to attend the meeting on Thursday (see above). If you’re unable to attend but would like to feed into the discussion please respond to email@example.com with your comments and they will be presented at the meeting. If you would like to see the letter sent to CSM from TARA please open ‘TARA CSM tree letter 20130210’.
We understand that the work on Leaf Street is due to take place this week. Leonie and Gemma were told that four trees are to be removed, including two of the big sycamores/maples on the Hunmamby side but not the big leylandii on the first or second garden on the Rockdove side which many residents would like to be removed. We do not know how this information tallies with the letters that were sent to residents in this area, which stated 9 trees would be removed. The felling in this area may occur before the next TARA/residents meeting.
We have been informed that 15 trees are to be felled on Letsbe Avenue and that this work will begin on the 17th Feb.
I think that’s everything.
Leonie (TARA Chair)