Tuesday, 12 January 2010


There's a merry old article in The Times about residents of Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset killing off trees on council-controlled property, or indeed their own gardens, in order to improve their views across Poole Harbour. The council is of course up in arms about this, wailing on about "mature trees protected by preservation orders".

Now, forgive me if I have misunderstood something here, but aren't councils supposed to do those things that benefit a majority of their residents, as decided democratically? Some people love having trees on their street (and ought to pay a few quid extra on their Council Tax to cover the cost of pruning them each year); other people hate trees - whether because they block the view; because they endanger foundations; or because they are allergic to them (and ought to pay a one-off precept to cover the cost of removing them), that isn't up to 'the council' to decide.

So shouldn't the council in this instance carry out a vote on each of the affected streets and go with whatever the majority says - be that preserving the trees at all costs,; chopping them down; scrapping the preservation orders or enforcing them even more vigorously?

The highlight of the comments is Mark B, who drifted completely off-topic at 12.:05 GMT on January 12:

In my village, on the Staffordshire / Cheshire boarder, they are considering letting someone turn an old farmstead into a wedding reception venue. This essentially destroys the property values, and quality of lives, of the whole community. It's just odd to me how Councils see business so favourably, but couldn't care less about homes and people's quality of life.

Too bloody right! That venue might create jobs for electricians, local DJs, taxi-drivers, florists, caterers, lap dancers and local hotels, who in turn create jobs for DIY shops, record shops, car repair workshops, petrol stations, delivery drivers, greengrocers etc etc. We can't have that sort of thing happening can we? Who knows where it might end - full employment or something? Pah! If you can't find a job or afford a house, can't you just emigrate* or something and leave England's countryside green, pleasant and unspoiled? I tell you, the youth of today ...

* PS, once you've emigrated, don't forget to keep paying voluntary National Insurance contributions back into the system to pay my pension. Bloody youth of today, shirking their responsibilities, leaving us pensioners to starve, no bloody respect...


JuliaM said...

Whereas, if you are in Colchester, you can get free* trees...

*no, they aren't free of course. You've paid for them with your council tax.

CIngram said...


Local democracy? People making decisions about their own lives? You're out of control, I'll be sending the programmers round.


The second comment on the Gazette article is almost certainly true. People have this irritating habit of not behaving as their leaders think they should.

neil craig said...

Wedding reception centre indeed!!

You know what sort of people go to weddings - hippies, drug dealers, Moslems, football hooligans, ravers, poofters & most destructive of all - rugby players. Keeping us awake at night with their pagan limbo dancing.