LOCALITY BUDGET

The Locality Budget was mentioned in the report on WTC's December meeting - but I think it's worthy of its own thread. If there are schemes out there that need funding then now is the time to put them forward for consideration. There won't be such funds available in the next financial year. Last year pooling of funds was done by Wivenhoe borough councillors. Cllr Cyril Liddy spoke about this at the WTC meeting, and he asked for suggestions. His contact details are here: http://tmf.colchester.gov.uk/CouncillorDetail.asp?sec_id=2773&id=361

For 2013 - 2014 Colchester councillors have again been given a locality budget of £120,000, divided equally between all 60 councillors.

The intention is that ward councillors can use the £2,000 allocated to them to initiate new projects or to provide additional funding to match already committed resources. 



The Councillor Locality Budgets were approved by Cabinet in March 2012 under the umbrella of a number of Jubilee Projects which were intended to support a diverse range of projects and opportunities for local groups and Councillors to receive funding that could make a difference to their local area, as well as potentially addressing council priorities and strategic objectives.
From: http://tmf.colchester.gov.uk/servedoc.asp?filename=Councillor_Locality_Budgets___complete.pdf

Comments

  • lizliz
    edited March 22
    I'm curious about why the locality budget hasn't been spent, especially regarding the money mentioned below in Wivenhoe. Surely there are urgent new initiatives or ongoing projects that need the cash? 

  • No answers on why Mark Cory has only spent 100 of the grant? Maybe he's had no ideas similar to Wivenhoe soup to get the money into the hands of the needy in Wiv? I really think this kind of thing should be put to good use.
  • Mark told me he had wanted to join in the soup venture but hadn't had a response to his emails about doing so.
  • Thank you Andrea, you are correct.

    I offered to take part in the Soup, verbally and then in writing via email. Eventually on election day when I saw Rosalind, she said it wouldn't work this time around.

    Instead, I committed my funds to a 'Problem Tree Fund', something I have publicly committed to in my election literature, so I will stick to my word.

    I have priced up a number of problem trees which are in 'no man's land' and cause residents huge problems. Mick Green - local Wivenhoe tree surgeon has come on board with the project, however, I have been held up spending the money due to Tree officers. It is a real shame that bureaucracy gets in the way, but CBC want to ensure the right procedures are carried out. I understand this  and as I am environmentally conscious myself and do not want to cut down trees willy-nilly, but these are specific dangerous/nuisance examples that need dealing with and none are protected or rare species.

    liz - I hope this clears up the matter.

    I have always spent all of my locality budget and I have worked on bringing in over £100,000 pounds of grant funding into Wivenhoe over the years to spend on local projects. Please do not question my commitment to local projects, as you will find I have been involved in many wonderful projects past and present and would never knowingly miss an opportunity to support and celebrate Wivenhoe groups and activities.

  • Hmmm...'problem trees' which are in 'no man's land', yet cause residents 'huge problems'.
    Like many, I'm not a fan of having trees chopped down, and am saddened by the spate of trees which have disappeared from our streets recently. Glad to hear that the tree officers will be holding you to account on this, Mark.
    Is there really not another more worthy issue you could have spent this money on...?
  • I don't know which trees Mark is talking about but I do know how problematic trees can be if they are sited just outside your property. A friend in Colchester had a big garden wall collapse & it was caused by roots from a tree alongside the pavement nearby. I can well imagine how important this work might be and I'm glad Mark is dealing with it. 
  • kstkst
    edited March 27
    I hope this thread is not being turned into a bash non laborious councillors as election time comes around again.
    Funny that ?
    Point Scoring ?
  • Could Mark say which trees he has in mind as problem trees?  Is this not something on which the community should have a view?

    What does he mean by no man's land?  Is not all the land in Wivenhoe owned by someone?

    Are they on the public highway?




  • edited March 27
    Mark, for what it is worth, I totally trust you with this project as I know it will be managed conscientiously, as long as the jobsworths eventually allow it.

    This is why I want the QOL project to work. To build a more self-sufficient, collaborative community who take collective responsibility for things and get the little jobs done without having to go through the administrative mill all the time.

    It won't work if we continue to bash the people we have chosen as community leaders on the open forum. 

    And - in case you are wondering - no, I am not a Labour party supporter. I am a supporter of people who support us. 
  • It is not criticising Mark to ask which trees he has in mind for the chop. 
  • Agreed.
  • Like the public have a better idea on dangerous or problem trees than a Tree Surgeon?
  • edited March 27
    Look, for those of you who can actually remember what happens in Wivenhoe, not too long ago the Council signed up to a charter about how to manage all the green spaces within its remit, pledging to consult the wildlife experts before anything like this went ahead.

    Do you really think they would renege on this at such an early juncture?

    Sometimes a sensible management of a mature tree can prolong its life AND prevent it from being a danger.

    If this turns out to be a chainsaw massacre I will of course promise to eat my hat!
  • Sorry to harp on this but why cannot Mark (or Glyn if he knows) tell us which trees are considered a problem or have they not been identified yet?   Is it being in a dangerous condition that is the criterion?   Is it invasive roots undermining foundations or causing pavements to become uneven?

    Certainly mature trees may need some surgery from time to time to prolong their life.  It is the responsibility of the owners (public or private) to keep them safe and, ideally, healthy.   Is the ownership of the "problem trees" unknown?

    If a tree is overhanging someone's property they have the right to trim it back to their boundary, though I am not sure if this applies in the conservation area or if the tree is listed where permission may be required.

    Sometimes people complain about trees because they consider they block their light or their view or shed leaves on their lawns.  Other people may consider these trees add to the street/countryside scene. 

    Glyn says "Look, for those of you who can actually remember what happens in Wivenhoe, not too long ago the Council signed up to a charter about how to manage all the green spaces within its remit, pledging to consult the wildlife experts before anything like this went ahead.
    Do you really think they would renege on this at such an early juncture?"

    Does this mean that WTC will be consulted?  What does "green spaces within its remit mean"?  Just land controlled by WTC or any green space within the Parish?

    One of the action proposals in the draft neighbourhood plan is that some voluntary tree wardens should be appointed by WTC.  We used to have a very well informed one some years ago.  Tree wardens monitor trees in their area and give informal advice and can also encourage new planting. 




     



  • I think what poopdecker is getting at is that there are different definitions of what constitutes a 'problem' tree. For what it's worth, I would restrict that description to trees which are a real and present danger to life, limb and built property (the latter perhaps viewed in context of whether or not the tree was there when the property was built).

    The risk, which I am sure Mark is fully aware of, is that trees may be deemed a problem just because they are inconvenient. One has only to see what is happening in Sheffield at the moment to see those risks - below is an example of just one of the proposed acts of 'inconvenient' tree removal taking place there.




  • Yep, that's exactly why we're concerned, Chris.  Wivenhoe has lost many trees to various developments in recent years, so it's important that if we're to lose even more, it's for very sound reasons...
  • From Wivenhoe Town Council minutes 21st November 2016

    b) Borough Council: Cllr. Cory said his ‘tree fund’ was progressing and he was looking for contributions towards this.  The ‘tree fund’ being an initiative to find a way of dealing with unowned trees which were presenting a problem to residents.  Cllr. Kraft mentioned a tree in Stanley Road which had been causing problems and currently had fencing around it but no work being done.  Cllr. Cory said he would look into this.

  • All pretty reasonable from where I'm standing.

    Apologies if I was a little robust in suggesting we refrain from councillor baiting.

    Obviously what would be good now is a fairly prompt confirmation that all the desirable boxes will be ticked. Unlike politics at a national level where you have to wait for the spin doctors (or lawyers) to prepare responses, I don't think we'll have to wait long for this. ;-)
  • An interesting discussion I did not mean to set up. 

    Thank you all for your points. Glyn, having met numerous times, you know that I'm a green guy at heart, keen on celebrating and protecting Wivenhoe's ecology and wildlife, so I appreciate your points. 

    I fully understand concerns of others and I have reported inappropriate tree cutting where it has occurred before in Wivenhoe and don't ever want to see that happen. 

    I cannot yet publish a list as I am unsure as yet of which ones fully meet the requirements; however, most are conifers, none are protected trees or species. 

    I do not take tree-cutting lightly. The reason I followed this policy was because over the years that I have been a councillor, this has been a persistent case work issue, with little obvious solution. Where appropriate, I am trying to provide a solution. Furthermore, where appropriate, I will be encouraging the re-planting of smaller suitable trees to replace ones that may need complete removal. 

    I hope that clears up the principle and I will give more detail when specific sites are agreed.

    Thank you Glyn for your trust. 

    I very much support the Environmental Charter project too and see this as a sustainable route forward for WTC, and hopefully CBC and Essex too.

  • It's great to hear where the £1900 locality budget is going - thank you - and I do think it's good to have this thread so we can watch the progress.
  • MarkCory said:
    An interesting discussion I did not mean to set up. 

     

    I cannot yet publish a list as I am unsure as yet of which ones fully meet the requirements; however, most are conifers, none are protected trees or species. 


    I hope that clears up the principle and I will give more detail when specific sites are agreed.




    Wivenhoe has few trees which are subject to tree preservation orders and several that there were have lapsed which is why we need a tree warden,  I do think there are any protected species of trees as such, unlike birds.

    Mark speaks of "when specific sites are agreed"  Who is going to do the agreeing?  Should the residents of Wivenhoe not also have a say?

    Mark also says they will be mostly conifers.  This is very species-ist  Some conifers,such as Scots Pine, contribute to the landscape and they can be important to wildlife.  Even the hated Leylandii are very good at reducing traffic air pollution.

    He also says he is going to encourage the replanting of smaller suitable trees.  If these are on "no man's land" who will be encouraged to do the planting or is it going to be guerilla landscaping?





  • why not have a conversation with Mark to see if you can work alongside him, I'm sure that he'd welcome some "citizen participation" ... 
  • NickT said:
    why not have a conversation with Mark to see if you can work alongside him, I'm sure that he'd welcome some "citizen participation" ... 
    Hear hear.
  • edited March 29
    "Wivenhoe has few trees which are subject to tree preservation orders and several that there were have lapsed which is why we need a tree warden."- poopdecker


    http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/Take-Part/Tree-Wardens
    Our nearest contact for the tree warden network is Liam McKarry. ( http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/Take-Part/Tree-Wardens ). He is Colchester Borough Council's Arboricultural Planning Officer.

    Liam became involved in the discussions about the tree in the old cemetery back in 2014
    http://wivenhoeforum.co.uk/discussion/comment/23961/#Comment_23961



  • I believe Colchester no longer supports the tree warden network unlike Tendring.
  • Liam McKarry, Colchester Borough Council's Arboricultural Planning Officer, has sent this message through to clarify the situation:

    The tree warden scheme has been fairly defunct for a few years now principally due to lack of interest from residents. The councils role was to facilitate the scheme but the onus was upon the tree wardens themselves to be involved.

    Between 2010 - 2013 I spent a fair amount of time trying to encourage and recruit new wardens but with limited success. To be honest I would love for the scheme to be re-invigorated if residents wanted it to be but my fear is that as before, people show interest initially but then fade away.

    I'm glad that your residents are showing an interest though - by all means tell them to contact me

    Regards

    Liam

    Liam McKarry
    Arboricultural Officer (Planning)
    Colchester Borough Council
    Rowan House
    33 Sheepen Road
    Colchester
    CO3 3WG

    Liam.McKarry@colchester.gov.uk
  • Are there any volunteers to become tree wardens out there?

    Details about networks near you is available here

    http://www.treecouncil.org.uk/Take-Part/Near-You

    Colchester just says contact Liam but there is more information about Tendring,

    Tendring has the following statement
    Tree Wardens are appointed by their local Town or Parish Councils, or other community groups and the network is co-ordinated by Tendring District Council.

    Following this model WTC should be seeking to appoint someone or possibly two people.

    There are currently 27 tree wardens in Tendring District.
    The information about their network also says:

    Each year the District Council gives a tree planting grant to local councils of up to 50% of the cost planting new trees. This scheme has proved to be popular with Tree Wardens and local councils. The benefits that new tree planting provides to the environment has so impressed District Councillors that they decided to increase the annual budget to £5,000. This will result in hundreds of new trees being planted each year.

    Tendring also provides some training,


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