June 19 2013 Latest news:
By PAUL GEATER, local government correspondent
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
PROPOSALS to cut down shrubs and bushes on council land across the town have come under fire from the opposition.
The Labour-run council has identified 96 locations across the borough where shrubs or bushes should be removed – they have become known as “litter magnets” and would be replaced by grass areas.
A spokesman for the borough said: “Some of these are very small, only about the size of a desk. Other areas are a bit larger – but they do look very untidy.
“We are very committed to the environment. The borough has done a great deal to improve biodiversity for instance by allowing areas of grass and wild flowers to grow in our parks – but this will make areas of the town look much more tidy.”
However the proposed work has angered the opposition.
Conservative councillor Judy Terry said the move would mean that areas with a large concentration of council homes would have less wildlife. She said: “When private developers apply for planning permission they are, quite rightly, compelled to ensure there is adequate landscaping .
“This looks as if that high standard is not good enough for council estates – that they are second class when it comes to the environment. Shrubs and bushes are vital to biodiversity.”