Felling of Felixstowe’s iconic ‘palm trees’ enhances council’s reputation for not listening

The cordyline trees - Felixstowe's "palms" - which have been felled as part of the restoration of th

The cordyline trees - Felixstowe's "palms" - which have been felled as part of the restoration of the gardens. - Credit: Archant

After taking into account people’s views over Felixstowe’s seafront “palm trees”, the council sent men with chainsaws to do their duty.

Of course, the public’s view was don’t cut down these precious and much-loved cordylines, and Suffolk Coastal, as always, simply noted the opposition – and carried on with its original intention to fell them.

Personally, I hate to see trees cut down – and after four decades of growth, these well-established ones were as much a part of the seafront gardens and its history as many of the other varieties.

However, I can sympathise with the designers who want to return Ivy Terrace – the area alongside the Spa Pavilion approach – to its original look.

I also agree there are many more, and far better, specimens of cordyline trees in the gardens.

There is one particular clump behind the redundant theatre which this summer has looked magnificent in flower with some superb blooms.

The council is caught here between a rock and a hard place. It did hold extensive consultation over three years on the £2.76million gardens renovation before the Heritage Lottery Fund granted the cash, asking the public exactly what it thought of various proposals and possibilities and what it would like to keep and lose. The plans were then finalised and approved.

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There wasn’t any fuss until the trees were suddenly marked with a tell-tale cross and felling was imminent.

Suffolk Coastal though is getting an unfortunate reputation as a council that doesn’t listen – or doesn’t change its mind when its officers have formulated the plans they would like councillors to accept.

The situation has prompted some interesting debate on democracy on the streetlife.com website.

Most people are clearly unhappy at electing councillors whose views on many issues are not known in detail, but then leaving them to decide many topics without any further consultation with the voters.