Fingal County Council’s decision to review its tree plan welcomed

by Padraig Conlon

Green Party Cllr Joe O’Brien has welcomed the council’s commitment to review Fingal’s tree strategy before the end of the year.

The Skerries councillor was successful in having a motion passed at the July meeting of Fingal County Council to update the policy.

Cllr O’Brien said: “The current strategy is almost nine years old and while it is a good document from a technical and operational point of view, there is little evidence of voices of communities in it.

“At the time there were only 49 submissions to the process. I’m looking forward to a vibrant consultation process that helps to reflect the value that people place in trees and comes up with solutions to some of the issues.

“There also needs to be better communication between the council and communities when it plans actions in relation to trees.

“I will be pushing for extra resources for high-value trees in town centres to be retained where possible and genuine consideration of all alternative options to felling mature trees.”

A decision to cut down mature trees in Skerries sparked outrage last month and Cllr O’Brien has challenged the council’s argument that it was on foot of escalating compensation claims for trips and falls.

Meanwhile, in a follow up with locals, the council has agreed to halt all tree-felling works until the end of the summer.

However, a further nine mature trees are earmarked for the chop and locals are unhappy with the replacements suggested.

More on this next week.

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