Luke Pollard MP Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport
Last month I wrote to our Conservative-run City Council to urge them to halt the removal of the Armada Way trees immediately. More than 7000 people have signed a petition calling on the Council to rethink, and I am amazed this expensive scheme is a priority when the Council is slashing funding for public services across our city.
The Council agreed to suspend the felling until a review had been conducted, thanks to the persistence of campaigners, Plymouth Labour and my team.
This is good news, but at the moment I am not satisfied that the consultation will be a proper one. Members of the public and all relevant stakeholders must be able to have their say.
Adequate time must also be given to the consultation rather than it being rushed through as a tick-box exercise. I am concerned by the Council’s statement that the tree felling is being paused only “for a few weeks” while the review takes place. This is not long enough for a robust public consultation.
I have written again to Plymouth City Council to urge them to include the public fully in their consultation, and for more time to be given to it.
We all want to see improvements to Armada Way, but removing nearly all the trees there isn’t the right way to go about it. Let’s keep up the pressure on our Conservative-run City Council to change course.