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Action on falling Christmas trees

“Public health and safety must come first” - mayor

John Garvey

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886628

Christmas tree

TOWN councillors have promised to take emergency action over potential danger from unsafe Christmas trees above Hungerford High Street.

The issue was raised at a full town council meeting on Monday night. Chairman of the council’s highways and transport committee Rob Chicken raised the alarm, stating that, because of the summer heatwave, the trees were bushier, more brittle and heavier than usual, causing some to fall and others to come loose from their moorings in a recent storm.

He said: “We’ve had a few trees blow down, causing a safety issue. Some in the flag sockets have blown out.”

Councillor Carolann Farrell said: “Shouldn’t the contractors have looked at this? I agree it’s an emergency situation... I just feel it should have been picked up. It needs to be done, but we shouldn’t have to pick up the bill.”

Sally Hawkins agreed, but added: “It should have been entirely foreseeable and we can’t take the risk. We’d be hung, drawn and quartered...”

Deputy mayor Keith Knight proposed that, notwithstanding who was to blame or who should ultimately pick up the bill, the council should have the situation resolved “as an emergency measure”.

Town mayor Helen Simspon, who chaired the meeting, agreed, adding: “Public health and safety must come first.”

She said she would arrange for town clerk Claire Barnes to have the necessary budget made available to rectify the situation immediately.

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