Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Victoria Gateway - the last tree goes

I see that the conspiracy theorists are working overtime to suggest that the decision to remove a further tree from Victoria Circus was always the council's plan. What rubbish! If we could have saved the tree why would we have done otherwise? When the scheme was published it was intended to remove all trees but on the information originally received from the utility companies it seemed possible to save one, so the scheme was adjusted accordingly. Months later British Telecom then announced that if the road was built where now intended a fibre optic cable serving a substantial % of Southend would have to be moved at a cost of about £1M. Additionally the delay in carrying out the work would have resulted in the project over running and the Government clawing back a further £1-2M. The only solution was to remove the tree and avoid the cable. No choice - to save the tree would cost Southend council tax payers over £2M. Sorry that the protesters are cross that they were not given advance notice - if so they would no doubt have tried to repeat their actions at Cuckoo Corner resulting in massive costs and delay, which would once again fall to the Southend council tax payer. The scheme includes full landscaping and tree planting and the sooner it is completed the better.

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