Council make u-turn on trees after backlash

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Work on cutting down trees in a street in Linlithgow has been “suspended” after a backlash from residents.

Neighbours on Braehead Road’s south side were furious when they saw six cherry blossom trees being felled by the council last week.

Over 400 residents signed an online petition against the decision to remove the trees.

The remaining trees were set to be chopped and replaced by ten birch trees but work has now been stopped.

At the Linlithgow and Linlithgow Bridge Community Council meeting, Labour election candidate Tom Conn said: “There will be no further work apart from the clearing of some roots.

“There will be a meaningful consultation with residents. I’m led to believe there is no damage to the roots, there is not a risk there.”

Conservative candidate Tom Kerr said: “It’s an absolute disgrace. What actually triggered this off?

“I find it difficult to believe the council officers decided these trees came to the end of their lives and then decided to take them down at the worst possible time of year when all the blossom is out.

“As local members we should have been advised that this was about to happen.”

One of the residents at the meeting said: “There has been a huge backlash from these blossom trees being taken down.”

A council’s spokesperson said: “After concern by residents regarding the removal of the trees, no further work will be carried out until additional community engagement over the long-term strategy for the trees as part of the wider streetscape has been completed.”