More danger, danger, danger 28.5.2011


This week Newcastle City Council held a community information session  about the Laman Street Civic precinct public consultation findings. It was a breakfast meeting which is a good idea in principle but in reality is pretty challenging to get to.

It was too challenging for me and I have various excuses for not being there. Wouldn’t you think I’d get my priorities sorted?

I hear that at the end of the session one of the councillors talked about a high voltage cable under the Laman Street fig trees that needs fixing/upgrading/replacing. All year we’ve asked which infrastructure work was behind the push to remove the trees since the Safety Stuff about how dangerous they are alleged to be (that still goes on and on) hasn’t swayed us.

Since I’m mentioning the Safety Stuff – I notice that there is a 14MB document on Council’s website (link on this page)  about previous tree failures – this is what They love to call ‘Casebook’. Not sure when the page was updated as I haven’t looked for a month or so.

There’s a bit of a trap here for those of us who don’t like big downloads because it’s quoted as being 15kB – a touch inaccurate. I presume this is a presentation given over and over again to any (preferably non-questioning) audience who would listen. I wonder if the Working Party will be subjected to this soon.

I think there should be a costing at the bottom of documents like this. I wonder how much was spent on consultants to prepare it. It saddens me that time, energy and money were put into this when a) it should have been in the public domain for well over a year and b) council’s focus should be on tree preservation.

Where are the documents about how to look after these trees? Or how to make the street safe (if you believe it’s about safety)? The worry of course is that the blood-curdling tree-root-or-absence-of-tree-root shots are not just relevant to Laman Street but to every tree over about two metres in height.

I’ve finally read the report on the surveys about Laman Street and the park and a couple of things stood out for me: there’s mention of the fact that apparently some of us people think there’s a conspiracy behind this whole business (sounds mad, doesn’t it?) and my favourite comment which is from one person who said the trees should go to remove the danger of people hiding behind them – I kid you not.

And on a non-tree note, did you hear President Obama’s speech to the British parliament? The three people who had addressed the parliament before him had been the Pope, the Queen and Nelson Mandela. He said this represented either ‘a very high bar or the beginning of a very funny joke’.

And California has announced that it will close 70 national parks. Sad. Home


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