Breaking news 24.6.2011


There has been a resignation from the Laman Street Working Party: the landscape architectural consultant, Mr Walbank.

He said he did this ‘with regret’ after struggling with the terms of reference which he has decided are in his opinion not achievable.

He believed that the advice from Council has been ‘concise and factual’ and that saying that there is a ‘can’t do culture‘ among Council staff is unfair (my adjective).

He said, ‘I do not believe there have been any valid risk mitigation measures presented by the group to date. [Of course, these ‘risks’ are unbelievably questionable – CR.] In fact, it is my opinion that the strategies that have been discussed are of dubious urban design merit and may have the potential to create even greater risk of failure.’

It’s regrettable that we didn’t hear any design suggestions from Mr Walbank in his time on the committee. I commend him for showing support for what he sees as hard-working and honourable Council staff. Unfortunately his exhortations don’t help the cause either of removing the trees or preserving them. I don’t recall that he offered anything to the debate at all, other than compliments that are totally irrelevant to the work at hand. I wonder what other landscape designers applied for a position and missed out. What a waste.

He said ‘this debate is more a political argument with polar views in which I have little desire to participate’.

Political? Polar? You think?

It seems one of his concerns that Council staff had no right of reply. If only.

So watch this space.

The photos on this page are of risks in the Civic precinct in Newcastle, pointed out to me by a friend. The hole in the sandstone in the second photo is just above the front entrance of University House – which highly-paid University management have apparently failed to maintain. And the first photograph is our lovely – but dangerous – Town Hall. I took these photos this week. Obviously significantly greater risks than Laman Street figs.

And  a question to leave you with – I can understand being passionate about saving a tree. I just find it hard to imagine how you can be passionately in support of felling trees. If anyone can explain that to me, I’d be grateful. Home

Camphor laurels ringbarked and poisoned for Newcastle City Council because of a single successful insurance claim.


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One Response to “Breaking news 24.6.2011”

  1. ArchitectGJA (Ed) Says:

    Will there be a replacement for Mr. Walbank? If so, I hope not someone hand picked with a preformed tree removal bias…

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