NCC teed off at no invite but when they’re invited they don’t want to come 21.1.2012

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Do they want to come or not? Guess.

From: Save Our Figs
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 13:55 PM
The General Manager,
Newcastle City Council.

Re: Invitation to present and discuss council findings on Laman Street trees at a community meeting.
Dear General Manager
We note that yesterday’s Newcastle Herald story on Monday night’s public meeting on the Laman St figs reported an unnamed spokeswoman for Newcastle Council as saying that “neither the council’s arborists, nor independent external experts engaged by the council, were invited to present their findings to the meeting” organised by a community fig forum committee on 17 January 2011 .
You will be aware that Save Our Figs recently issued a challenge to anyone advocating the removal of the Laman St trees  to a public debate on whether the trees need to be removed on the grounds of risk, and invited anyone who advocated removing the trees to respond. Neither council administration nor any elected councillors took up this offer. This may be why the community committee who organised the fig forum did not specifically invite any council arborist or council’s external consultants to present their findings to this week’s public meeting.
However, we are very pleased to note that the comments reported in the Herald appear to indicate that council would now be prepared to put its case for removing the trees before a public forum, in a situation in which the arguments and evidence from each side of the debate can be properly considered and discussed.
Accordingly, we invite council to nominate an appropriate set of dates, times and venues for this to occur. In consultation with council, Save Our Figs would be prepared to arrange the necessary publicity and other logistics for the event.
We propose that each side have up to three speakers, with a neutral (mutually agreed) moderator, and a strict time limit – perhaps 15 mins each for one main presenter from each side, and a shorter time (perhaps 5 to 10 minutes each) for the other two speakers from each side, followed by a moderated Q&A panel discussion involving questions from the audience. These are suggestions only at this point – we would be happy to discuss any of these arrangements with participants nominated by council.
We are sure you can appreciate the urgency of this invitation, so we would appreciate an expeditious response.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss any aspect of this matter.

Yours sincerely

Secretary
Save Our Figs Inc.

Wed, Jan 18, 2012
Subject: RE: Invitation to present and discuss council findings on Laman Street trees at a community meeting
To: Save Our Figs
Cc: Phil Pearce

Thank you for the invitation to the General Manager to present and discuss Council findings on the Laman Street trees at a community meeting.
This matter has been discussed at length in public forums, working parties and Council meetings.  Council has made a resolution for the removal of the trees and officers are now in the process of implementing that resolution. It is not appropriate for Council staff to be engaged in a public debate on this subject – the appropriate place is in the Council Chamber and this has been done.  Our comments in relation to the information provided to the Forum are now on the public record.
Therefore Council  will not be participating in a public forum on the matter.
Kind regards
Terri Freeman 
Executive Assistant to the General Manager

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