Town trees row set to reach Commons

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AN MP is taking a petition signed by 1,000 people to Parliament 
after a council removed five birch trees from Thirsk Market Place.

Anne McIntosh MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey will present the petition on Monday which calls on the Government to encourage Hambleton District Council to replace the five trees that were removed and to account for its actions.

However, last night Coun Peter Wilkinson, the deputy leader of the council, said the trees had been removed because of health and safety concerns and said he was disappointed the MP had 
not held discussions locally before taking up “valuable Parliamentary time on this very local matter”.

Miss McIntosh said: “I have been contacted by many constituents who have been angry and disappointed that the trees were removed so suddenly from the Market Place and without any consultation.

“I hope this petition will go some way in encouraging Hambleton District Council to think again and take note of the concerns of Thirsk residents.

“Feelings locally are running very high, which is demonstrated by the fact that 1,000 residents have signed the petition.”

Coun Wilkinson said safety fears included concerns tree roots were lifting flags and could cause a trip hazard.

“Consultation was not undertaken as the trees are on our land and our legal responsibility and were not covered by a Tree Preservation Order,” he added.