There is a lot of talk these days about community empowerment and I have to say that when you go beyd the rhetoric it is sometimes difficult to find any substance.
I have been doing a fair bit of work around the Community Empowerment Bill making its way through the Parliament and I will be highlighting this elsewhere on my site but I want to highlight the case of trees blocking out the light in peoples houses as an example of where officialdom needs to be pulled back.
I have been surprised by the number of constituents that have contacted me with this issue. I was pleased that the council did take on board many of the complaints that I took to them last year from the street surgeries I carried out in Rosyth where the issue of over sized trees and the impacts of such on householders came up time and time again on the doorsteps. I am still in dialogue with the council on some but many were cut back and some cut down all together.
The latest tree dialogue I am having is about trees in Gagarin Way in Lumphinnans where yet again I come across a situation where the wrong type/variety of tree has been planted close to houses and may have seemed like a good idea when they were not much more than a thin young tree being planted but have now grown and when all the leaves are on them they block the light from going into the peoples houses. So, in the summer when we have great sunlight these residents don’t and then the leaves fall off and leave the pavements often in a treacherous condition.
The residents are then told when they raise the issue that the trees are perfectly healthy and therefore will not be removed! The things is I wonder if these highly paid council officials would be relaxed enough if we go to where they live and plant totally inappropriate varieties of trees in front of their houses that in a few years will block the light of their living space.
I am now making the strongest representations to the council and senior council management on this issue as well as councillors and I do hope common sense will prevail.