Friday, 15 January 2016

Save The Market Square Limes: Residents Speak Out


Next Tuesday, 19th January 2016, Lancaster City Council's Cabinet will vote on whether to cut down all the lime trees in Lancaster's Market Square (see our latest news story on this proposal).

Watch the video to find out produced by Ray Turner to find out what the residents of Lancaster think of this: https://youtu.be/C4IBUJrlJhY.

Lancaster Market Square. Photo: John Freeman

Many are critical of the Council, which appears from responses to concerns about the proposal, in denial that the paving chosen to refurbish the Square itself is a slippage issue.

Although Lancaster's Market Square was paved with the same kind of stone used in other places, such as London's Trafalgar Square, that comparison is perhaps a misdirection given the amount spent on cleaning one of our capital's largest public spaces on a daily basis.

Campaigners will be collecting signatures on Saturday morning in Market Square to try and get this proposal debated by Full Council, not just the Labour Cabinet alone.

Lancaster city centre councillors, outdooor market traders, many local businesses and the Council's Tree Officer have outlined their concerns at the proposal and local MP Cat Smith has also questioned the idea in a letter to the Council's Chief Executive.

Over 1200 people have signed an online petition but physical signatures are needed to prompt a Full Council debate on the proposal, which has not been a matter of  public consultation, even though the lime trees have been part of the Square's make-up for 40 years.

• You can download a copy of the physical petition form and get your friends to sign here then take it along on Saturday. If you can't get there, email Cherry Conovan on c.canovan1ATlancaster.ac.uk and she will organise collection of completed petitions.
You can signan online petition here on change.org - but only the physical petition will count if you want to see the proposal debated by Full Council. Signatures are being gathered on Saturday morning in Market Square. Over 1200 people have signed this petition.

Read our Open Letter to City Cabinet members about the proposal, challenging some of the claims made in the report

Read our report on the petition launch here

• All the documents relating to the proposal can be found here in the agenda for the Cabninet meeting next Tuesday, 19th January, but if you just want to read the proposal it's here and a background documents offering the views of named local councillors (who oppose the idea) and anonymous members of Lancaster BID who support it, that's here


Do You Think Cutting Down Market Square's trees is a Bad Idea?


Lobby your own City councillor

• Write to the City Council's cabinet members and tell them what you think. They're all Labour members (sadly, Labour voted to get rid of the trees when this was originally voted on).


• Eileen Blamire, Labour (Current Chair - can have casting vote if votes tied): eblamire@lancaster.gov.uk
• Janice Hanson, Labour (Vice Chair. Holds the portfolio for this decision, so she'll present & hold sway) jhanson@lancaster.gov.uk
• Abbot Bryning, Labour: abryning@lancaster.gov.uk
• Darren Clifford, Labour: dclifford@lancaster.gov.uk
• Karen Leytham, Labour: kleytham@lancaster.gov.uk
• Richard Newman-Thompson, Labour: Richard.newman-thompson@lancashire.gov.uk
• Margaret Pattison, Labour: mpattison@lancaster.gov.uk
• David Smith, Labour: dasmith@lancaster.gov.uk

• Lobby Lancaster's MP Cat Smith: 01524 566 551 or 01253 490 440 email: cat@catsmith.co.uk | Twitter @CatSmithMP

• Want to get a quick response from Lancaster City Council? Tweet and include the twitter handle: @LancasterCC hashtag #savelancasterlimes

• The Council's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lancastercc; there is already a discussion thread about the proposal on their Facebook page here

There is a Facebook group for the discussion about the trees here

• Complain to the council officer recommending and responsible for their removal direct, Mark Davies, Lancaster City Council's chief officer for the environment. Call him on 01524 582000 – ask for him specifically.

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