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We're sorry for hacking Canvey Way trees
4:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in News
A CONTRACTOR has apologised after chopping back trees planted in memory of loved ones on Canvey.
Dozens of trees were planted along Canvey Way more than a decade ago as part of a campaign to transform the busy trunk road into an Avenue of Remembrance.
Anger was sparked earlier this month when the trees were cut back along one side of the road as part of what was said to have been “routine maintenance” by Essex County Council.
However, it has emerged the work was carried out by contractor Pinnacle PSG without the permission of local authorities, leaving those who planted the trees even more angry.
Eddie Bishop, of Haven Road, Canvey, who planted a tree in memory of his son, Warren, said: “I’m a bit taken aback because Pinnacle has always seemed to be very good.
“It is naughty to do this without permission. If it was one of us, we’d get in trouble.
“The point is, these trees do not need to be trimmed back and now they look all bare. If you go to the Avenue of Remembrance in Colchester, they are just left to grow.”
The error was revealed in a leaked e-mail to the Echo, in which an Essex County Council officer wrote: “We have been advised by the Head of Environment for Castle Point Council that their contractor, Pinnacle, trimmed back the trees without instruction.
“Pinnacle will be informed it is not to carry out work without instruction in the future.”
Pinnacle has now issued an apology and said it carried out the work in “good faith”.
A spokesman said: “The branches at the bottom of these trees had multiple stems which had protruding limbs. These limbs have sometimes been damaged by the lawn cutting equipment when we were maintaining grass verges.
“In the past, some limbs have had to be removed as a result of disease caused by this accidental damage. While these trees need little maintenance, the pruning undertaken will improve growth.
“We would like to apologise to anyone who was unhappy with the work we have undertaken and it was not our intention to upset them.
“We carried out the work in good faith that it would improve the look of the avenue.”
County councillor Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, said: “I am pleased Pinnacle has apologised because it has upset an awful lot of people.”
Castle Point Council confirmed the work was done without its consent and that it had discussed the matter with Pinnacle to prevent it happening again.
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