Southend Council has a mind of its own where anything it wants to do conflicts with the things the electorate want. The trees in Priory Crescent are a case in point.

A verbal agreement made by councillors should be as sacrosanct as a written one.

Why do the trees need to be chopped down when councillor Anna Waite has stated the scheme to dual the road had been dropped? It was only Cuckoo Corner which was to have a change of layout.

Whenever the council decides trees should be got rid of, it promises to replace them with young trees, but these are seldom planted near the original ones.

Young trees are much more vulnerable to attack by hoodlums and, even if left alone, take many years to grow to the size of the ones removed. We need trees in our environment.

When are our councillors going to do something which will enhance this town, instead of desecrating it all the time?

What chance will we ever have of Southend becoming a city of culture?

Not much.

Rita Wood
Southbourne Grove

...Southend Council does not represent the views of everyone and a significant number of people do not want the road expansion on Priory Crescent, either because they feel it is important to preserve our natural heritage or they can see the pointlessness of the road being widened.

Councillor Anna Waite seems to have a vision of concrete and roads for our town. She would be better focusing on public transport and developing the High Street and other shopping areas, which are sadly neglected.

Good luck to the protesters.

They are the voice of many of us in this town and they have my support.

Susan Buckingham
Maple Square

...Does councillor Waite know that a proposed study into the use of larger trees, such as oak and London plane, in neighbourhood streets hopes to encourage landscapers to use them more widely when planning new developments?

The year-long project, by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association, will look at how to include large, mature trees in early design processes, and will evaluate the cost benefits they can bring to city environments.

Previous studies by the Trees and Design Action Group have shown large, long-lived trees are better than commonly used small trees such as cherries or rowans, because they provide more shade and have a wider impact on air quality.

They also increase property prices and have even been shown to affect the amount of money customers are willing to spend in shops.

Carole Shorney
Folly Lane

...I am hoping to set the record straight regarding the inaccurate claims that Southend Council is pursuing a policy of destroying trees.

The public is being led to believe the council is razing the town, because the media is giving prominence to the protesters.

Twenty-two trees were cut down at Victoria Square. The roundabout is being removed and replaced with a junction controlled by traffic lights.

The new square will make travel easier and improve the appearance of the town, bringing in more visitors, business and jobs.

Protesters are now gathered at Cuckoo Corner.

Sixteen trees will be lost here in a project to benefit motorists, cyclists and pedestrians by cutting congestion.

Less queueing traffic means less pollution.

But what nobody is talking about is that more than 1,000 new trees have been planted in Southend over the past year, with almost 200 scheduled to be planted in the coming months.

The Conservatives introduced a strict policy that for every tree that had to be removed, two would be planted. At Victoria Square those 22 trees will be replaced by 44.

At Cuckoo Corner, nine new trees have already been planted and are growing well. A minimum of 32 more will go into the Cuckoo Corner/Priory Crescent landscaping.

That’s 41 trees for 16 removed.

Ahmad Khwaja
Prospective Conservative Candidate
Victoria Ward