THE decimation of a beauty spot led to tough questioning at Brackley Town Council this week.
On Monday this week, Elaine Dixon, chairman of the Tudor Rose Garden Club spoke passionately during a public session of a council meeting after hedges dividing the rose garden from the Tudor Way Park were razed to the ground due to safety concerns.
The garden is owned by Brackley Town Council, but managed by volunteer members of the club.
Mrs Dixon showed councillors photos of the garden before and after the work. She said stumps which remain could be a hazard and added: “I think we have a far worse situation. Who gave permission for the work? And had the area been surveyed by a qualified tree surgeon or expert and did that person recommend the removal of the hedge?”
She called for post and rail fencing to be put in place to protect the remains of the hedgerow and assurances this would not happen again.
Cllr Blake Stimpson agreed decimation was the right way to describe the situation and also expressed safety concerns as a result of the work.
Cllr Chris Cartmell who carried out the risk assessment said little maintenance had been carried out on the hedge prior to BTC taking over the responsibility.
He said a risk assessment was carried out after the park was surveyed ahead of the Diamond Jubilee Gruffalo Picnic. He said: “For member information I do have full accreditation for carrying out risk assessments. It was part of my work before I retired, I went on various courses from ten years ago.”
Mr Cartmell said the survey uncovered a ‘considerable number’ of dead branches and dying trees and added: “If you identify a problem you have to deal with it, you can’t put it off, you have to apply a control measure.”
Members voted to install a post and rail fence to protect the remains of the hedge and replant the hedge in consultation with an expert and Mrs Dixon.