Cut roadside overhanging trees yourself, says council.
Byline: TOM DAVIS Local Democracy Reporter
PEOPLE concerned about roadside trees overhanging into their properties have been told to cut them back themselves - as the authority can't afford to.
A petition of 12 signatures asked the council to cut back a row of trees on London Road between Tonbridge Road and Abbey Road, Whitley, as they 'encroach' onto their properties.
Petition organiser Raymond Barker said: "I have lived at the property for 35 years, but over the last three years there has been a problem.
"The trees now are so big they hang over my garden."
He claimed the trees have caused damage to his wall, but Graham Hood, head of Streetpride & Greenspace, said the onus was on the complainant to prove the trees were the cause.
Mr Barker was told at a city services cabinet meeting on Monday, February 25, that the council has no legal obligation to cut them back, nor the funds to carry out the works.
Mr Hood said: "The problem is we get hundreds and hundreds of requests to trim branches - we do not have a legal obligation to do it.
"Funding reductions have reduced our ability to increase maintenance standards.
"We are not unsympathetic to the residents we just do not have the resources to do it."
Chairman Cllr Patricia Hetherton advised Mr Barker to ask neighbours to help him cut the trees. She added: "As we know the resources of the council are so limited these days and, with the need to do the work elsewhere, we just cannot do it."