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Mystery of axed trees leaves locals stumped! Homes get new view of the waterfront.

Byline: LIAM MURPHY

POLICE have been called in after dozens of trees were cut down in front of houses on Seacombe promenade.

Local residents say they saw and heard nothing but woke to find the trees - which had blocked views across to Liverpool - had been hacked down overnight.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: I came out one morning and got a shock. It looks different, but it looks better. The trees had always blocked the view.

When I saw the trees were gone I thought, 'wow, we''ve got a view now'.

Another nearby resident said she mistakenly thought the council was responsible.

Adele Mellor,who also lives in one of the houses overlooking the area, said: I think all the people along here had wanted them trimmed. But Iwouldn''t stand up for the people who cut them down because it''s up to the council to do it.

Residents were critical of the maintenance of council-owned green spaces in the area, saying the grass and trees were rarely cut.

Tony Keeley, who walks his dog past the spot each day, said he had been shocked a week ago to see around a dozen trees cut down and contacted Wirral Council immediately.

He said: If they had acted then it might have put the wind up whoever did this and saved the rest of the trees. The council did nothing and I would reckon close to 50 trees have been chopped down. The cost to the public purse now will be considerable.

Cllr Harry Smith, Wirral's cabinet member for streetscene, said the felling of the trees "is an act of criminal damage".

He said: "We will be helping the police with their enquiries in whatever way we can, including the release of CCTV footage that might help to trace the perpetrator."

Cllr Smith said the damage had resulted in a pounds 3,000 bill to taxpayers to remove the stumps and clear the ground of tree trunks and debris.

Local Seacombe Cllr Adrian Jones said: "The council planted these to improve the appearance of our locality so it's most unfortunate that they've just been roughly hacked down."

CAPTION(S):

CUT DOWN: Tony Keeley (inset) is unhappy about trees that have been cut down on Lowry Bank, Seacombe, above
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 7, 2012
Words:380
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