I found this list whilst searching for information on Phytophera in our
horsechestnuts. I am not a professional tree person, but a retired
individual representing a local group Of residents/commoners. Our group
was actually set up by the then local authority who wanted to delegate some
of their management responsibilities for this piece of common land.
I have found the group most interesting, especially as an outsider looking
in. More comments below.
Date: 17/12/2002 11:25:06 GMT Standard Time
I am signing off, at least for now, as I am leaving my current post with
Stroud to join Derek Patch and the team at the Tree Advice Trust in the new
Best wishes for the new job.
I wonder how representative of the wider profession the discussions are. I
know of many arboriculturists who are not particularly IT confident and
rarely use email or the Internet.
Maybe, but once they have tried it then I am sure they will be converts. we
were probably all in the position once. Also, there are many 'oldies' like
me who find it invaluable in so many ways.
I noted one or two who seemed to have a more personal
agenda and seemed more inclined to lecture and less inclined to listen.
don't seem to use the site anymore.
There always are, but one soon gets their measure. Then, people just stop
listening, and they soon go elsewhere.
My biggest problem has been getting a chance to read all the postings
One of the advantages of retirement!!
One thing that I feel we tend to forget on the Local Government side is that
it is the public who should be deciding what trees to protect and what
pruning works or development may be appropriate. We, as a profession, are
their guides and advisers but ultimately it is they who make the decisions
and we should remember the protection systems that we administer are in
place as a result of public pressure.
As a consumer of local government services, and, in the final analysis, your
employer I would say that there is a great tendency to forget that. Although
it is the norm for the public to disregard the consultation stage but to
comment (usually critically) after the event, there are individuals/groups
who do participate. Frankly they tend to be tolerated rather than
In our case, we know that we are a sectional interest, but that does not make
our view any less relevant, even if they are related to the situation that we
see immediately around us. If we are asked for commonest and make them, that
is often the last we hear. I think we are intelligent enough to understand
the wider issues. But if nobody explains the final decision then all you get
By the same token, elected councillors are hardly representative. When was
the last time one asked for the views of their electorate (not easy I admit).
I think that many regard public consultation as undermining their position.
Many LA officers do not understand consultation, or pay lip service to it.
Also, communication with the public or known interest groups tends to be poor
or non-existent. How difficult can it be in this electronic age? The
'brownie points' are incalculable. Officers should spend more time selling
their ideas and listening to comments. They may hear something they had not
I mention this because, on several occasions questions have been raised
about the appropriateness of ombudsman's reports and court judgements.
Recently the six weeks notice period for tree works in Conservation Areas
was discussed and several posts suggested that the often quoted ombudsman's
decision in this respect was flawed.
As consultants we should note decisions made by the courts and rather than
questioning them we should listen and consider how we can better achieve
professional aims in the future.
To ignore or question ombudsman reports or court rulings is frankly arrogance
of the highest order. Time (at taxpayers expense!) would then be better
spent working with the judgements and not working out how to get round them.
It should be remembered that ombudsman deliberations in particular arise
through maladministration not illegal acts. Perhaps the work wasn't put in
first. The general public do not appreciate the fine 'legal' points
involved, but they do know what the general meaning and intention is.
The site is (presumably) open to anyone and as such is a window into the
It must be, because they let me in!!
suspect many new and longer standing subscribers may feel uneasy or even
threatened about posting questions or opinions because of the possibility
being lectured by the more vocal and opinionated subscribers.
Maybe, but their views/opinions are to be respected simply because they
subject them to public scrutiny. For that alone they are to be
encourages/respected. Also, because someone is vocal, etc doesn't mean that
their opinions are not correct.
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