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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 285154, tabled on 2 September 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to require each local authority to employ suitably qualified public-realm tree officers to ensure that (a) statistics are collated on the number and condition of trees and (b) existing trees are adequately maintained in each local authority area.

Answered on

9 September 2019

A public consultation on policies to improve the management of our trees and woodlands by Local Authorities was opened in December 2018. The consultation ended in February 2019. This document set out Government’s view on the importance of trees, especially in an urban environment, and the need for more policies to enhance the status and protection of urban trees.

The Government committed in the 25 Year Environment Plan to introduce a duty on Local Authorities to consult the public on felling street trees. This will increase the transparency of decision-making and give the public a say in the management of these important natural assets. It will encourage local authorities to consider concerns raised and have regard to these when making decisions. This duty will be introduced in the forthcoming Environment Bill.