As we all know, anything that comes “free” from the Council is nothing of the kind, it comes from taxes. So the annual WLBC “free tree scheme” is a gift from us all. A fruit tree will cost circa £10 but buying in bulk, say 400, will probably save 20%? And the WLBC scheme is now at the heart of a political spat.
The OWLs wrote about “Mighty oaks, from little acorns grow…or apples in this case”. Both main parties have so far failed to commit to the West Lancs “free tree” scheme that gave out over 400 trees in the Borough last year. OWL allowed for the scheme in our proposals. Pictured below is one apple tree, planted in the 80s, that has provided apple pie for five generations of one family . The long term benefits of trees are well established…let your councillor know how you feel”.
Enter Ian Moran, Labour and Council Leader…Ian Moran to Adrian Owens….”the free tree scheme is in our (the Labour) budget that was agreed last month, you (the owl’s) never presented a budget along with your former colleagues the conservatives. So the only party that is committed is mine….your getting worst than trump with all this fake news sir”.
The reply from Adrian Owens “Ian, the scheme is only funded for this year though and we have a three year capital programme. You had the option of securing it for 2019/20 and 2020/21 but didn’t take it. We had a fully costed budget including continuing the funding the Free Tree scheme as it has been for the past ten years. As our budget included reducing the cost of councillors which had been rejected earlier in the evening we chose not to present it. We do occasionally have some good ideas, e.g. Wheatsheaf Walks. We want the council to succeed, so we’d be delighted if you continued the Free Tree scheme beyond this year and took up our idea of turning empty student houses into family council homes”.