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Council Continues to Respond to Tree Damage

Repair and recovery work continues across South Tyneside as the Council continues to deal with storm damage to trees at around 400 locations.

The Council's Tree Team has been working flat out responding to calls relating to trees at over 380 sites, including Council owned trees and at private households.

Work has been prioritised to clear fallen and damaged trees from roads and footpaths and where there is a risk to life and property.

However, assessments of the Borough's, parks, cemeteries and green spaces have also generated a substantial amount of additional work, with officers dealing with fallen trees, split trees and branches.

Teams have so far completed on-site assessments for more than 200 sites in the high priority category, with more than 130 having been removed or made safe.

It is anticipated that the wider clean-up operation will last several weeks and follows the rare Red 'danger of life' weather warning relating to Storm Arwen last Friday evening.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: "Our dedicated teams have been working flat out in incredibly challenging conditions to remove trees from roads and footpaths to help restore access across the Borough as well as make areas safe where trees pose a risk to people and property. These cases must take precedence, with routine 'business as usual' enquiries taking a lower priority at this time.

"While we routinely inspect trees as part of our Borough-wide tree maintenance programme, this was an unprecedented major weather event. In around 80 per cent of the trees that were damaged there were no underlying factors or existing problems.

"Our teams on the ground continue to work through the remaining high priority issues. Clean up teams are also out carrying out minor and small branch removal works as well as clearing debris. As part of the clean-up operation, we will also be working with our amazing Friends groups and volunteers, when it is safe to do so.

"We thank members of the public for their patience as we continue to deal with the aftermath of Storm Arwen."

The Council recycles around 98 per cent of its green waste, either by placing it back into the shrub beds and woodlands as woodchip where it decomposes adding nutrients back into the soil, or it is sold on to produce electricity in a wood fired power station.

Residents are encouraged to report fallen or damaged trees to the Council's Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000. Incidents can also be reported online at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit

Visit the Council's website at www.southtyneside.gov.uk/stormarwen for further updates about disruption to services.

 

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