The Mayor’s scheme to plant street trees has helped maintain numbers but spending cuts could lead to fewer trees being planted according to a new report from the London Assembly.
Supporting the planting of more trees on the capital’s streets was a manifesto commitment by Boris Johnson and this week’s report finds he’s “on course” to deliver the promised 100,000 trees.
The scheme, paid for by axing City Hall’s The Londoner newspaper, comes to an end next year when it’ll be replaced by a new scheme providing grants to community groups.
Assembly Members say they have “real concerns” that these changes, combined with spending cuts by local boroughs, could lead to reduced planting and “more severe” pruning.
Darren Johnson, Chair of the Assembly’s Environment Committee, said his committee “would like the Mayor to take action to address these uncertainties in order to help preserve London’s wonderful trees and the environmental and aesthetic benefits they give the capital.”
The committee has also expressed concern at the failure of local councils to publish “robust data” about the number of street trees in their boroughs.
Johnson added: “It is not acceptable that some boroughs are still reluctant to publish tree data.”
AMs are calling on the Mayor to encourage boroughs to be more open and supply data to a publicly available central database.
The report, Branching Out, can be downloaded from london.gov.uk