West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has criticised Riverside Housing for the "unacceptably long delay” in safely removing part of a tree in Alderley, Skelmersdale that had fallen and was suspended above a road threatening to collapse onto it.
In December, Rosie was contacted by concerned residents about the tree posing a serious risk to pedestrians and vehicles, and the MP she says she "immediately" raised the matter with West Lancashire Borough Council to establish who was responsible for the land the tree is on.
The Council found that Riverside Housing owned the land and contacted them to ensure the fallen part of the tree, that was suspended precariously above the road, was safely removed.
Rosie was told by the Council that between December 5 2021 and January 10 2022, four calls were made to Riverside about the urgent danger that the fallen tree posed to pedestrians or motorists, however the tree was not removed until January 26.
Rosie Cooper MP commented: “It is disgraceful that Riverside Housing took almost 2 months to remove this tree. There was a very real danger posed to my constituents, that Riverside were made aware of, yet did nothing for 50 days!
“As the landowner, Riverside had a responsibility to remove this tree safely and quickly. Waiting this long to do so, despite the repeated requests from residents, the council and the MP, is unacceptable.
“Riverside need to deal with problems with much more urgency. This isn’t an isolated incident either! On other issues I have been waiting since September for answers! It is simply not good enough for Riverside to wait months to react to serious concerns.”
A Riverside spokesperson, said: “We can confirm work has been carried out to remove a damaged tree from a Riverside property in Alderley in Skelmersdale. There was a delay in this work being carried out as we needed to gain permission from the local authority in order to use appropriate road signage, which would allow us to safely remove the branches.
“We would like to assure our customers and the local community that we take such incidents very seriously and will always work as quickly as possible to resolve them. We contacted residents in the area to keep them updated about the work being carried out and responded to the MP’s office when they raised this issue. Our team will be in contact with the MP as a matter of urgency about the other concerns raised.”