After a shaky start and the resignation of the chairman of the tree task forum within one hour back in December, Cllr Mike Howe now very ably, chairs the committee.

Today we looked at enforcement, which I am hoping will be tightened, replacing trees lost to development with several to make up for the loss of an important tree, how the neighbourhood planning process can incorporate tree protection, prosecution and hedgerow protection legislation.

We disagreed about the way to tackle developers felling unprotected trees. I was all for promoting a way forward that calls on government to protect all trees above a certain age or amenity, but this was not supported by officers.

It was agreed (at least by most of us) that trees are of enormous value to communities and to our countryside and EDDC’s policies should be more robust.

I am looking forward to some really useful recommendations. There certainly seems to be a will to pursue this – and much of the credit must go to the task forum chairman, Mike Howe for doing a great job on moving the committee in the right direction.

The date and time of the next meeting will be confirmed in due course.