Troublesome tree won't be felled

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A roadside tree in 17th Ave is to get a haircut to try to reduce complaints to the Tauranga City Council.

Gary and Kaye Henderson, who live next to the 90-year-old elm, called for its removal because of problems from shading, debris and falling branches.

A petition signed by 15 nearby resident supported the Hendersons' campaign. Mr Henderson told a council meeting yesterday that the tree caused them considerable stress because of its size and impact on their property.

But the council voted to save the tree because it was in good health and was part of a large number of mature trees that gave the avenue a special character.

Council arborist Richard Conning said the elm could easily last another 100 to 150 years and his recommended pruning regime would have an effect, particularly in winter when the sun was most important. The decision was the last tree issue to be dealt with by the full council. Future complaints about trees will be handled by a subcommittee.

Recruit, retain and reward are the focus of a new Tauranga City Council policy to recognise the importance of work carried out by hundreds of community volunteers.

The five-page policy, adopted by the council yesterday, was to ensure the continuation of the voluntary effort which saved ratepayers $520,000 a year based on 26,000 volunteer hours.

Volunteers were involved in diverse activities, including Friends groups, maintaining parks and reserves and serving on travel safe programmes, forums and community trusts.

The message of the policy was that volunteers could not do it alone and success meant offering them meaningful work, giving them clear direction and training, reimbursing out-of-pocket expenses, recognising them as valuable team members and acknowledging their contributions. Volunteers would not be used in a role that had typically been a paid position.

Heritage issues will not be lumped into the Western Bay of Plenty Arts and Culture Strategy.

The attempt to include heritage into the scope of the Smart Arts strategy was defeated nine votes to four at a Tauranga City Council meeting yesterday.

Mayor Stuart Crosby said heritage was a different theme and bolting something on to the end of the strategy was not appropriate.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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