A number of residents and local businesses have contacted Torbay's MP Kevin Foster in the last 24 hours, voicing concern at the culling of between 30-40 palm trees in the Italian Gardens looking out over Torre Abbey Sands.
As soon as Kevin became aware of the problem, he raised residents concerns with Torbay Council, and sought a briefing on the background to this work.
The decision to cull the palm trees was approved by the then leader of the Lib Dem /Independent coalition back in 2021. In May 2023 the Conservatives won a majority at the local elections on Torbay Council, and at this point Council Officers should have briefed the new Conservative administration on legacy plans such as this one, to seek their consent to proceed. This did not happen in the case of culling the palm trees, and the work went ahead without the new administration being aware of it.
Commenting on this decision, Kevin Foster MP said-
“The sight of the palm trees being cut down came as a shock. The Council team involved should not simply have followed a decision made by the previous Lib Dem Council leadership, but instead should have sought to confirm whether these were still the views both of residents, and the new Council administration”.