Tree-mendous result for Doncaster’s Mayoral elections

Over the past few weeks, we have been helping our local supporters to speak up for woods and trees in the Doncaster Mayoral election. Of course, as a charity we have not been supporting any particular candidate but through our website supporters have been contacting the candidates and putting questions to them about their tree-related plans, like protection for ancient woodland in Doncaster and the need to create more woods. 

As a result of the campaign, 119 emails were sent to the seven candidates who provided email addresses and – despite no candidates mentioning trees or woodland in their manifesto – we have seen really positive responses about trees and woods from three of the candidates, including the eventual winner, Ros Jones from the Labour party. Ros indicated that she would be willing to meet after the elections and in her email to us she said:

” I appreciate the benefits or having quality woodlands on the doorstep and would always seek to protect and improve them wherever possible.” 

We have also been promoting the benefits of woodland to Doncaster people through social networking. My @treesnick Twitter account has attracted over 250 followers and through “retweeting” some of our messages have potentially reached over 40,000 people in the Doncaster area! 

Mansion House, Doncaster

Mansion House, Doncaster

Only a few towns and cities in the UK currently have directly elected Mayors.  There is debate over the merits of the Mayoral system but one of the advantages (and the reason why we focused attention on Doncaster’s election) is that one individual elected by the people of the town is responsible for delivery for the full range of council services and this person has an opportunity to make positive changes for the benefit of the local community. 

I look forward to sitting down and chatting with Ros in the coming weeks to discuss how we can help her achieve her aspiration for Doncaster to have quality woodlands close to people to deliver all the benefits that trees and woods are able to provide.

Nick Sandford, Regional and Local Government Officer (North East and North West England)

About Kaye Brennan

Senior Campaigner (Policy & Advocacy) for the Woodland Trust and Administrator, 'Woodland Matters' blog
This entry was posted in Campaigning, Climate Change, Government Affairs, Local Government, Protection, Woodland creation and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Tree-mendous result for Doncaster’s Mayoral elections

  1. Edith Crowther says:

    I don’t trust any of the political parties to put the environment before Growth, Development, Infrastructure, and Money. Least of all the Green Party which wants to shower everyone with taxpayers’ money as if money grew on trees (shows what they think trees are for).

    Anyone who says you can have Trees and Money is a basket case. They are in total conflict now that we have reached the Limits to Growth. There are no more compromises available, any compromise just means curtains for Nature.

    If the Mayor of Doncaster was to say she will focus 100 per cent on reducing human activity by at least 50 percent and human population by at least 10 per cent, she might be worth a vote or two. But she isn’t going to say that, ever – or even think it. The turn-out for the Doncaster Mayor election was 28 per cent. Because everyone knows Democracy is never going to deliver anything but more concrete.

    • Nick Sandford says:

      Thanks for your comment, Edith.

      We fully accept that local authorities are faced with very difficult choices. Many are seeing their budgets cut by 30% or more over a four year period.

      However, trees and woods can deliver a wide range of social and economic benefits for local authorities and their communities. Sale of wood for fuel or as a construction material is one benefit; increased tourism through visits to attractive local woods is another.

      It would also be worth having a look at our Trees or Turf report http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treessavemoney. This shows how creating woodland selectively on areas which are currently intensively mown grass, can result in significant cost savings for councils.

      nick

  2. Peter Kyte says:

    I think lobbying like this is a great idea, after all, politicians are used to being lobbied by many different focus groups.

    • Nick Sandford says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback, Peter. We now have a firm offer of a date for a meeting with the new mayor in Doncaster and we look forward to discussing these issues with her. nick

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