DERBYSHIRE: Tree giveaway scheme is slammed

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A council scheme to give away thousands of trees has come under fire.

Derbyshire County Council aims to hand out more than 3,500 saplings and hedgerow plants over the next few months.

The council, which must save £157m over the next five years, said the £1,000 project will help improve the look of the county.

But Jonathan Isaby, political director of national campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Some people may well question whether this scheme is the best way of spending their money at a time when budgets are so tight – and it’s certainly important that the council keeps administrative and running costs to a minimum.”

Cllr Andy Botham, deputy cabinet member for jobs, economy and transport, said: “The trees will be available to a variety of groups and individuals to plant in areas where they will improve the environment and can be appreciated by residents and visitors.

“This scheme is an excellent way of increasing the amount of tree cover in our county to improve our environment and we hope lots of people will take advantage of it.” Groups and individuals who wish to take advantage of the scheme have until December 20 to apply via www.derbyshire.gov.uk/freetrees