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Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:53:12 +0100
Subject: -ALLSORTS-mixed news Friday August 23rd

Article by: parklife
Thursday 22 Aug 2002
Summary:parklife protest

Peaceful tree protest - Southend (Essex)

Eco-protesters took to the trees in a Swampy-style protest at plans for a £3.5million road widening scheme in Southend. Two agile climbers scrambled up lofty trees to show opposition to council plans for a dual-carriageway in Priory Crescent. Shaun Qureshi, 30, and 19-year-old Paul Mansfield braved a frosty morning at the start of their eight-hour vigil. They and other campaigners for the group, Parklife, fear the road widening scheme will destroy more than 100 mature trees and a large shrubbery area.

Mr Qureshi said: "We wanted to make a surprise protest in the trees to again bring the issue home to Southend people and others coming into the town. The police were interested in our demo and were content to let us carry on because it was peaceful."

He and the group were determined to make a show because the Southend Council is likely to give the controversial new road scheme the go-ahead at a cabinet meeting tomorrow. Parklife claims 25,000 residents have already backed its protest in the form of petitions and letters to newspapers.

Roger Weaver, Southend's executive councillor for transport, said: "Southend Council respects all protests as long as they are conducted in a legal and proper manner and the protesters don't put themselves or anyone else at risk.

"We have tried to work with the protesters' concerns and we are now not looking to take any of the park's land. However the protesters seem to have changed their aims and are now saying they do not want any trees to be cut down."

more info from the Priory Park Preservation Society -

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