Jarrow pavement row puts 20-year tree battle victory in the shade

Kathleen Cann outside her home
Kathleen Cann outside her home

A Jarrow pensioner who campaigned for the removal of a towering tree from outside her home is fighting to get to the root of a new problem.

Kathleen Cann, 71, was overjoyed to win her near 20-year battle to have a Rowan species cut down from Maple Street in 2016.

It blocked sunlight from reaching the terraced property she moved into in 1997 and caused other problems.

But she now says that success has been put in the shade by the issue of people parking where the tree once stood.

The widow claims vans and cars are stopping right outside her front door on a short section which is now pavemented.

She is not concerned by that – but wants the paving removed and the space turned into a proper marked parking area.

Her plea has so been refused by South Tyneside Council, which has written to her to say it has no plans – nor the money – to act.

However, roads bosses say they will are willing to take a closer look at her inquiry.

Mrs Cann said: “I fought for almost 20 years to get the tree removed but it feels like the battle is still going on.

“Two neighbouring streets, Holly and Elm, have just had trees removed and this very same kind of work done.

“It seems reasonable to me to ask the council to do the same to the area outside my front door.

“I don’t want to stop vehicles parking outside, it just want it to be in a proper parking area and not the pavement that it currently is.

“It’s really a case of wanting the street to be tidied up and made to look nice.”

Her original tree battle featured in national newspapers and she was even invited to appear on The Jeremy Kyle Show on television to discuss the issue.

A South Tyneside Council spokesman said: “Due to cutbacks from central government, resources are extremely stretched and need to be directed towards priority areas.

“However, an officer will visit the area over the coming week to consider the proposal in more detail.”