I FEEL I must reply to T Abery “Tree felling is completely unnecessary” (Barry & District News, May 15).

I too share her passion for trees and their positive effect on our local biodiversity (having just organised the planting of nearly 700 trees at the entrance to Barry), but I also remember the devastating effect the floods of July 2007 had on over one hundred Barry families and four local schools(my own home was also flooded).

I remember visiting their shattered homes destroyed by the flood water flowing down the Coldbrook catchment. I also remember the appalling distress and worry these Barry residents had to go through with many not able to return to their homes for over a year. I know that they currently live in fear every time there is a down pour and extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common.

This Council and the Welsh Government are committed to providing the best protection for these families in future years. Some of the best hydro engineers have been working on engineering works which will help prevent a repeat of those devastating floods.

I am committed to protecting our natural environment but I also realise that on occasions priority must be given to protecting people and their homes. But I can also assure Mrs Abery that there is a replacement tree planting scheme planned for that area.

Finally, I believe that most people will understand that to better protect local people and homes from the effects of more extreme weather some trees had to be removed to make way for essential flood protection works.

Cllr Rob Curtis

Cabinet Member for the Environment and Visible Services