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Better Neighbourhoods update: Police officer honoured as new tree planting programme begins

The Mayor of Lambeth has helped residents in Clapham plant a new tree on their estate dedicated to a brave police officer who was killed while on duty 17 years ago.

The tree – the first of more than 250 new trees to be introduced this spring by Lambeth Council – was planted on the Westbury Estate in memory of PC Patrick Dunne, who died while attending the scene of a shooting in Cato Road, Clapham, in 1993.

The tree planting formed the centrepiece of ceremony celebrating the end of a programme of major environmental improvements to the Westbury Estate.

The work is part of Lambeth Council’s Better Neighbourhoods programme – a £3.5 million project to improve the environment and make Lambeth greener, safer and more attractive. The scheme is seeing the council resurface dozens of pavements and roads, replace tired and outdated street signs and street furniture, improve play areas and estate recycling facilities and introduce new bins.

The project is now entering the tree planting phase. Funding has been allocated for around 250 extra new trees, bringing colour to dozens of roads across the borough.

Work on the Westbury Estate has included:

  • Complete renovation of footpaths in and around the estate
  • Improvements to roads and drainage on the estate.
  • Improved accessibility for buggies and wheelchair users
  • The creation of a planting bed at the centre of the estate

Councillor Sally Prentice, Cabinet member for Environment, said: “Our Better Neighbourhoods project is seeing millions of pounds extra spent improving Lambeth’s environment this year, investment that is making a very real difference and making our borough cleaner, safer and more attractive.

“We’ve had some very positive feedback from residents on the Westbury Estate who have told us they are pleased with the work, and it’s appropriate that the first new tree planted should be in memory of PC Patrick Dunne, who bravely gave his life in the line of duty serving local people in Clapham.

“Trees are so important in helping to improve the look and feel of our community, so it’s great news that over the next few months 250 new trees are being planted as part of the Better Neighbourhoods scheme.”

A 36-year-old man was eventually jailed in 2006 for PC Dunne’s murder, as well the murder of another man, 31-year-old William Danso.

Better Neighbourhoods will last until March 2010. The extra funding has become available thanks to a financial review following the so called ‘Adjustment A’ ruling.

Five neighbourhoods have been identified for special attention. They are:

  • Heath and Westbury Estates and surrounding roads, including Portslate Road St Rule Street, and improving the approaches to Heathbrook School and Wandsworth Road Station
  • Brixton Hill – including Blenheim Gardens Estate
  • Kennington – including Ethelred Estate
  • South Lambeth – including South Lambeth and Caldwell Gardens Estate
  • Clapham South – Poynders Estate
  • Streatham Vale – roads include Pathfield and Glenister Park Road, Eardley, Aberfoyle, Estreham, Ellison and Barrow Road

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