A COUNCIL planning to plant more trees to tackle climate change is struggling to fill the job vacancy.

Gloucester City Council is aiming to achieve net zero emissions across the district by 2045, a target which was brought forward from 2050.

Currently, the role is being partially covered by existing staff.

Council leader Richard Cook (C, Kingsway) said they are reviewing the job description and pay grade given the lack of interest.

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He said: “The job description and pay grade evaluation are being reviewed. A number of short-term options are being explored whilst the job description is being reviewed including the use of external contractors or agency staff as well as getting support from partners and other local authorities.”

The role would include checking on the health of trees, whether they need pruning or are overhanging and responding to resident’s concerns over trees in the city.

Councillor Sebastian Field (LD, Podsmead), who recently asked quizzed council leaders about the issue, said filling the position is incredibly important.

He said trees provided habitats for wildlife, contribute to cleaner air and provide canopy cover which is ideal on hot or rainy days.

He said: “We need to fill this post quickly. Council leaders said they are looking at the salary and the perks. So I think they need to look at what they pay and how competitive we are with other districts.

“The issue for us is that the tree team is very busy and has been overwhelmed by tree work and we feel the budget is not big enough to deal with all the tree works in the city.

“It’s all well and good to plant trees. We desperately need more trees and it’s part of the climate action plan but we also have to maintain the ones we have.”

A city council spokesperson said the salary and terms and conditions of the role are competitive but the current job market is making recruitment more challenging than usual.

They added: “We will advertise the tree officer role again as soon as we look to bring a new member of the team on board.

“The council is working hard to minimise the impact on the service during the recruitment process, with the role partially covered by existing staff.”