I’ve been reading Labour MP Chris Mullin’s excellent diaries A View from the Foothills. The entry for Monday December 6 1999 reads:
"Brixton Road. The pear tree in our London garden has gone. It disappeared one day last week. It was 150 years old and 80 feet high and all that is left is a sawn off stump about six inches above he ground. True, it was dead and would have had to be removed anyway, but I had intended to cut it at a height of six feet and grow a clematis up the stump. I rang the neighbours. Jeremy knew nothing but Katrina from the top flat said hat men from Lambeth Council called last Monday and said they were going to cut it down. She did not object assuming that Jeremy or I had made the arrangement.Why should Lambeth Council cut down our tree? I can only think that they believe they own our house. They don’t, of course. Theirs is the one next door. Several years back they put up scaffolding and decorated our house. twice I told the decorators that they had the wrong house but they wouldn’t listen."