A TREE planted in Pontypool town centre to make the area a more pleasant and attractive place to live, work and visit has had to be replanted after vandals pulled it out a pot.

Lisa Jones, who runs Osbourne Lodge Nursery in Osborne Road, found the tree leaning against Greggs across the road on Sunday night and posted it on Facebook.

Ms Jones said: “I could’ve cried when I saw it, it was so upsetting.

“It’s taken a while to get the trees together and it’s horrible that people tried to spoil it.

“The children come down and do litter picking and they enjoy looking after the plants.

South Wales Argus:

“We want the children to be passionate about the town centre and be brought up knowing that they must look after their community.

“I didn’t want the children to see the vandalised tree and get upset.

“It feels like a personal attack.”

Ms Jones believes that a few people must have vandalised the tree because of its weight.

South Wales Argus:

Rosemary Matthews, one of the people who runs the Friends of Pontypool Town Facebook page, said: “These trees are a step forward in getting the town right.

“Once the town looks nice, we’ll start getting new traders and people will have more respect.

“It’s a vicious circle that people won’t come without shops and shops won’t come without people.”

Thankfully, Ms Jones' post was seen by Cllr Gaynor James saw the post and contacted Torfaen County Borough Council's street scene team, who came down at 7am the next morning to re-pot the tree.

Cllr James said: “There are over 60 independent traders here and it’s the big boys that make the town look empty because they sell their stuff online and leave big empty shops.

“We get a lot of negativity by some people saying the trees are a waste of money but they’re not looking at the bigger issue of what it can mean.

“You must think about the future generation.

“They won’t beat us.

“I had a plaque and a tree done for the NHS workers during Covid but seven months later it was destroyed.

“I contacted Ben Jefferies at the Rugby Club and he’s put the new tree behind a fence, so it is protected.

“I thought 'you're not going to beat me'.”