From the Daily Record 1998

Council chiefs last night apologised to the people of Glasgow after bulldozers ripped the heart out of George Square.

City council leader Frank McAveety admitted the Policy and Resources Committee had decided on the pounds 200,000 facelift without the public being told.

Work started last Thursday when the square’s famous Swedish white beam trees where chopped down by workmen with chainsaws.

Council bosses said the 75-year-old trees were felled because they had Dutch elm disease.

And yesterday, bulldozers moved into the square to tear up the colourful flower beds and the grass.

The move sparked angry protests from green pressure groups Friends of the Earth and the Scottish Tree Trust.

But Mr McAveety said: “The work will leave the square as green as ever.

“The work can only enhance what is a most important public space.

“We have apologised. We can’t deny that the public were not told about the work.

“We regret the inconvenience the work has caused but the surface of the square needed upgrading.”

Eight 15ft trees will replace the ones which were cut down, and the grass will remain around the war memorial.

But the flower beds have been taken away to make more space for bigger entertainment events.

The work is due to finish in time for Armistice Sunday on November 8.