Sign the petition to save Sheffield’s Street Trees

Sign the petition to save Sheffield’s Street Trees – and Take the Pledge – see earlier post

More information on the campaign:

Dear All

I’m sending this email to everyone who has shown active support for our campaign to save trees from felling, both in Rustlings Road and throughout the city.
The Rustlings Road trees will be lost during the week beginning June 8th.  Other streets are losing their trees right now.
At the tree walk yesterday it was clear that Darren Butt was not about to yield. Both then and on Radio Sheffield this morning he failed to respond when asked what alternatives to felling had been considered.
He will be on Rustlings Road by the Sandwich Bar at 5.30 pm today (Thursday) so if you can come to that meeting, please do.
Our campaign so far may be having more impact than we realise.  That said the chainsaws are at work right now.  Non-violent direct action has been suggested by more than one person involved. For example:
– chaining ourselves to trees,
– inviting people from the Hunters Bar Buddhist Centre to meditate under the trees,
– refusing to move cars from the street, locking them and sitting inside
All of this, of course, as a focus for publicity.
Please circulate your thoughts via this email – reply to all – and let’s see where to go from here.
Jenny

And of course, the petition:

https://www.change.org/p/david-wain-sheffield-city-council-streetsahead-sheffield-gov-uk-save-the-12-trees-on-rustlings-road-sheffield/u/10907609?tk=xbPd4g19Hj6qn0STlmlkCCv72Ch9QxLcxMg7kkAb8cw&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

Letter of support from Nick Clegg MP:

 

Nick Clegg letter May 2015

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26 Responses to Sign the petition to save Sheffield’s Street Trees

  1. Technotronic says:

    From what I gather, the meeting on Thursday, referred to in the above feature took place last week (Thursday 28/5/2015).

    Selected extracts from the Highways Act (1980)
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/66/contents

    Section 137
    Penalty for wilful obstruction.
    (1)
    If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding [level 3 on the standard scale].

    Section F1 137 ZA
    Power to order offender to remove obstruction.
    (1)
    Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 137 above in respect of the obstruction of a highway and it appears to the court that—
    (a)
    the obstruction is continuing, and
    (b)
    it is in that person’s power to remove the cause of the obstruction,

    the court may, in addition to or instead of imposing any punishment, order him to take… such steps as may be specified in the order for removing the cause of the obstruction.

    3)
    If a person fails without reasonable excuse to comply with an order under subsection (1) above, he is guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale; and if the offence is continued after conviction he is guilty of a further offence and liable to a fine not exceeding one-twentieth of that level for each day on which the offence is so continued.

    (4)
    Where, after a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (3) above, the highway authority for the highway concerned exercise any power to remove the cause of the obstruction, they may recover from that person the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred by them in, or in connection with, doing so.

  2. Technotronic says:

    I think Jenny should ALSO send Mr Clegg a copy of the letter on the petition website, as it has far greater potential to have positive effects. 😉

  3. Deepa Shetty says:

    Here is an update on the media coverage so far! http://1drv.ms/1I2Z2Lu

    • Technotronic says:

      “Chartered arboriculturist Adam Winson
      spoke out as the campaign to save 12 trees on Rustlings Road, which runs alongside Endcliffe Park, rages on with them due to be removed this week. …But Mr Winson, whose company has worked with Amey on tree management in the past, said new policies meant trees moving kerbs out of line, or those considered as having ‘outgrown their location’ will be felled. He added: “Under this new criteria, up to half of Sheffield’s street trees could face the chop; a potential chainsaw massacre.”

      http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-tree-felling-policy-could-cause-

      He’s not the only one to have said that either! 😉

      From my slightly more informed position, I would put the figure higher than 50% for trees with crowns of medium and large size. These are the very trees which provide the most benefit to the environment and its inhabitants. The council should be looking to retain as many of these trees as is reasonably practicable to do so, in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard. There should be a “continuous cover ” approach to urban forest management. The size, shape and distribution of canopy cover, at street, neighbourhood and city-wide levels has significant impact on the magnitude and value of ecosystem goods and services to the built environment and its inhabitants. Those of you that require proof of this are advised to consult the references provided in on this forum, and references therein.

      It is worth remembering that the UK Government has a European commitment toward responsible management of the environment, based on the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE!

      See European directive 2001/42/EC, available online as a free PDF document:
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/index.htm

      • Technotronic says:

        DIRECT QUOTE

        From “DIRECTIVE 2001/42/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 June 2001: on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment”

        “Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
        Community, and in particular Article 175(1) thereof,…

        …(1) Article 174 of the Treaty provides that Community
        policy on the environment is to contribute to, inter alia,
        the preservation, protection and improvement of the
        quality of the environment, the protection of human
        health and the prudent and rational utilisation of natural
        resources and that it is to be based on the precautionary
        principle. Article 6 of the Treaty provides that environmental
        protection requirements are to be integrated into
        the definition of Community policies and activities, in
        particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.”

  4. Technotronic says:

    Wow! I’ve just been listening to the Queen’s Speech Debate in the House of Lords (9:00pm, 2/6/2015); Lord Flamlingham (Conservative) has been bigging-up the importance of trees in the urban landscape, and the important role of the Woodland Trust and the Trees & Design Action Group (TDAG) in championing the planting and care of trees. Furthermore, he highlighted the importance of a range of ecosystem goods and services that urban trees provide. He highlighted the importance of i-Tree software, mentioning that it was being used in London, for valuation of those goods and services, and called for the creation of a new ministerial position “MINISTER FOR TREES”!!! 🙂 🙂

    • Technotronic says:

      Lord Framlingham Conservative 8:54 pm, 2nd June 2015

      My Lords, I want to speak about a subject that is not specifically mentioned in the Queen’s Speech but is very relevant to large parts of it: trees, particularly urban trees.

      Trees give us their grace and beauty. They improve our air quality, particularly in inner cities, by taking in our carbon dioxide and giving us back their oxygen. They give us shelter and shade, act as barriers to noise and dust, resist flooding, cool our cities and even help to calm traffic. In short, they massively improve the quality of our lives. Whether in building new housing developments, large or small, giving Battersea power station a new lease of life, or massive projects such as HS2 and the huge environmental impact that they are bound to have, it is vital that protecting existing trees and the careful selection, planting and establishment of new ones is given the highest possible priority.

      In all this, the Government will not be short of advice and pressure. The Woodland Trust is determined not just to plant new woodlands but to protect old and particularly ancient woodlands from threats posed by schemes such as HS2. The Trees and Design Action Group, TDAG, is a charity embracing a host of organisations and companies interested and qualified in the planting and care of trees in the urban landscape. The Natural Capital Committee advises the Government on large-scale projects and the national macroeconomic benefits derived from trees. The Arboricultural Association has in its members a wealth of knowledge about the practical aspects of planting and caring for trees and is often the first to spot the signs of disease. The Forestry Commission has now to wear many more hats than that of pure forestry. Just a few days ago, at a London tree awards ceremony, I heard an excellent presentation by its director, Ian Gambles, on the London i-Tree eco project. Time does not permit me to elaborate, but this is the largest tree survey of its kind in the world and is expected to have a transformational impact on how London’s urban forest is recognised and managed.

      This brings me to the question of which Minister has responsibility for urban trees. In answer to a Parliamentary Question that I put down earlier this year I was told that:

      “No single Government department is responsible for the planting of trees in the urban environment”.

      I believe that the time has come to draw all these threads together and consider having an individual Minister responsible for urban trees.

      I want to say a word about biosecurity and quarantine, as was touched on briefly by the noble Duke, the Duke of Somerset. The ravages of Dutch elm disease, imported on logs from Canada in the 1960s, robbed us of all our great elm trees. Ash dieback is now threatening to have the same terrible effect, with diseased imported trees again involved and no remedy in sight except the depressing policy of “managed decline”. We have other problems of foreign origin threatening our native trees, such as the oak processionary moth. A disease of plane trees is now rampant in France. I invite you to imagine London, its streets, squares and parks, without its London plane trees. Box blight, of South American origin, is causing the ripping apart of some of our most famous gardens and has now been found in our woodlands. In southern Italy, a bacterial disease that hails from the Americas is sweeping through thousands of acres of olives.

      Modern trading in and transporting of plants has made the threat to our trees frightening. There are two things that we can and must do. First, we must grow more of what we can grow. Secondly, and more importantly, we must put in place with the utmost urgency a strict quarantine regime that will prevent plants being imported and immediately sold, scattered and planted all over the country. In answer to another Parliamentary Question that I put down last July I was told by Defra that the number of plants, bare root and container, imported into the UK in 2012-13 was 2.5 million. By 2013-14—that is the planting season—this had risen to 3 million, an increase of half a million trees and plants. Unlike our European neighbours, where most of our imported trees come from, we are an island, with all the biosecurity advantages that that gives us. We should use them to the full. I acknowledge that there are some existing rules and regulations, but they are far from watertight. We must have a sensible quarantine system in place without delay. We do not have to devise it from scratch: some nurseries are already implementing their own. Allied to this, we must have rigidly enforced traceability so that any infected plants can rapidly be tracked down and destroyed.

      I acknowledge that the nation’s tree budget is not in the same league as defence, the NHS or education, but it must be substantial and it must be enough. It seems inevitable that, as our country grows, growth now is everything: we must build, build, build. But if we want to keep the heart of our country for future generations and keep the hearts of our towns and cities, we must have the wisdom, the foresight and the funding to plant, plant, plant: to plant our trees and, having planted, care for them.

      Source:
      http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2015-06-02a.298.8&s=speaker%3A10370#g381.0

  5. Technotronic says:

    IN DEFENCE OF THE RESPONSIBLE & SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF SHEFFIELD’S URBAN FOREST: IN PARTICULAR, STREET TREES
    (A Vital Component of Green Infrastructure)

    A letter to Lord Framlingham (edited):

    3rd June 2015

    Dear Lord Framlingham,

    I very much liked your speech in the Queen’s Speech Debate,…
    …as you are such a strong advocate of a responsible and sustainable, planned, systematic and integrated approach to arboriculture and urban forestry, I wish to take this opportunity to invite you to sign the petition to “save ” trees from felling in Sheffield (on Rustlings Rd). This may seem like a rather inconsequential matter, given that the trees are highway trees and the Highways Act (1980) does permit the Highways Authority – in this case the Local Authority (LA) – to take such action as they believe to be necessary. However, in this respect, our street trees are vulnerable to unnecessary removal as a result of inappropriate policies, works specifications, practices and on-site supervision and enforcement.

    Your speech highlighted the value of a range of ecosystem goods and services that trees afford to the built environment and its inhabitants. In Sheffield, these goods and services have not been valued using any recognised and accepted methodology, such as i-Tree. Sheffield is England’s third largest metropolitan authority, yet the Local Authority has failed to “adopt” a tree strategy as Council policy, as was recommended in the Trees in Towns II report (2008), commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister – the Government department responsible for the urban environment and sustainable development of England’s towns and cities.

    The Trees in Towns II report was intended to “help shape central and local government policy on urban trees” and “encourage the LAs to develop higher standards of management in order to deliver a more efficient and effective tree programme for their communities”. To this end, the report advised “Those LAs that have not got an existing tree strategy and are not in the process of developing one, need to make this an immediate priority…”, stating “…the existence of a relevant [tree] strategy document is the most significant indicator of a planned approach to management…” and that “A comprehensive tree strategy is the starting point for a modern, planned approach to tree management.” Sheffield City Council have failed to “adopt” such a tree strategy, and despite requests from the public to see, at least, a strategy for street trees, one has yet to be made available to them. It would appear that no strategy of any kind for trees has been commissioned or produced, least of all “adopted” as Council policy.

    Without, at least, a strategy for street trees (integrated and embedded into the LA’s Local Plan and other relevant policies, as recommended by the aforementioned report), to temper a risk-averse outlook and guide and inform decisions, with “policies that allow decision making to be transparent and consistent” (with clear indication of how these management decisions are taken and by whom), and which allows for the monitoring, review and modification of policies and practice/s, a planned, systematic and integrated approach for the sustainable management of the Sheffield’s publicly owned tree stock is not evident. Furthermore, it leaves Sheffield’s publicly owned tree stock vulnerable to harm or destruction as a result of negligent or reckless acts or omissions. These can include the adoption and implementation of inappropriate, inadequate, harmful or damaging policies, works specifications and practices: ones which may not be subject to review and revision at appropriate intervals, with community involvement (as appears to be the case in Sheffield). The Trees in Towns II report made it clear that the community should be involved in any strategy and stated “…regular monitoring of the strategy’s progress should be undertaken and the whole document revised every five years.”

    In 2012, the private sector business “Amey” was awarded a 25 year LA PFI contract, worth £2.2 bn. The Local Authority claim this to be the largest PFI contract in Europe. The contract with Sheffield City Council is to provide highway maintenance throughout the city. That includes maintenance of the tree population along highways (~36,000 street trees). Currently, Amey are working to an LA highways engineering specification that – according to Amey’s Account Director and Operations Manager (Mr Darren Butt) – requires any tree causing disruption to the pavement (including minor disruption) or kerb to be removed. …I can say with high certainty that the majority of Sheffield’s large-crowned street trees are causing such damage.

    …I fear that Sheffield’s publicly owned tree stock is not being managed in a responsible and sustainable manner, and that there is clear and present danger of unnecessary, significant, city-wide damage and destruction to this vital component of green infrastructure within the urban forest. The loss of so many large-crowned trees significantly diminishes the value and magnitude of benefits afforded by trees to the built environment and its inhabitants, by way of ecosystem goods and services.

    Irreversible damage is imminent, with felling on Rustlings Rd scheduled to take place on 8th June, 2015. It would be very much appreciated by the 1,388 citizens of Sheffield that have signed the petition (to date) to “Save the 12 Trees on Rustlings Road, Sheffield” if you would kindly add your name to the online petition, too, using one of the following links:

    http://www.change.org/p/david-wain-sheffield-city-council-streetsahead-s

    http://chn.ge/1dtg74B

    News update: http://1drv.ms/1I2Z2Lu

    The Trees in Towns II report:
    https://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?keyWords=Trees+in+Towns+2%3A+a+new+survey+of+urban+trees+in+England+and+their+condition+and+management&type=

    • Technotronic says:

      News From Lord Framlingham…

      Lord Framlingham didn’t waste any time in responding to the above request. A hand written response was received today (5th June 2015), dated 4th June 2015. Lord Framlingham has sent a note to every M.P. in Sheffield to make sure they understand the importance of this petition.

      Really, there is a principle at stake here, which is much greater than “saving” a few trees on Rustlings Rd. A city deserves policies, specifications and practices that promote, accommodate and enhance green infrastructure and ensure that it is managed in a responsible and SUSTAINABLE way, as required by international policy commitments, European and national legislation, a range of national and local policies, and a range of current arboricultural best practice guidance and recommendations (found within a number of documents previously mentioned on this blog, and on Stocksbridge Community Forum). That requires the adoption of a tree strategy, as recommended in the aforementioned Trees in Towns II report.

      By the way, I walked up Rustlings Rd today. That tree at the upstream end of the road, that leans out over the carriageway is a serious obstruction to high sided vehicles and really should be removed, strictly speaking. 😉

      Cynnamon: hopefully you have found this page. …Go on! There’s nothing to lose & you can make a real difference. 🙂

  6. Technotronic says:

    Just a thought, but I wonder whether anyone has filed a freedom of information request for the statistics on claims following trips & falls that occur as a result of poor pavement (AKA “footway”) maintenance on Rustlings Rd; or for statistics for claims for damage to vehicles as a result of collision with dislodged kerb stones? It would be interesting to have the annual statistics for the last ten years, to better inform decisions that aim to strike a balance between risks and benefits, and for consideration against the monetary valuations of ecosystem goods and services afforded by the trees to people and the environment.

    Has anyone filled a freedom of information request for city wide statistics on the aforementioned types of claim? …Or for detail of the assessment methods and techniques used?

    • Not as such, but the question has been asked how many incidents and complaints have been received there, or elsewhere in the city – the answer appears to be none at all!!

      Ian

      • Technotronic says:

        PAVEMENTS, KERBS & HEALTH & SAFETY
        Selected extracts for the consideration of all attending the meeting tomorrow, from:

        The National Tree Safety Group (2011) Common Sense Risk Management of Trees: Guidance on trees and public safety in the UK for owners, managers and advisers, Edinburgh: Forestry Commission (Forestry Commission stock code: FCMS 024).

        http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/publications.nsf/searchpub/?SearchView&Query=(FCMS024 &SearchOrder=4&SearchMax=0&SearchWV=TRUE&SearchThesaurus=TRUE

        “GOOD TREE SAFETY MANAGEMENT DOES NOT SEEK TO ELIMINATE RISK, BUT TO REDUCE IT TO A REASONABLE LEVEL.”
        (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 80)

        “People are prepared to accept a degree of risk because of the value of the trees, and THE PLEASURE THEY DERIVE from visiting or participating in leisure activities in treed environments. THEREFORE, IT IS ACCEPTABLE THAT TREE MANAGEMENT DOES NOT SEEK TO ELIMINATE ALL RISK OF MINOR AND EASILY-HEALED INJURIES. Tree management should not expose people to significant likelihood of permanent disability or life-threatening injuries.”
        (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 26)

        “This chapter outlines the hse’s decision-making framework, known as the tolerability
        of risk (tor) framework. It describes three levels: whether a risk is unacceptable,
        tolerable or broadly acceptable. There is an expectation that:
        THERE IS A NEED TO GUARD AGAINST DISPROPORTIONATE ACTIVITY TO CONTROL RISK that provides diminishing returns on investment in risk reduction.”
        (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 20)

        “The Health and safety at Work etc act 1974 places a duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that employees and members of the public are not put at risk (sections 2(1) and 3(1) respectively, see also section 3(2) in respect of self-employed persons). …THE DUTY IS SUBJECT TO THE WORDS “SO FAR AS IS REASONABLY PRACTICABLE”. This proviso requires an employer to ADDRESS THE PRACTICAL AND PROPORTIONATE PRECAUTIONS which can be taken to reduce a risk. The courts have generally been unwilling to take into account environmental or aesthetic values WHEN CONSIDERING WHETHER A STEP IS REASONABLY PRACTICABLE, confining THE CONSIDERATION TO WHETHER A PRECAUTIONARY STEP CAN “PRACTICALLY” BE UNDERTAKEN. Nevertheless, in HSE v North Yorkshire County Council (20.5.10) Wilkie J., when directing the jury as to THE MEANING OF “REASONABLY PRACTICABLE”, identified as a material consideration “the benefits of conducting the activity”.
        He said (ntsg emphasis):
        “Now, in this context what does ‘reasonably practicable’ mean? Well, as you have been told correctly, it is a narrower concept than what is physically possible. IT REQUIRES A COMPUTATION TO BE MADE BY THE EMPLOYER IN WHICH THE AMOUNT OF RISK IS PLACED ON ONE SCALE AND THE SACRIFICE INVOLVED IN THE MEASURES NECESSARY FOR AVERTING THE RISK, WHETHER IN TERMS OF MONEY, TIME OR TROUBLE, OR THE BENEFITS OF CONDUCTING THE ACTIVITY, ARE PLACED IN THE OTHER. If there is a gross disproportion between them WHERE THE RISK TO HEALTH AND SAFETY IS INSIGNIFICANT IN RELATION TO THE SACRIFICE AND/OR LOSS OF BENEFIT INVOLVED IN AVERTING THAT RISK THEN THE DEFENDANT DISCHARGES THE ONUS UPON HIM AND IS ENTITLED TO BE ACQUITTED, but if the defendant does not persuade you of that on the balance of probabilities then you would convict.”
        (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, pp. 36-37)

        “TREE OWNERS SHOULD TAKE A BALANCED AND PROPORTIONATE
        APPROACH TO TREE MANAGEMENT
        Chapter 4 develops the general approach to enhancing good practice in the sector. It
        recognises that trees are managed for a variety of reasons and therefore that the
        expectation of a “SUITABLE AND SUFFICIENT RISK ASSESSMENT” referred to by the HSE VARIES WITH CONTEXT.
        In general, the risk from trees has certainly reached the situation where residual risks (those that remain after management for safety) are sufficiently low that INVESTMENT IN ADDITIONAL MEASURES IS LIKELY TO BE DISPROPORTIONATE TO ANY SAFETY BENEFIT…Chapter 4 also shows that A SENSE OF PROPORTION IS VITAL IN THIS EVALUATION. THIS CAN BE ACHIEVED ONLY BY CONSIDERING THE TREE’S PLACE IN A WIDER MANAGEMENT CONTEXT AND PEOPLE’S RELATIONSHIP TO THAT CONTEXT LOCALLY.”
        (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 41)

    • Technotronic says:

      Please excuse the errors, I’m not great with a keyboard.

  7. Technotronic says:

    THE IMPORTANCE OF AND NECESSITY FOR A TREE STRATEGY

    Excerpt from the aforementioned NTSG guidance:
    “The pressures on tree owners to follow a risk-averse approach have never been
    greater. Publishing a tree strategy which clearly indicates how these management
    decisions are taken and by whom allows a local authority TO TEMPER A RISK-AVERSE OUTLOOK. As the House of Lords Select Committee on Economics has put it:
    “…the most important thing government can do is to ensure that its own policy decisions
    are soundly based on available evidence and not unduly influenced by transitory or
    exaggerated opinions, whether formed by the media or vested interests. 8”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 25)

    Selected quotes from the Government’s Trees in Towns 2 report (2008):
    “A comprehensive tree strategy is the starting point for a modern, planned approach to tree management. That tree strategy MUST also be INTEGRATED and embedded into the LA’s Local Plan and other relevant policies.”
    (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 400)

    “It is also important to have a comprehensive tree strategy across all areas of LA tree management activity or potential activity. This should include practical tree planting and maintenance, COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT, risk management, pest and disease control, planning issues in relation to trees, and treescape DESIGN. The strategy should guide ALL ASPECTS of the LA’s tree-related work.”
    (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 544)

    “4.2. Future objectives
    Although the re-instatement of resources is clearly a significant issue in terms of meeting
    the service targets or indicators, the introduction of Community Strategies has
    already begun to focus attention on the need for the Tree and Woodland Strategy to
    have policies that allow decision making to be TRANSPARENT AND CONSISTENT.”
    (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 626)

  8. Technotronic says:

    A LITTLE GLIMPSE OF THE AMEY CONTRACT

    I have rust had a little skim read of a redacted copy of

    “(1) THE SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL
    – and –
    (2) AMEY HALLAM HIGHWAYS LIMITED

    CONTRACT

    relating to the rehabilitation, maintenance, management and operation of the highway assets in the Area pursuant to the Government’s Private Finance Initiative”

    As I indicate, I’ve not had sufficient time to read it in detail, but it would appear that Amey have responsibility for draughting their own Highways Engineering specifications! They are just required to let the Council know how much they intend to spend, on what and in what quantities. All the same, some Council Highways Engineer MUST be sanctioning Amey’s Highways Engineering specifications!

    So, when Amey’s Account Director and Operations Manager (Mr Darren Butt) met with campaigners on Rustlings Rd – on May 27th 2015 – and claimed that he had no choice but to remove the trees in order to comply with a highways engineering specification that requires any tree causing disruption to the pavement (including minor disruption) or kerb to be removed, what he wasn’t telling anyone is that they should raise their concerns with Amey’s own Highway engineers! Really, Amey should have sent their chief Highways Engineer along to that meeting, and the Council should have made sure they did!

    Rob Clayton (Acting Principal Engineer Network Management Traffic Transport & Parking Services), at Sheffield City Council has stated that the draughting and implementation of Highways specifications “…are dealt with by through the Streets Ahead contract that is implemented by our Streets Ahead Client team. …The email address for this team is Streetsahead@sheffield.gov.uk.”

    I detect a distinct lack of transparency!

    • Technotronic says:

      By the way, no Council Highways Engineer should be sanctioning any Highways Engineering specifications for tree lined streets, or streets that are to be planted with trees, without first consulting a competent arboriculturist (as defined by BS 3998 [2010] and BS 5837 [2012]). Without this, management of the street tree population will not take place in a responsible and sustainable manner, as required by a range of policies, including the UK Forestry Standard, and numerous current arboricultural best practice documents that include guidance and recommendations, such as the British Standards and the Trees in Towns 2 report.

      Ideally the competent arboriculturist would be either a chartered arboriculturist (chartered by the Institute of Chartered Foresters – the ONLY professional body for arboriculture in the UK) or registered arboricultural consultant (registered by the Arboricultural Associatiion – a respected trade association).

  9. Thank you for your wonderfully informative blog. I have been putting together a facebook community to share information about taking action to save Sheffield Trees, so I would ask you readers please to look, like, share and comment if they agree. https://www.facebook.com/savesheffieldtrees

  10. Technotronic says:

    More useful information on Stocksbridge Community Forum, too. 😉
    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/news/contribute-website

    BTW, If you folks at the closed meeting today are reading this, you would benefit from visiting the website and taking note of what you find there. 😉

  11. Technotronic says:

    An extract from the “Trees in Towns 2:a new survey of urban trees in England and their condition and management” report (2008), commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, to “help shape central and local government policy on urban trees” (Britt, Johnston, et al., 2008, p. 477)and “encourage the LAs [Local Authorities] to develop higher standards of management in order to deliver a more efficient and effective tree programme for their communities” (Britt, Johnston, et al., 2008, p. 406).

    “Although concerns about public safety will always restrict the numbers of mature and overmature trees along roads and highways, policies for routine removal of all large trees during the early phases of maturity and their replacement with smaller, ‘safer’ alternatives should be challenged.
    The importance of mature and ancient trees in urban areas is undeniable and local authorities responsible for their management must balance public safety against their responsibilities for protecting and enhancing the environment. Decisions should be based on reasonable and realistic risk assessments, with the initial presumption being for protection of the tree, rather than removal.”

    (Britt, Johnston, et al., 2008, pp. 89-90)

    • Technotronic says:

      “As many impartial decisions are taken on public assets with regard to their value, retention or replacement, LAs must approach the retention or replacement of trees with the same open-minded approach. This is why the difference between LAs proactive or reactive policies on tree removals must be stated and presented as the proof needed to move forward in this area.”
      (Britt, Johnston, et al., 2008, p. 230)

    • Technotronic says:

      “As part of their urban regeneration strategy, Manchester City Council has recognised that “the physical condition and visual appearance of an area has a direct impact on decisions to live, work or invest there and on the quality of life of all people using an area” and that “Raising the quality of the local environment will therefore contribute to Manchester’s regeneration, health, crime and transport strategies” (Manchester City Council, 2002). It is not, therefore, simply a matter of building new industrial units and housing estates, but developing sustainable communities with ‘liveability’.”
      (Britt, Johnston, et al., 2008, p. 582)

    • Technotronic says:

      “Good practice in policy making comes from having access to accurate information on the elements that you want the policies to deal with. Figure CS11.1 shows that it is necessary to identify key issues and gather information. Leaving aside for the moment probably the most important aspect of management (that of securing funding), the majority of good practice tree management issues are directly or indirectly related to landscape quality and amenity. It is essential to have in place a methodology for making transparent and consistent decisions in relationship to those values.”
      (Britt, Johnston, et al., 2008, p. 624)

  12. Technotronic says:

    UKIP: WASTE OF SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!

    For the first time in my life, today (20/6/2015) I made the effort to meet with two of the three Councillors (both UKIP) that represent the ward in which I reside, as they both hold a surgery at the same time, in the same room, that runs for just over an hour (no prize for guessing why I showed up):

    Councillor Jack Clarkson and
    Councillor Keith Davis.

    Unfortunately, neither Clarkson or Davis bothered to show up, send representatives, or let anyone know they would not be able/weren’t going to attend! After waiting 20minutes, I got the librarian (in the library where the surgeries were due to take place) to phone Clarkson & ask him to show up. He didn’t respond. Nobody came. It took me 20minutes by car to get there!!!!!!

    Democracy SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!

    I hope those guys are not being paid!

    If they are, we should demand a refund!

    they couldn’t be bothered to turn up, or let anyone know they wouldn’t be turning up! I’m SO ‘*******’d’ OFF!!!!!!!!!! Please excuse the language.

  13. Technotronic says:

    GREEN COMMISSION
    The Council is currently formulating a 20 year plan for its approach to policies for and management of green infrastructure – which includes the urban forest (the city-wide tree population) and its street trees.

    You are invited to fill out a “Call for Evidence” form (a suggestions form) and return it to the Green Commission.

    You can access the form at:
    https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/your-city-council/policy–performance/green-commission.html

    “Please e-mail your submission to greencommission@sheffield.gov.uk or by post to Green Commission c/o Sheffield Town Hall, Pinstone St, Sheffield, S1 2HH.”

    Submission period:
    “The call for evidence is open until the end of Tuesday 30th June 2015.”

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