Save Sheffield’s Street Trees petition

Save Sheffield’s Street Trees petition

Here is the link – please sign and pass on / circulate.

We are already on about 5,000 signatures!

http://chn.ge/1dtg74B

Speaking out to save the trees……….

I recognise the need for careful and considered management of Sheffield’s remarkable urban forest, and I understand that street trees may cause some issues of ‘inconvenience and cost’ for city managers, be they City Council or private companies. However, merely offering the ‘one-trick pony’ solution of felling against popular opinion and based on spurious evidence is not acceptable. Furthermore, some other issues need to be thrown into the ring. The street tree resource ranges through smaller ornamental trees that are so important to so many local people, through larger Victorian planted ‘forest’ trees, to ancient veterans. All are important, but I want to draw your attention to the planted Victorian bigger trees in particular. It seems to me that some issues have not yet been made clear:

1) Firstly, this is a climate change issue – imagine Nether Edge or Sharrow, for example Psalter Lane, denuded of their magnificent limes. This will cause local peak summer temperatures to rocket by maybe six degrees or seven degrees centigrade – exceeding worst-case climate change impacts. Let’s be clear, in a long hot summer that could mean vulnerable people very poorly, or even dying. During recent summer heatwaves across Europe, thousands of older or vulnerable people died. Why do we think it cannot happen here? Do decision-makers and policy-makers not read the news and the predictions on climate and the impacts on city living? Are their environmental promises and policies merely ‘eco-twaddle’? I invite you to decide. Think of this across Fulwood, Ecclesall, Handsworth, Norton, Gleadless, Endcliffe, Millhouses, Carterknowle, and more. Moreover, removal of these trees will leave lower-lying areas hugely vulnerable to extreme water events such as flooding. So where is the vision about climate-proofing our city? A few re-planted saplings have zero effect.

2) The Rustlings Road, situation, where there may soon be much less rustling, is not a NIMBY situation but a citywide and even national issue. It affects us all.

3) Street trees enhance the value of local properties and make people fitter, happier and healthier. If you lose your local street trees, your home has just lost desirability, saleability and value – just a thought!

4) Sheffield is a famously ‘green city’ its suburbs praised by the poet John Betjeman. Businesses can now locate wherever they wish and free from the old constraints of being close to resources like waterpower, water transport, coal, iron etc. Today, business invests in places it likes, and it certainly does like ‘green’ Sheffield. Removing the street trees, big and small, but especially big, devalues Sheffield plc.

 

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31 Responses to Save Sheffield’s Street Trees petition

  1. 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.”

    • Technotronic says:

      SHEFFIELD GREEN COMMISSION

      Below is a copy of one completed “feedback” form submitted, by one attendee, on the day, following presentations to the Green Commission panel.

      Hearing 5, 18 June 2015
      Sheffield Town Hall
      Feedback

      Thank you for attending this event.
      You have heard tonight from 4 speakers: Julia Thrift, Will Mcbain, Nigel Dunnett and Robert Evans.

      Based on their presentations, we would be grateful if you could give your views as to what are the 3 most important points for the Green Commissioners to consider:

      1) Proper & adequate monetary valuation of the full range of ecosystem goods and services afforded to the built environment and its inhabitants by the city-wide tree population – the URBAN FOREST -, in particular, street trees (HIGHWAY TREES). Where this is not practicable, the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE should, indeed MUST, be applied, as was agreed at the RIO EARTH SUMMIT in 1992 (Principle 15). European Directive 2001/42/EC requires use of this principle. See ARTICLE 174 OF THE TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY.

      2) Recognition of the city-wide tree population as an urban forest & the adoption of an appropriate TREE STRATEGY AS COUNCIL POLICY to guide & inform policies, management, specifications & practice, to ensure it is managed in a responsible & sustainable manner. The UK FORESTRY STANDARD states [that] the term forest is used to describe “land under stands of trees with a canopy cover of at least 20%”. The Standard & its Guidelines exist to implement international forest principles and criteria; they apply to all forests within the wider land-use context, “INCLUDING THE COLLECTIVE TREE & WOODLAND COVER IN URBAN AREAS”!

      3) Greater community education, consultation & participation, to the fullest extent as is reasonably practicable*, particularly with regard to management of the urban forest & its respective land use contexts: PARTICULARLY HIGHWAYS. The Government has signed up to the Arhus Convention (UNECE). Article 7 states: “Each party shall make appropriate practical &/or other provisions for the public to participate during the preparation of plans & programmes relating to the environment, within A TRANSPARENT & FAIR framework, having provided the necessary information to the public”.
      *AS RECOMMENDED BY “TREES IN TOWNS ll” (2008): a report commissioned by the ODPM!

      Your contribution is greatly appreciated, thank you. Please keep the tear-off slip below for your own information.
      …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
      If you would like the Commission to consider other written evidence, please use the call for evidence form on the Green Commission webpage at https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/your-city-council/policy–performance/green-commission.html . This is a Word document that you can download, complete and email back to us on: greencommission@sheffield.gov.uk . Your evidence will be considered by the Green Commission when making its recommendations. The final Hearing in public will take place on 30th June at the Town Hall. To request a place at this event please email greencommission@sheffield.gov.uk .

  2. Technotronic says:

    If Amey continue to implement their policy of removing all trees that cause “ridging” of the pavement, or dislodge kerb stones, then Sheffield WILL lose well over 50% of its street trees. These trees are the ones with medium and large size crowns – the very trees that provide millions of pounds worth of “ecosystem services” each year, as evidenced by the Forestry Commission’s assessment of these services in Edinburgh, Torbay & London, using i-Tree software, as well as by a raft of similar research abroad.

    Unfortunately, Amey’s contract permits them to draught their own highways engineering specifications, so rather than draught sensitive highways engineering specifications to accommodate the retention of trees on streets with mature stock, it is cheaper – FOR THEM – to remove the trees, without regard for ecosystem services or the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE. The Government committed to adoption of the precautionary principle in Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 (principle 15), and agreed as Article 174 in the Treaty establishing the European Community.

    Rio:
    “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.’ (Principle 15)”.

    “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…

    …(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.”

    One of the ecosystem services these large trees provide is filtering pollutants from the air. According to DEFRA, these pollutants cause heart & breathing problems – particularly amongst the elderly – that cost the National Health Service £9.1 – £21.4 BILLION PER YEAR! Large trees are most effective in provision of this service, and most efficient at interception of rainfall, reducing surface run-off of rainwater, & subsequent flooding.

    Climate change predictions identify that we can expect greater frequency of flash flooding, with floods of greater magnitude. This is NOT a good time to be stripping away green infrastructure.

    PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION, & SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE COUNCIL & AMEY!

  3. Technotronic says:

    A disturbing tree policy has been brought to my attention. One of the trees on Rustlings Rd has been scheduled for removal on the basis that it has decay. It is the tree opposite the end of Ranby Rd. On this basis, any tree with decay at a wound site, or a dead twig or branch will be felled!
    This does not accord with current arboricultural best practice, nor has it done so for over 20 yrs! Such an approach does it represent a reasonable, balanced and proportionate approach to hazard and risk assessment, analysis and management, as recommended by the National Tree Safety Group (which includes the Institute of Chartered Foresters & the Arboricultural Association) or the Health & Safety Executive.

    In many cases, trees with die-back or decay can be retained and managed. The presence of decay does not necessarily indicate structural weakness, terminal decline, death or strong likelihood of structural failure, or reasonably foreseeable and likely structural failure in the near future. Arboricultural management options are available for the safe retention of valuable trees which show signs of decay.

    Risk of harm or damage should be IMMINENT, or at least REASONABLY FORESEEABLE in the NEAR future to justify intervention such as felling (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011).

    “It is inappropriate to react to tree defects as though they are all immediately hazardous. Growth deformities and other defects do not necessarily indicate structural weakness. When noting features that might indicate a likelihood of weakness or collapse, it is important that concern for risk of failure is restricted to events likely in the near future. Trees exhibit a wide range of such features, and the scope for interpreting their significance is complex, particularly when considering the likelihood of non-immediate failure. For example, anomalies in tree growth may indicate internal decay and hollowing; but ANOMALIES IN FORM MAY BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE TREE HAVING COMPENSATED FOR THE DECAY, BY MECHANICALLY ADAPTING TO NATURAL PROCESSES.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 53)

    “Immediate risk of serious harm is a risk of such IMMEDIACY and CONSEQUENCE that URGENT action is required.” (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 52)

    “Eliminating trees to remove all risk is undesirable and DISPROPORTIONATE in the light of all the wide range of benefits they provide.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 56)

    “With inadequate understanding… unless the risk of harm arising from a hazard is properly taken account of, management can be SERIOUSLY MISINFORMED, potentially leading to costly and unnecessary intervention.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 44)

    “Very simply, a hazard is something that can cause harm…” “Risk is characterised by reference to potential events and consequences, or a combination of the two. It is often expressed as a combination of an event’s CONSEQUENCES and the LIKELIHOOD of it occurring. In this case, a potential consequence is death or serious injury. The important part of the assessment is the likelihood of either occurring.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 20)

    “Tree management or the lack of it should not expose people to SIGNIFICANT LIKELIHOOD of death, PERMANENT disability or LIFE-THREATENING injuries. Accidents are on occasions unavoidable. SUCH RISK IS TOLERABLE only in the following conditions:

    ● the likelihood is extremely low
    ● the hazards are clear to users
    ● there are obvious benefits
    ● further reducing the risks would remove the benefits
    ● there are no reasonably practicable ways to manage the risks.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 26)

    Furthermore, in the case of this tree, following requests as to why the tree needed to be felled, an e-mail from Streets Ahead (Amey) was received on 1st May 2015, informing that
    “The remaining tree opposite Ranby Road is displaying symptoms consistent with being infected by Armillaria sp (Honey Fungus). As a result the tree will gradually succumb to the infection, weaken and thus pose a safety risk long term.”

    In an e-mail dated 15th May, 2015, with regard to scheduled tree felling, Anita Dell (SCC/Amey Communications Officer) stated “…some are affected by diseases such as Armillaria mellea as well as safety issues such as crown dieback and decay.”

    Upon close inspection of the tree opposite the end of Randy Rd, campaigners cannot find any symptom of ill health, pathogenic infection, pest infestation, die-back or structural weakness. No toadstools have been spotted and the characteristic white mycelia that usually indicate infection by A.mellea (usually present beneath dead bark) appear to be absent. find any sign or symptom to indicate this tree is in poor health, or that it is infected by an Armillaria fungus.

    With Regard to The Council / Amey Approach to Tree Risk Assessment and Hazard Management Policy…

    In a feature that appeared in The Star newspaper (on 29/5/2015), reporter Ellen Beardmore wrote, with reference to the Melbourne Road veteran oak in Stocksbridge, “Jeremy Willis, operations manager for grounds and arboriculture at Amey, said:

    ‘That tree is a really good example because it looked absolutely perfect – but the truth was it could have fallen at any time….THE DANGER WAS THAT IT COULD HAVE FALLEN DOWN AND WE DIDN’T KNOW WHEN. It could have fallen that day, it could have stood up for another two or three years BUT ONCE WE HAVE IDENTIFIED THAT RISK WE CAN’T JUST WALK AWAY FROM IT.’”

    http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/the-great-tree-felling-debate-flares-again-in-sheffield-1-7284189

    Do Amey sound competent to you? Would you trust them with your trees?

    • Technotronic says:

      CORRECTION

      SEE BELOW:
      “This does not accord with current arboricultural best practice, nor has it done so for over 20 yrs! Such an approach does NOT represent a reasonable, balanced and proportionate approach to hazard and risk assessment, analysis and management…”

  4. Technotronic says:

    DECAY = FELL?

    Despite repeated requests by concerned citizens, neither Amey or SCC have provided information to verify that, when assessing trees with decay, the type, extent, probable cause of decay, or actual likely impact on structural integrity are assessed. Many factors need to be considered, not least of all the species of tree and its characteristics. To ensure risk analysis is informed and that risk management is reasonable, balanced and proportionate, such assessments NEED to be made when considering the likelihood and severity of harm or damage.

    Limes (such as on Rustlings Rd) are well known for their longevity, strong ability to “compartmentalise” decay, and for their vigorous growth. As stated in guidance of the National Tree Safety Group, trees can compensate for loss of cross-sectional area of stem, thereby maintaining structural integrity.

    “…deformities can be a response to internal hollowing or decay, compensating for loss of wood strength and providing mechanical advantage, allowing the tree to adapt to wind and gravitational forces. With inadequate understanding, so-called defects may be erroneously confused with hazards and, furthermore, hazards with risk – so unless the risk of harm arising from a hazard is properly taken account of, management can be seriously misinformed, potentially leading to costly and unnecessary intervention.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 44)

    “Immediate risk of serious harm is a risk of such immediacy and consequence that urgent action is required.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 52)

    Felling trees just because they have decay does not accord with best practice and cannot be justified from an arboricultural perspective. No competent arboriculturist would justify it. However, the Highways Act (1980) makes the following provision at section 154:

    “(2) Where it appears to a competent authority for any highway, or for any other road or footpath to which the public has access—
    (a) that any hedge, tree or shrub is DEAD, DISEASED, DAMAGED or insecurely rooted, and
    (b) that BY REASON OF ITS CONDITION it, or part of it, IS LIKELY to cause danger by falling on the highway, road or footpath, the authority MAY, by notice either to the owner of the hedge, tree or shrub or to the occupier of the land on which it is situated, require him within 14 days from the date of service of the notice so to cut or fell it as to remove the…”

    Please note the key words, in upper case, above. This requires inspection of the likely cause, nature and extent of the problem, and assessment of likely impact on structural integrity: a STRATEGIC APPROACH to hazard & risk assessment and analysis.

    For more on online info’, see Draft BS8516:
    http://www.treeworks.co.uk/downloads/blog/BS_8516_Recommendations_for_tree_safety_inspection.pdf

    The Council and Amey will claim that it is not reasonably practicable to do a detailed inspection on every tree with decay at a wound site. However, this cannot be used to justify a default policy of felling all such trees. Such an approach does not accord with current arboricultural best practice, nor has it done so for over 20yrs! Such an approach represents an unreasonable, unbalanced, disproportionate response to hazard and risk assessment, analysis and management.

    “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 enjoy what they perceive to be “natural” or “unmanaged” environments and value trees that have received minimal or no intervention. 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.” “…However, it may on occasions be unavoidable that tree management exposes people to the very low risk of serious injury or even death.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 81)

    “When noting features that might indicate a likelihood of weakness or collapse, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT CONCERN FOR RISK OF FAILURE IS RESTRICTED TO EVENTS LIKELY IN THE NEAR FUTURE.”
    (The National Tree Safety Group, 2011, p. 53)

    SOURCE (NTSG):
    http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/publications.nsf/searchpub/?SearchVie…(FCMS024)&SearchOrder=4&SearchMax=0&SearchWV=TRUE&SearchThesaurus=TRUE

    This is why education and training are important – It is NECESSARY for all tree and highways inspectors to participate in a programme of continued professional development, to ensure that they exercise the care of ‘reasonably skilled’ members of their respective professions, by ensuring that their acts or omissions are in accordance with current best practice and not reckless or negligent by causing unreasonable harm or damage.

    You may wish to note that this Section 154 of the Highways Act (1980) also permits works to trees that obscure lamps – such as those that Amey have pushed up in to every crown they can find – no doubt damaging major roots by not working in accordance with National Joint Utilities Group guidelines: Volume 4: NJUG Guidelines For The Planning, Installation And Maintenance Of Utility Apparatus In Proximity To Trees (Issue 2).
    http://www.njug.org.uk/publications/

  5. Technotronic says:

    50,000 TREES!

    No doubt you have either heard or read Councillor Fox’s claim that the Council have planted 50,000 trees. I am not aware of the time period over which that was done, but I would like to point out that NONE OF THOSE TREES WERE ON HIGHWAYS – NOT ONE OF THEM IS A STREET TREE!

    How do I know? Because that figure comes from the WOODLANDS AND COUNTRYSIDE SECTION (formerly Parks, Woodland & Countryside); NOT THE HIGHWAYS SECTION that operates as a totally separate department and is WHOLLY is responsible for ALL street trees.

    Reference: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/out–about/parks-woodlands–countryside/trees–woodlands/about-us.html

    Those 50,000 trees will be saplings planted at <3m spacings, generally as groups of trees, in parks and woodlands. Unless many of those are felled over the next 50 years, they will NEVER develop large crowns like street trees do.

    It is good that trees are being planted in parks and woodlands, but to claim that such planting compensates in any way for the extensive, city-wide loss of STREET TREES with medium and large crowns is wholly wrong, factually, and has NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS WHATSOEVER.

    The Woodlands and Countryside Section claim that Sheffield is:
    “The most wooded and treed city in Britain (10.4% woodland by area)”.

    Sheffield has many trees. Collectively, they constitute an urban “forest”, as defined within The UK Forestry Standard: The governments’ approach to sustainable forest management. Those with responsibility for management of the urban forest have a duty to act in accordance with the principles and criteria of sustainable forest management detailed within the Standard and its “Guidelines”. These exist to implement international legislation and forest principles and criteria. The “Guidelines” detail forestry practice.

    The Standard states:
    “In assessing whether the Requirements have reasonably been met, the overall balance of benefits or ecosystem services will be taken into account.”

    As a sustainable approach to management, the Standard promotes and encourages the maintenance and continuity of canopy cover. The felling of many street trees medium and large crowns within a short period of time (<50yrs) will result in significant loss of cover and is highly likely to have a significant, negative impact on the shape, size and distribution of canopy cover. Subsequently, there will be significant, negative impact on the magnitude and monetary value of ecosystem services afforded by trees (see the references within the Rustlings Rd Petition and references therein) to the built environment and its inhabitants – including YOU & ME!

    Medium and large crowned trees contribute the most, in terms of the magnitude and value ecosystem services, particularly those that affect people’s health and wellbeing (see petition references & information online at Stocksbridge Community Forum).

    Councillors should consider, carefully, the following words from the Standard:

    "Sustainable forest management is ‘the stewardship
    and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a
    rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity,
    regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to
    fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological,
    economic and social functions, at local, national, and
    global levels, and that does not cause damage to
    other ecosystems”.

    The ecosystem services provided by trees with medium and large crowns are of greatest benefit and particularly valuable. Such trees should be retained whenever reasonably practicable. That requires a reasonable, balanced, proportionate assessment, based on ALL evidence, and where that is absent or deficient, an approach that accords with the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE is required, in accordance with International and European legislation.

  6. Technotronic says:

    Councillor Jack Clarkson Kept his word & UKIP supported the campaign, along with the Liberal Democrats.

    Town Hall “Debate” Outcome: Get Lost!

    Sadly, the democratic process IS a sham. The SORT campaign got to make a couple of 3 minute speeches at the Town Hall, but were totally ignored by the Labour Councillors who voted to “do nothing” in response to the concerns of >10,000 citizens; as opposed to form a “scrutiny board”, to review and revise current policy and practice. Cllr Fox (Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport – Labour) didn’t even know what a strategy is!

    God help us all! Even the leader of the Council – Julie Dore – resorted to screeching like a badly behaved school brat and, like Councillor Fox, had not even bothered to read the 29 page hand out that campaigners had carefully and painstakingly prepared (with help from a genuinely competent, independent arboriculturist) to inform debate. A debate had been promised; it did not happen. In reality, different Councillors read from prepared scripts or voiced apparently uninformed opinions that were not supported by evidence or references. A few people got to ask questions. Most went ignored. However, some got partial responses, but none of these included any answers.

    • Technotronic says:

      To quote Cllr Fox’s EXACT words at full Council (1st July, 2015):

      “The tree Strategy, Lord Mayor, that at any time – any time – could have been called in by the opposition parties and could have been challenged whenever they were in administration, Lord Mayor. The Sheffield Highway Tree Strategy consists of the six D’s: dangerous; dead, dying, diseased, damaging and discriminatory.”

      I know that’s bad English, but those were his exact words. I did wonder why the multitude of Labour Councillors have NEVER called for a tree strategy, given that trees are a major component of green infrastructure, and as long ago as 2008, national guidance 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…”
      (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 192)

      “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)

      “In many respects, the existence of a relevant strategy document is the most significant indicator of a planned approach to management…”
      (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 158)

      Now, compare Cllr Fox’s definition of a strategy to the ten “Key Recommendations” from the “Trees in Towns II report, commissioned the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, to advise those responsible for commissioning and draughting a tree strategy. One of the primary authors was the UK’s leading authority on urban forest management, the Chartered Arboriculturist Dr Johnston MBE.

      They are listed here, in their entirety:

      1) The tree strategy should be based on a good knowledge of the existing urban forest and the conditions in which it grows.

      2) Try to ensure that the process of strategy preparation has political and community support.

      3) The strategy should be linked to other aspects of the urban environment and other relevant strategies.

      4) The strategy should cover all aspects of the LA’s tree programme and the urban forest, including both public and privately owned trees and woodlands.

      5) Ensure widespread and effective consultation on the draft strategy document.

      6) The strategy document should be written in plain English and any technical terms should be explained.

      7) The strategy should not just include policies towards trees but also an action plan to ensure implementation.

      8) The action plan should include SMART targets, preferably costed.

      9) The strategy should be adopted as LA policy.

      10) Ensure regular monitoring and review of the strategy.
      (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 543)

      The aim of the report was to: “help shape central and local government policy on urban trees” (Britt, 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, et al., 2008, p. 406).

      IT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING ADVICE:
      …”Even the existence of a specific tree strategy does not always imply that this is an appropriate document to drive the LA’s tree programme. How the strategy was developed and what detailed policies and plans it contains will determine this.”
      (Britt, et al., 2008, p. 192)

      Reference:
      Britt, C; Johnston, M; Riding, A; Slater, J; King, H; Gladstone, M; McMillan, S; Mole, A; Allder, C; Ashworth, P; Devine, T; Morgan, C; Martin, J. et al., 2008. Trees in Towns 2: a new survey of urban trees in England and their condition and management. London: Department for Communities and Local Government.

      http://www.lulu.com/shop/mark-johnston/trees-in-towns-ii/paperback/product-18906201.html

      It is clear that Cllr Fox (Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport) doesn’t understand what a strategy document is, why a strategy is necessary, or how it should be used.

      …SO DEPRESSING! How can a man with so little nowse have so much responsibility and so little accountability? No wonder people don’t vote.

      • Technotronic says:

        INCOMPETENCE

        Just to remind you, here are Cllr Scott’s (Labour) comments, made in April 2014, as Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene (Fox’s predecessor):

        “We do not presently have a strategy solely for trees. My view is that this wouldn’t be very helpful given they are an intrinsic part of the broader environment and ecology. However, I am confident that we have adopted very good practice in this area.”. “…In my view, current documents are sufficient.”

  7. Technotronic says:

    TOWN HALL PETITION

    Save Our Rustlings Trees (SORT) Campaigners were advised (by SCC Democratic Services) that having presented a petition of >5,000 signatures, they could make two 3 minute speeches in the Town Hall, at the meeting of full Council. In practice, on the day, they were told not to make presentations, but to only ask questions.

    If it had been me, I would have asked the following…

    Will the Councillors responsible for policy please have regard for the following:

    Trees on Rustlings Road are scheduled for felling as part of the PFI Streets Ahead programme: a five year, city-wide renovation programme to upgrade highways infrastructure, to be followed by 20yrs of maintenance.

    Many trees have been identified as causing damage to the highway. This includes “ridging” in pavements – associated with root growth, and the dislodgement of kerb stones by buttress roots. These trees are earmarked for removal within the 5yr programme: to be removed before 2018. Such trees have medium and large size crowns and account for a significant proportion of the street tree population. They make the greatest, most significant contributions by way of ecosystem services afforded to the built environment – neighbourhoods – and its inhabitants – people & wildlife.

    Felling many of such trees is highly likely to have a significant, negative impact on the shape, size and distribution of canopy cover and, subsequently, on the magnitude and monetary value of ecosystem services afforded by such trees (references in petition & references therein). In other cities around the world, the monetary value of these ecosystem services has been assessed, as it has in a Torbay, Edinburgh, and London. The value of these services amounts to millions of pounds each year! In Sheffield, the value of these ecosystem services has not been assessed. Our long-established street trees are not only a significant component of green infrastructure, but are highly valuable assets that should be managed in a responsible and sustainable manner.

    Indeed, Sheffield has many trees. Collectively, they constitute an urban “forest”, as defined within The UK Forestry Standard: The governments’ approach to sustainable forest management. Those with responsibility for management have a duty to act in accordance with the principles and criteria of sustainable forest management detailed within the Standard and its “Guidelines”. These exist to implement international forest principles and criteria; the “Guidelines” detail forestry practice.

    As a sustainable approach, the Standard promotes and encourages the maintenance and continuity of canopy cover. The felling of many street trees medium and large crowns will result in significant loss of cover.

    We believe that the majority of these trees could be safely retained. New, appropriate, adequate, sensitive, flexible highways engineering specifications could be draughted, specifically to accommodate the safe, long-term retention of long-established trees on tree-lined streets.

    Given the circumstances, we believe the precautionary principle should apply. To quote Principle 15 of Agenda 21, as agreed and accepted by the Government, in 1992, at the Earth Summit meeting in Rio:
    “Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.’

    Also, to quote from European Directive 2001/42/EC:
    “Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community…
    …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.”

  8. Technotronic says:

    TOWN HALL PETITION: PART 2

    Would the Councillors responsible for policy making please consider the following:

    Street trees are a key component of green infrastructure. As a significant component of the city-wide urban forest they should be managed in accordance with The UK Forestry Standard. The Standard exists to encourage a sustainable approach to management. Councillors should consider, carefully, the following words from the Standard:

    “Sustainable forest management is ‘the stewardship
    and use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a
    rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity,
    regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to
    fulfil, now and in the future, relevant ecological,
    economic and social functions, at local, national, and
    global levels, and that does not cause damage to
    other ecosystems”.

    The Standard states “In assessing whether the Requirements have reasonably been met, the overall balance of benefits or ecosystem services will be taken into account.”

    Councillors should also remember that the Government has signed up to the UNECE Ảrhus Convention. Article 7 states:

    “Each Party shall make appropriate practical and/or other provisions for the public to participate during the preparation of plans and programmes relating to the environment, within a transparent and fair framework, having provided the necessary information to the public.”

    We do not feel this has happened.

    With regard to public safety, given that engineering solutions are available, and are reasonably practicable, we believe that felling on the basis that “pavement ridging” constitutes a trip hazard that represents an unacceptable level of risk of harm to the public is an unreasonable, unbalanced, disproportionate response.

    To quote from guidance of the The National Tree Safety Group:
    “Eliminating trees to remove all risk is undesirable and disproportionate in the light of all the wide range of benefits they provide.”

    “Good tree safety management does not seek to eliminate risk, but to reduce it to a reasonable level.”

    “Non-commercial trees frequently have social and environmental value as well, and are important to human health and wellbeing. The NTSG’s position is that, wherever possible, the presumption should be that such trees be retained and allowed to complete their life cycle with minimal management interventions. Such a reasonable strategy, articulating the benefits of trees, should, in the view of the NTSG, carry as much weight in protecting the tree owner against litigation following an incident as any factory’s reasonable risk management policy.”

    Professionals have a Duty of Care imposed on them. This requires them to exercise the care of a ‘reasonably skilled’ member of their profession: they are required to act in accordance with current and relevant legislation and best practice and are liable for any harm or damage caused as a result of failure to do so.

    We believe that, in accordance with current best practice, the benefits afforded by street trees should be considered in making a balanced and proportionate assessment of risk. We request that until a “Tree Strategy” has been commissioned and adopted as council policy, there should be no felling of trees that do not represent an immediate and reasonably foreseeable danger of serious harm or damage in the near future.

  9. Technotronic says:

    TRANSCRIPT FROM THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015: Cllr Fox’s Speech:

    Councillor Fox was given five minutes to respond to a three minute speech given by SORT (where a word was uttered in an unclear manner, it has been omitted from this transcript and replaced by four x marks: “xxxx”) :

    Thank you Lord Mayor, I think five minutes is going to be quite a – quite a – challenge to get a lot in today – very, very challenging and very deep subject as I found in the thirty-odd days that I’ve been in the portfolio. First, can I applaud – and I mean that, can I applaud the residents and campaigners for getting a) the names to Council to get this debate, and it has been a long time coming from when I’ve met some of you, err, within the Town Hall, err, Alan and Louise, and, err, Dr Shetty; err, Nikki, I’ve seen Nikki knocking about. It would be remiss of me not to thank Nikki for the, err, cups of tea on Wayland Road, it was much appreciated at the time. And it’s also welcoming, Lord Mayor, that, as decision-makers in this Town Hall, we have our policies and procedures to scrutinise not by only by us in this place but scrutinised by the public, also; and so, why I understand this call to scrutiny, and you’ve heard, today, that my colleagues – Councillor Ben Curran and, err, the fellow Councillors in Walkley have called in to scrutiny about one issue – other politicians could have called this in at any time. It has been to scrutiny three times in the last, since 2012, and it’s also been, err, been a thorough looking at.

    Lord Mayor, I’d like to start first of all from where we did actually come from. For generations, Lord Mayor, the people of Sheffield have demanded that this Council do something about the roads and paths of our great city. For generations, they sat in that balcony and raised questions at this Council and demanded that we took some action to bring our highways, footpaths, street-lighting and highway trees to a first class standard for all residents. But doing this hasn’t come without its challenges – the logistics of delivering the largest project in this country, whilst dealing with the balance of keeping the city moving, but also the challenges of taking the residents and citizens of our city along with us. But you’re right, we do – we do – have to abide by the Law, and as the competent highway Authority we have to work in a strict, statutory Laws by the Highway Act; the Equality Act; Health and Safety Act, and many more. But, most of all, Lord Mayor, most of all, we have to work for all citizens in the inclusive mobility around our cities.

    We had an independent survey done in 2006-2007 which helps us inform our priorities for the formation of the contract which, not only did this administration see, but other administrations saw, and they had the opportunity to change the policy at that time, but had been cross-party support, Lord Mayor, which, I understand that the weather is to be warm, but the flip-flops that are going on with the other party is unbelievable, Lord Mayor. Not only can that be seen by the MP who, on one hand, wants to protect the trees at Rustlings Road, but at the other side of the constituency wants a tree out for a driveway putting in.

    The survey noted that 74% of our mature tree stock with very few young trees has given this combination the rate of decline evidence by the number of trees needing treatment. Lord Mayor, and David xxxx, thank you for some of that insight that we raised on the street. I have to say that by Forestry Commission, and David Kelly as well, also, we have looked at that and we have looked at the Forestry Commission’s own stance on mature trees versing new trees performance in this area, which is as follows: young trees absorb carbon dioxide quickly while they are growing, but as a tree ages, a steady state is eventually reached. At this point, the amount of carbon absorbed through photosynthesis is equal to that lost through respiration and decay, and if I could, too, agree, I would say that was very much xxxx. Lord Mayor, where are we now? Well my predecessors – Councillor Stock and Councillor Dunn – have overseen a great leap forward in our city and a replacement of over 2,000 highway trees, which have been challenged along the way by residents, by community groups, by Councillors who sit on scrutiny board; we also have a project of good public scrutiny and we have been out and had roadshows. I will come on to that later, Lord Mayor, if I may.

    We are about half way through the first five years of the project and today we have removed, as I say, over 2,000 trees and replanted over 2,019 trees. The City Council, in just this year alone, which we manage over 2m trees, Lord Mayor, have planted 50,000 new trees, creating seventeen new woodlands. Lord Mayor, we, like every other citizen in this city, cherish our trees. Since 2012, Lord Mayor, we have re-surfaced over 300 miles and also 500 miles of pavements. We are half way through the five year project and whilst I say we have re-planted over 2,019 trees. Lord Mayor, the decision-making process which we have been looked at to be scrutinised by xxxx be scrutinised by methods but challenged by public, of which I welcome; but I also welcome that within my own family – my brother in-law is up there – welcome Ben – and I’m sure we’ll carry on having this debate. The process is that Amey make recommendations to Council about which trees, in their expert opinion, should be removed by the highway, and in which categories. The Council will then assess each individual tree for themselves and then make a decision about whether that tree should be felled or not.

    Lord Mayor, when we set off on this project, we had cross-party support because we needed to get the roads and paths, as I say, suitable for inclusive mobility. Unfortunately, Lord Mayor, one of the risks of that are that some trees – highway trees – would be vulnerable. Before a tree is even considered for felling, we have twenty – twenty – sensitive engineering options, Lord Mayor, applied throughout. Before a tree is felled, it is checked to see if any wildlife is living there. If we have evidence that birds, bats or any other wildlife, the trees are then further assessed every three to five years to establish the health and condition.

    Lord Mayor, sometimes when we plant and plane the tops, we identify that we have root problems or not, is if we have not then we obviously do not take that tree. Taking the tree is the last resort, Lord Mayor. The tree Strategy, Lord Mayor, that at any time – any time – could have been called in by the opposition parties and could have been challenged whenever they were in administration, Lord Mayor. The Sheffield Highway Tree Strategy consists of the six D’s: dangerous; dead, dying, diseased, damaging and discriminatory. To ensure we are able to bring the standard of the city’s roads, pavements, and in some cases we do have to fell the trees. After completion of the Core Investment Programme, Lord Mayor, from 2018, we will also have to continue, as I say, doing inspections. The inspections are done as per Law; as per industry standards, Lord Mayor.

    Communications, Lord Mayor, has been raised; I will try and touch on this as quickly as I possibly can, Lord Mayor, and obviously, if I get chance in the other debate, we will probably have a more in-depth debate with Councillor Davison. We provide details to all ward councillors well in advance of the trees being felled as part of our core works. This information includes details of individual trees to be felled in the streets; the reasons for the fell, and what it is to be replaced with. All residents receive, in advance of work, a start leaflet to tell them the works is happening in their area. This also includes information to say the trees will be removed. Meetings are held in community groups, to inform them of the tree felling in their area, to gather views. If requested by the community groups, ward Councillors, interested residents, we hold tree-walks to provide more details and what we will be replaced with. Details of all these trees will be felled and are particular and are available at the roadshows, Lord Mayor. Trees notices are placed on the trees that have been identified to be removed.

    By incident, Lord Mayor, if I may, on to Rustlings Road. There are over thirty trees on Rustlings Road. Eleven have been identified to be felled and nineteen have been retained by sensitive engineering solutions. Out of the eleven that have been identified to be felled, three have been noticed, and that once we dig up the pavement, as I say, once we take that planing off, if they can be retained, they will. We’re also planning to an additional nine trees to be that were removed many years ago, that we will replace, so this will increase the trees on Rustlings Road from thirty to thirty-nine, Lord Mayor.

    Lord Mayor, we are half way through the Core-Investment Project. As I said, we have done over 300 miles of road; 500 miles of footpaths. Well, obviously, after meeting campaigners and the local residents of Rustlings Road and Wayland and Bowland, I have decided that I did decide to pause the work ‘til we had this debate. I felt it was only right that we had this debate, because as we all know that the trees are a xxxx issue for some people, Lord Mayor, and to here. But let me be clear, Lord Mayor, for the avoidance of doubt, we do not pay a single penny more to Amey, whether they take out a hundred trees or no trees. I have said on numerous occasions that once Amey designate the trees they want to fell, the Council go and do their independent checks. Lord Mayor, any felling of a tree is a last resort.

    We, the taxpayers of Sheffield, pay the wages of our tree experts; we train them, we educate them – the skills they develop – because they’re the ones that look – duly look – after our two million trees on behalf of our citizens of Sheffield and having to work within the confines of Law. I also agree that the experts in the field will always have disrefutes, dependent on what they are side they’re on. Lord Mayor, I understand that we have to work within a statutory framework and some independent experts do not. But I am – I am – concerned, Lord Mayor, that this should be – this should be – a good luck story from Sheffield. Other, not only cities in England, in Britain, but in Europe are watching how we manage this, Lord Mayor, and I’ve to do that; we have to take everybody with us. As I say, I believe, Lord Mayor, because this is such a delicate and in-depth debate, I’ve suggested the Council will endorse an Highways Tree Forum, where, as we have already heard, so many big issues need to be talked through and, also, we are we are not – we are not – able to drive, forget the pun. Our policy is still that we want to cross-check them, not only with methods in this place, but with local residents and local conservation groups. Lord Mayor, I’d like to congratulate these, err, campaigners, residents and people who feel very strongly about our city, because without them, Lord Mayor, we would not be able to deliver our projects together. Thank you Lord Mayor.

    The next Councillor to speak was introduced by the Mayor, but as the Mayor (Talib Hussain) has a rather thick foreign accent, I couldn’t understand the Councillor’s name as he pronounced it. The councillor was introduced as the Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport.

  10. Technotronic says:

    TRANSCRIPT FROM THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015: The Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport’s Speech (3minutes)

    Err, thank you, Lord Mayor. Before I start, on a point of procedure, Councillor Fox says this – this – policy can be called in at any time, I don’t think that’s correct, if it can be called in at any time, I’ll call it in now and we can have our scrutiny review, because that’s all that we’re asking for. There are two visions of our city streets at work here. One is the Council’s view that the trees are merely an ornament to the highway to be replaced by new trees as soon as they are old or damaged or inconvenient. Another value in this instrumental view is placed on the xxxx value of the individual tree; no regard for this xxxx affection that we have for our city’s trees; no attention made to consult local people, instead we have ridged application of broad criteria under which few trees, if any are safe. That’s not our view. We love our trees; they improve our city; they clean our air; they absorb our carbon emissions, which, I’ve got to say, are two different issues. You’ve been asked, Councillor Fox about cleaning the air, and you’ve given an answer about carbon emissions, and they are two completely different issues, and it’s the air quality that affects our health in the city, directly, today. You’ve done the same in answer to my written question. I asked you about air quality and you’ve given an answer about carbon emissions. Yeah, sometimes a tree has to be removed. If it’s become dangerous, a tree must absolutely be removed. I’m not saying trees, they do kill people, they do land on people, branches fall off, they do fall over, particularly during heavy winters and during storms they are a danger to us. This Council has a policy that goes way beyond the dangerous that has condemned trees to destruction to order for the convenience of a planned, zonal works programme. Yes, we need repairs to our streets and our pavements – those repairs are urgently needed, but this should not require the destruction of trees that have many healthy years of life ahead of them, that have, taken together, a profound impact on our city’s air quality and therefore the health and the lives of our people. Xxxx xxxx xxxx that, replacement trees will not be able to match. Our job as Councillors is to represent the views of the people that elect us. This Council needs to listen to the people of Sheffield; it needs to review this policy of removing trees based on rigid criteria and start to consult local people before taking those trees out.

    • Technotronic says:

      I believe that the Shadow Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport that gave the above speech was Cllr Joe Otten (Lib Dem). Not bad, but would have been better if he had left out all the stuff about hazards – which didn’t need mentioning, as it is blindingly obvious.

  11. Technotronic says:

    TRANSCRIPT FROM THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015: Councillor Jayne Dunn’s comments.

    Cllr Dunn is former Cabinet Member For The Environment (Labour) and is the current Cabinet Member for Housing. She started the “debate”. Cllr Dunn stated:

    “At the beginning of the programme, it was stated 5,000 highway trees would be removed. These are trees that are dead and diseased and have got the six D’s, like Councillor Fox said. We only have to do this because we have to. We have a policy and it’s the right policy.”

  12. Technotronic says:

    TRANSCRIPT FROM THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015

    This was Cllr Fox’s 3 minute response to SORT’s second speech (I didn’t make note of it all, but what I have is here), following speeches by various Councillors:

    Thank you, Lord Mayor. Can I just respond to a few of the points that have been made in this debate, Lord Mayor, before we adjourn to consider? Lord Mayor, listening to this debate today, if anybody in that balcony thinks they’re going to get some sort of solace by going to scrutiny, when they listen to the rag, tag and bob tails of the opposition groups, then they’re not going to get anywhere further forward, Lord Mayor. Lord Mayor, today, we’ve seen some misleading comment, none more so than the Green Councillor, Councillor Smalley, saying about the giant redwood. If Councillor Smalley was to go on the website, she would find a clear list of all trees that we are xxxx considering replacing. Councillor Smalley, please do not. There is enough myth out there and misleading comments, without joining the cause.

    Lord Mayor, we have to be honest, open and transparent. When we talk about why the trees of Rustlings Road are going. Lord Mayor, once we have done and took the highway work through there, the trees may look fit and healthy, they may look full, but in eighteen months’ time when we have to go back and take and undo all that work, Lord Mayor, if we were to put speed humps, as been suggested, on the paths, Lord Mayor, eighteen months after more growth we would be back because…

    • Technotronic says:

      DEBATE NEEDS TO BE INFORMED DEBATE!

      Sorry I didn’t get it all Cllr Fox’s second speech down. Cllr Fox generally spouted ignorant, uninformed opinion, as did Cllr Dunn, and all the Councillors, to be honest, perhaps with the exception of Cllr Smalley, but even she got a few things wrong. Had any of the Councillors actually bothered to read the hand-out that had been so carefully prepared by SORT campaigners, to inform debate, Councillors would have been aware of:

      1) the necessity for the recognition of the valuable contribution that street trees make, by way of the range and magnitude of beneficial ecosystem services (and in some cases goods) they afford to communities and the built environment;

      2) the importance of and necessity to apply the precautionary principle;

      3) the importance of and necessity for the Council to adopt a tree strategy as Council policy, to help guide and inform policy and management decisions: thus helping ensure policy and persons responsible and most directly involved support, promote, and enhance responsible and sustainable management of the urban forest resource – in particular, street trees (with their medium and large crowns, they are a significant component of green infrastructure);

      4) the necessity to ensure that hazard and risk assessment and management is reasonable, balanced, proportionate and takes in to account all the circumstances of each case: so as to comply with current arboricultural best practice; current guidance and recommendations of the Health and Safety Executive; the international forestry principles and criteria set out in The UK Forestry Standard and its Guidelines, and other international and national legislation and policy commitments;

      5) the importance of and necessity for competent arboriculturists (defined by British Standards 5837 [2012] and 3998 [2010];

      6) current arboricultural best practice with regard to works in close proximity to street trees, and solutions for the long-term safe retention of long-established trees: at least to the safe, useful life expectancy of the species concerned (and possibly beyond);

      7) the necessity for an informed, strategic approach to the identification and assessment of hazards and risks by competent inspectors: inspectors with education, training and experience relevant to the matter being addressed and an understanding of the requirements of the particular task.

      Councillor Fox did, eventually rattle off a list of twenty items that he believed constitute “sensitive engineering solutions”.
      It was just a list of things, with no detail given – literally a list. Those items I can remember are listed below:

      GeoGrid.
      Root barriers.
      Growth retardents.
      Root pruning.

      You get the idea. These are not “engineering solutions”. Had Cllr Fox bothered to actually look at any of the references provided in the SORT hand-out, which was distributed to every Councillor on 26th June, 2015, by the SCC Democratic Services Legal and Governance Resources department, he would have had some idea of what sensitive engineering solutions are, in addition to discovering what a tree strategy actually is. I know, with certainty, that Cllr Fox was e-mailed a copy on 25th June.

      Anyway, now ALL Councillors have been informed of current national European and international legislation, policy commitments and CURRENT best practice, ignorance certainly cannot be used as an excuse for reckless and negligent acts and omissions. Councillors certainly can be expected to ensure that their level of care is that of reasonably skilled professionals! That is to say competent persons that act in accordance with current best practice.

      Please obtain a copy of the SORT hand-out for further detail (Ian Rotherham has a copy. He may be willing to share it?).

      • Technotronic says:

        By the way, a copy of the SORT hand-out has been submitted to the Green Commission as “evidence”, and accepted as such. 🙂

        So, there is some hope that things could improve. Well, so long as Cllr Dunn sees sense and leaves party politics firmly out of it!

      • Technotronic says:

        Please note that, in any case, GeoGrid should NOT be considered an option and should NOT be used around trees. The openings (the gauge) is too small to be fit for purpose. Other, more suitable, more modern alternatives are available. This was pointed out in the SORT hand-out.

  13. Technotronic says:

    THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015: EQUALITIES ACT (2010)

    One of Cllr Fox’s major points that he kept repeating was that the Equalities Act placed a duty on the Council to ensure that all citizens could access all pavements and to ensure that mobility was not limited. Oddly enough, he hardly mentioned health & safety, so perhaps he had taken a look at the SORT hand-out?

    In particular, Cllr Fox was keen to highlight that blind people struggle to negotiate their way along tree lined streets and noted that wheelchair users also had great difficulty. This formed the main thrust of his argument in defence of felling. However, as usual, I doubt he has collected any data to indicate that any such problems have statistical significance. Going by his interpretation of what constitutes an engineering solution, it is evident that he has failed to commission or consider a single sensitive engineering solution to the problems perceived (namely pavement “ridging” and the dislodgement of kerb stones).

    I note that David Blunkett decided to support the SORT campaign, in a letter to The Star that appeared in yesterday’s paper (4th July, 2015).

    I have been taking a little look at the Equalities Act (2010). I note that the “Duty to make adjustments” requires people “to take such steps as it is REASONABLE to have to take to avoid the disadvantage.” So, a REASONABLE approach is required, that’s all! This requires the same balanced assessment and proportionate response as detailed in the SORT hand-out for hazard and risk assessment and analysis.

    So, YET AGAIN, Cllr Fox has misinterpreted legislation in favour of an unreasonable, unbalanced, disproportionate, reckless and negligent approach to management of the urban forest, in particular, street trees – a major component of green infrastructure.

    This only serves to highlight the NECESSITY of having a tree strategy draughted in accordance with current best practice and adopted as Council policy. THIS SHOULD BE THE FOREMOST PRIORITY FOR ALL CAMPAIGNERS. See the SORT hand-out for detail, or visit Stocksbridge Community Forum (online).

    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/news/contribute-website

  14. Technotronic says:

    THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015: DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT (2005)

    One Councillor quoted this act as a reason for felling trees. The Councillor was introduced by the Mayor, but as the Mayor (Talib Hussain) has a rather thick foreign accent, I couldn’t understand the Councillor’s name.

    What this Act actually states, at section 15c – “Authorities and their members: duty to make adjustments” – is:

    “It is the duty of the authority to take such steps as it is REASONABLE, IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE, for it to have to take in order to prevent the provision, criterion or practice, or feature, having that effect.”

    So, as with the Equalities Act, YET AGAIN, Labour Councillors have misinterpreted legislation in favour of an unreasonable, unbalanced, disproportionate, reckless and negligent approach to management of the urban forest, in particular, street trees – a major component of green infrastructure.

  15. Technotronic says:

    Check this out: https://folksy.com/shops/jamesgreenprintworks

    …Sheffield’s urban forest inspiring new and original cultural masterpieces, to lift people’s spirits and improve well-being! 🙂 

  16. Dear supporters of Sheffield Trees Actiong Group

    We will be holding our third Non-violent Direct Action (NVDA) training session on Sunday November 6th at Carrfield Primary School, Argyle Cl, Meersbrook, Sheffield S8 9HJ, from 10.30am – 12.30pm.

    All supporters who are interested in learning and practising how to peacefully demonstrate against tree felling are very welcome to attend. The session will be led by Fionn Stevenson, an experienced NVDA activist, and will be a repeat of the popular session held previously in Dore. Please bring loose loose clothing for the gentle physical work, and if you simply wish to observe the exercises, that’s fine too. A nominal donation of £5 is requested to cover the costs of hiring the hall. Following the training session, there will be a planning session held in Cafe Des Amis to discuss where and how to carry out any future NVDA actions, which attendees are free to join.

    If you would like to attend this session, please contact Heather Mitchell

    Please pin the advert to your group webpage Facebook page.

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