Sheffield Street Trees – still controversial and expert advice still ignored!!

There are good engineering solutions to the disruption of footpaths and roads….it is simply that Amey are not using them!!

Technotronic just sent in a really pertinent comment, so I repeat the information verbatim:

Letter to THE STAR

The letter below arrived in my inbox on Sunday 24th July, 2016. The author sent it to The Star newspaper the same day. However, it remains unpublished. The author has given permission for me to share it here (below).

“Over several months, the Council have repeatedly, falsely claimed to have used Flexi®-Pave to retain healthy, structurally sound, mature highway trees. Flexi®-Pave is a product that can be used when resurfacing footways, as an alternative to tarmac. The key benefit is that when tree parts thicken – as they do each year – the product flexes rather than cracks, unlike tarmac. For this reason, it has been widely used elsewhere in other cities, to retain mature highway trees. A letter appeared in last Thursday’s Sheffield Telegraph, written by someone claiming to be an “independent arboriculturist”. I believe he is a sub-contractor on the city-wide, £2.2bn Streets Ahead highway maintenance project, working for the main contractor: Amey.

I was shocked and appalled by the implication that the slightest wound on a tree would be likely to result in “rapid decline” of the tree. For a tree, its bark is like skin; the wood is like flesh. Just like an animal, if wounded, in theory, the organism can become infected and a disease could result that could lead to death. However, like animals, plants have evolved ways of resisting infection and limiting its spread. They have also evolved ways of compensating for any decay, by reducing crown size and, through incremental growth, adding layers of biomechanically optimised wood, known as reaction wood. This strengthens affected regions and can compensate for cross-sectional loss; it is what enables plant parts to have a safety factor greater than that of most mammal bones. It is why you see many trees with large wounds or cavities (great for wildlife) and yet they remain perfectly healthy and their parts do not fail. It is why trees can receive multiple wounds when pruned, attacked by herbivores, otherwise damaged, and remain strong, healthy and safe.

Most people involved with tree care in Sheffield do not fulfil the British Standard requirements necessary to qualify as competent arboriculturists. An arboriculturist is defined (by BS 5837) as: “person who has, through relevant education, training and experience, gained expertise in the field of trees in relation to construction”. Only a small handful of people in Sheffield meet these criteria. An education and training deficit leads to misunderstanding and inappropriate comments, as well as bad policy and bad decisions that are not soundly based on available evidence, but: “unduly influenced by transitory or exaggerated opinions, whether formed by the media or vested interests.”

Provided Streets Ahead contractors comply with the current, widely accepted, nationally recognised good practice guidance and recommendations that they claim to comply with and aim to “build on” (e.g. BS5837 and guidance published by the National Joint Utilities Group and Trees & Design Action Group), there is no reason why mature highway trees cannot be safely retained, long-term, by use of products like Flexi®-Pave. Provided resurfacing works are adequately supervised on site by competent arboriculturists, and compliance with current good practice is specified, and adequately supervised & enforced, there is no “gamble” with public resources.

The Council & Amey repeatedly state that felling is a “last resort” and that they are willing to consider all other options to retain mature highway trees. However, on 19/2/2016, the Information Commissioner completed an investigation (Case Ref: FS50596905) which revealed that, over 3yrs in to the £2.2bn city-wide Streets Ahead project, neither Amey or the Council had ever commissioned or draughted any alternative highway engineering specifications for footway, edging (kerb) or drain construction for consideration as an alternative to felling, as a means to enable the safe long-term retention of valuable mature highway trees, and the range of valuable ecosystem service benefits they afford to the environment and communities each year. This revelation confirmed that felling is certainly not the “last resort” and that the Streets Ahead team have a long way to go before they can rightfully claim to comply with current good practice.

D.Long (BSc Hons Arb), Sheffield.

MY COMMENT: It still feels like nobody is listening – Amey & Sheffield City Council: ‘……….. is anybody out there??!’

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13 Responses to Sheffield Street Trees – still controversial and expert advice still ignored!!

  1. Technotronic says:

    “…EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR for Place Simon Green said: ‘…WE WILL of course CONTINUE TO assess our trees and REPLACE THOSE THAT ARE DANGEROUS.'” (1)

    Since at least May, 2015, the Council have used every opportunity to state that DAMAGE to footways (pavements) & edging (kerbs) represents a DANGER to motorists & pedestrians. This kind of damage is associated with mature highway trees. 73.8% OF HIGHWAY TREES ARE MATURE (25, 877). The Amey PFI contract permits up to 18,000 to be felled in the 5 year period (Core Investment Period) to 2018.

    To 17th June, 2016, over 3,800 MATURE HIGHWAY TREES HAVE BEEN FELLED (2). On 3rd Feb, 2016, the Council tweeted that 14% of trees would be felled (3). The same day, Cllr Bramall (DEPUTY LEADER of the Council) was asked why he did not believe many trees would be felled. He tweeted: “coz only trees that fall under ‘6 ds’ are replaced” (4).

    On 23rd JULY, 2015, at the inaugural meeting of the Highway Trees Advisory Forum (HTAF), Steve Robinson (SCC Head Of Highway Maintenance) commented:

    “So, just because a tree is diseased doesn’t mean to say that that tree needs to be replaced. …IF AN ENGINEERING SOLUTION CAN BE APPLIED, THEN IT WILL BE APPLIED. Err, there was a lots of comment made earlier on about whether a tree is removed as a last resort; and a tree is removed as a LAST RESORT.”

    “So, just to give you a summary of where we are today, there’s been 2,563 HIGHWAY TREES REMOVED because they met one of the 6Ds and there was NO OTHER RECTIFICATION that we could carry out.”

    On 19th FEBRUARY, 2016, the Information Commissioner completed an investigation (case reference: FS50596905) in response to a previous freedom of information request response issued by Sheffield City Council (request reference: FOI/ 422). It revealed that, 3yrs IN TO A £2.2bn CITY-WIDE PROJECT, NEITHER AMEY OR THE STREETS AHEAD TEAM HAVE EVER COMMISSIONED OR DRAUGHTED ANY ALTERNATIVE HIGHWAY ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS for footway, edging (kerb) or drain construction that could enable the safe long-term retention of mature highway trees, without unacceptable compromise to tree health or structural integrity.

    The Information Commissioner response stated:

    “Assessment of suitability/lack of suitability for engineering solutions is made during a “walk and build” process by Amey. This is a joint inspection between a highway engineer and an arboricultural surveyor.

    The team carrying out this “walk and build” hold detailed discussions at site level, considering and debating any and all potential engineering solutions which may be utilised to retain each specific tree, considering the council’s legislative requirements… however, THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS AND RATIONALE FOR THE DECISION IS NOT RECORDED. The Commissioner considers that in this case, NO FURTHER INFORMATION IS HELD BEYOND THE LIST OF 25 OPTIONS, provided in response to your initial request… THE COUNCIL HAS NOW CONFIRMED TO YOU THAT NO INFORMATION IS HELD within the scope of your request “(5& 6).


    References:

    1) http://www.hortweek.com/sheffield-city-council-overturns-tree-felling-injunction/arboriculture/article/1388743

    2) http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/tree-injunction-decision/

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/appeal-to-stop-tree-felling-scheme-in-sheffield-rejected-by-court-1-7971156

    3) https://twitter.com/sheffcouncil

    4) https://twitter.com/SaveSheffTrees/status/695253114400739328

    5) https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/full_work_contact_details_for_sc

    6) http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/updated-sheffield-tree-felling-can-legally-resume-but-council-pledge-not-to-1-7813277#ixzz44tvWqq00

    NB: The FOI / 422 request (dated 6th July, 2015) was:

    “Under the FOI Act, I request the SPECIFICATIONS for the range of options that were considered and deemed to be impracticable, for the 11 healthy trees due for felling on Rustlings Road.”

    Source:
    “SORT Letter To The Cabinet Member For Environment & Transport (Cllr Terry Fox), dated 29th January, 2016” – accessible at:

    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/news/street-trees-3-month-ban-all-tree-felling-city

    The “LIST of 25 options” – provided by the Streets Ahead team (Amey & SCC), over a month after requesting ideas from campaigners, as a substitute for not having draughted any alternative highway engineering specifications – can be found on pages 265 & 266 of the SORT letter.

    The first SORT letter, dated 14th July, 2015, advised that such alternative specifications should be draughted and used to retain mature trees. Cllr Fox ignored the advice. Every Councillor in the city has received a copy of both SORT letters, so there can be no excuse for the ignorant comments and scaremongering that is peddled by the likes of Cllr Jack Scott, Cllr Anne Murphy, Cllr Peter Price or Cllr Tony Downing.

  2. Technotronic says:

    More News:

    Sheffield Council ‘making a mockery’ of independent tree advice, campaigners claim

  3. Technotronic says:

    FLEXI®-PAVE – SCC / AMEY IGNORANCE & DECEIT

    • 29th OCTOBER, 2015.

    “On 29th October, 2015, SORT MET WITH GRAHAM PELL: THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF KBI UK Ltd (the maker and supplier of Flexi®-Pave). He informed us that he had NEVER been contacted by SCC Highways department or Amey about using Flexi®-Pave on highways in Sheffield, although he did say that other SCC departments have occasionally used it. Mr Pell stated that KBI UK Ltd had never been invited by SCC or Amey to provide materials or services for the Streets Ahead project.”

    Source:
    Pages 99 & 365 of the SORT letter (dated 29th January, 2016): https://bit.ly/2L5AQga

    ****
    • 2nd NOVEMBER, 2015.

    “On 2nd November, 2015 David Caulfield [SCC Director of Development Services: with overall responsibility for highway trees] personally agreed to a meeting with Mr Pell (see Appendix 28). However, to date, we are not aware that this has taken place. MR PELL HAS OFFERED TO MEET WITH SCC ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS about the possibility of using Flexi®-Pave on highways, AND APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN TOTALLY IGNORED (see Appendix 32).”

    Source:
    Pages 99 & 365 of the SORT letter (dated 29th January, 2016): https://bit.ly/2L5AQga

    ****
    • 28th DECEMBER, 2015.

    On Monday, December 28th, 2015, in the Sheffield Star, Councillor Terry Fox was stated as saying **** “SOLUTIONS PUT FORWARD BY CAMPAIGNERS WERE ALREADY USED INCLUDING FLEXI PAVING which has on 143 occasions retained trees.” ****
    Source:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/clr_fox_tree_retention_solutions#comment-69476

    ****
    • 8th JANUARY, 2016.

    Information provided by David Caulfield [SCC Director of Development Services: with overall responsibility for highway trees], via Cllr Nikki Bond (Labour), in an e-mail dated 8th January, 2016, (see Appendix 22) which stated:

    “Having reviewed the situation I discovered that in fact **** FLEXIBLE PAVING IS NOW ROUTINELY USED ACROSS THE CITY AS A TREE RETENTION OPTION – IT WAS USED 142 TIMES IN 2015.****( I CAN CONFIRM THAT KBM, THE COMPANY WHICH CAMPAIGN GROUPS HAVE HAD CONTACT AND DISCUSSIONS WITH REGARDING FLEXIBLE PAVING, were Amey’s previous national supplier for Flexi Pave for the first half of the Core Investment Period, and as such THEY HAVE SUPPLIED AMEY WITH BOTH MATERIALS AND SERVICES ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS FOR STREETS AHEAD WORKS AROUND HIGHWAY TREES HERE IN SHEFFIELD.”

    This response was to the question:
    “Has anyone been in touch with the MD of Flexi-Pave?”

    Mr Caulfield continued:

    “In line with numerous contractual commitments, we ask Amey wherever possible to endeavour to use Sheffield based businesses in their supply chain to procure their materials and services for the Streets Ahead project. As such during year 3 of the project [August 2014 – August 2015], *** AMEY CHANGED THEIR SUPPLY CHAIN AGREEMENTS FROM KBM TO A LOCAL BUSINESS FOR SUPPLY OF THE SAME SERVICES ***, with the new contractor being a Sheffield based company specialising in this kind of work. KBM REMAIN ON THE OFFICIAL SUPPLIERS LIST FOR SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL TO UTILISE AS A SUPPLIER, but as we as an Authority do not procure any materials for Streets Ahead their key accounts now would be with parks or housing, but not Streets Ahead.”

    Source:
    Page 313 of the SORT letter (dated 29th January, 2016): https://bit.ly/2L5AQga

    ****
    • 8th FEBRUARY, 2016.

    A response from SCC to Freedom of Information Request – Reference FOI/1305

    **** “WE CAN CONFIRM THAT FLEXI PAVING IS FREQUENTLY USED AS A PART OF THE SPECIFIC STREETS AHEAD HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME. **** However, we do not hold a record of the locations of the sites where its use has led to a tree being retained.
    […]

    FLEXI PAVE IS ONE OF THE TREATMENTS *** USED ON THE STREETS AHEAD PROJECT *** and
    is paid for as part of the monthly unitary payment made by the Authority
    for the delivery of a complete highway maintenance service”

    Source:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/clr_fox_tree_retention_solutions#comment-69476

    ****
    • 18th JANUARY, 2016.

    A response from SCC to Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI / 1259
    (The request was sent on 4th January 2016)

    **** “WE HAVE NO INFORMATION RELATING TO FLEXI-PAVING BEING USED TO RETAIN TREES ON 143 OCCASIONS ALTHOUGH WE CAN CONFIRM THAT THE CURRENT PERMEABLE PAVING PRODUCT IN USE ON THE STREETS AHEAD PROJECT AROUND TREES IS ‘FLEXI PAVE’”.****

    Source:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/clr_fox_tree_retention_solutions#comment-69476

    Also, see:

    “What flexible paving?”:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/what-flexible-paving-1-7703470

    ****
    • 29th JUNE, 2016.

    On 1st June, an internal review requested for FOI requests 1259 and 1813, and further FOI requests, was requested. The review was undertaken by the same SCC Information Management Officer that had provided the responses to the requests. He (Mark Knight) stated:

    “As I am sure you are aware Sheffield City Council has a PFI contract with Amey Hallam Highways Ltd for the delivery of a complete highway maintenance service which includes Highways Trees. As a result it will be **** AMEY THAT COMPLETE ANY ASSOCIATED WORKS OR THEIR OWN SUBCONTRACTORS. THE MATERIAL THAT ***WILL BE USED ON ALL 143 PRESCRIBED SITES***, IF DEEMED SUITABLE FOR THIS SOLUTION, WILL BE FLEXI PAVE TM.****
    […]

    ****IT APPEARS THAT SOME COMMENTARY HAS NOT BEEN ACCURATE, IN TERMS OF THE LANGUAGE USED, BUT PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT IT HAS NOT BEEN THE COUNCIL’S INTENTION TO MISLEAD THE PUBLIC…” ****

    ****
    • 13TH JULY, 2016.

    The Star reported:

    “Today the council’s cabinet member for the environment BRYAN LODGE SAID THE 143 FIGURE RELATED TO SITES THAT HAD BEEN ASSESSED, BUT WHERE WORK HAD NOT YET BEEN DONE IN MANY CASES *** ‘BECAUSE OF THE DELAYS AND COURT PROCEEDINGS *** we have faced over the past few months’.
    […]

    Coun Lodge added:
    ‘We have always said and will keep reiterating that THE REPLACEMENT OF ANY STREET TREE IS A LAST RESORT.’”

    Source:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-tree-campaigners-question-council-flexi-paving-figures-1-8012728

    ****
    Comments on use of Flexi®-Pave, made by Councillor Bryan LODGE, as the Sheffield City Council CABINET MEMBER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, at the meeting of full Council, in Sheffield Town Hall

    • 7th DECEMBER, 2016.

    “Mr Carr, err, talked about Flexi®-Pave, err, and use of Flexi®-Pave. Actually, I’ve done a lot of, I’ve done lots of looking at it, I think, with, err, Mr Dillner and Mr Mosley last week, and they asked me a question: how many trees have got Flexi®-Pave and has it been used. *** I CAN CONFIRM NOW, IT HAS BEEN USED ON/OR IN TREE PITS. IT HAS BEEN USED ON TREE PITS BEFORE *** – the sort of thing it was developed for, err, that was in there. Now however you look at these things – I’ve been looking around and trying to find out, and I can see where trees around buttresses on trees where they are coming out, and it sort of upped a root, affecting things there. I can’t find any examples of when trees where roots are backed up on that sort of [interruption: heckling]. So, ***I HAVE INSTRUCTED OFFICERS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH PEOPLE FROM FLEXI®-PAVE, to talk about having a rethink with Flexi®-Pave.”***

    *****
    Comments on use of Flexi®-Pave, made by Councillor Bryan LODGE, as the Sheffield City Council CABINET MEMBER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, at the meeting of full Council, in Sheffield Town Hall

    ****
    • 1st FEBRUARY, 2017.

    These comments have been transcribed from an audio recording of the meeting.

    “Mr Carr asked about Flexi®-Pave and WHETHER I HAVE MET WITH PEOPLE FROM FLEXI®-PAVE YET. Unfortunately, I’ve not had the opportunity to meet with them yet. We are trying to. I’m just trying to talk to the gentleman. We’ve not managed to, *** WE’VE NOT MANAGED TO ARRANGE A MEETING YET,*** with diaries to fit things in, but I know some dates have been put forward and I’m looking forward to meeting them as soon as possible. [cough] Err, excuse me. I, I am aware of the product Flexi®-Pave, which is a trade brand, a trademarked, or branded, product. I am aware of its uses in other areas. I, I need assurances that it is suitable to use to covering the deflection on pavements where the roots are, err, protruding through the pavement levels and things like that, first and foremost. Err, so I’ve looked at that, I’ve read things up on – on – err, he has said. I’ve looked at things. I’ve looked at various other similar products in there. Err, I’ve looked at things there but, as I say, I’ve not had a meeting with them yet. *** Err, ONCE I’VE HAD THE MEETING, I’M HAPPY TO DISCUSS THE OUTCOME OF THAT MEETING, ERR, WITH ANYBODY WHO IS INTERESTED in there,*** and I’ll put that information out there to people, when I’ve met with them, AND I’LL LET PEOPLE KNOW, ERR, THE OUTCOME OF THE MEETING.”

    Interruption:
    “How will you do that?”

    ****
    Comments on use of Flexi®-Pave, made by Councillor Bryan LODGE, as the Sheffield City Council CABINET MEMBER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, at the meeting of full Council, in Sheffield Town Hall

    ****
    Cllr Lodge continued:

    “Err, well, I will put the information out there. If people want to ask me questions in here, I’m sure opposition Councillors that get the opportunity to ask questions; people can write in; I can put something out in to the, err, as a press release to The Star. I’d rather be talking to people than relying on press releases, but *** I’M HAPPY TO DISCUSS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS CONTRACT IF PEOPLE ASK ME *** and I meet with people on a regular basis.”

    “The question regarding the use of Flexi®-Pave, err; Flexi®-Pave is a trade name. Yes, I understand it’s a trade name and I know there’s been questions about it being used. Flexible paving, err, i-is a sort of terminology that is used around, err, trees and pavements.

    *** And, FLEXI®-PAVE AS A – AS A –PRODUCT HAS NOT BEEN USED ON THE STREETS AHEAD CONTRACT. *** I think that’s quite clear in there.

    Flexible paving solutions have been used because flexible paving actually includes the use of asphalt, so flexible paving solutions have been used there, err, but FLEXI®-PAVE ITSELF HAS NOT BEEN USED YET.”

    ***
    LODGE TRANSCRIPT

    Please note that whenever you read Cllr Lodge’s words “in there”, he is not actually referring to a document or anything (perhaps the £2.2bn Amey PFI contract for the “Streets Ahead” highway maintenance project?). He uses the words “in there” every two seconds, in much the same way as youngsters use the word “like” every two seconds.

    ****
    • 6th April 2017

    The Star newspaper reported:

    “Green, Lib Dem and UKIP councillors walked out of the full council meeting yesterday afternoon in support of Nether Edge councillor Alison Teal after she was expelled from the chamber due to ‘defamatory’ comments.

    Ms Teal had said Labour cabinet member Coun Bryan Lodge has ‘misled’ the public over the city’s controversial tree felling programme.

    Ms Teal was arrested during a protest over tree felling back in February on Chippinghouse Road. She was initially charged but had the case dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

    The council’s chief executive, John Mothersole*, ruled that a Green councillor’s comments were ‘defamatory’ but Ms Teal ‘refused to withdraw them’.
    […]
    Ms Teal told The Star: “I was a bit shook up by it but I was speaking the truth. These are the facts as I see them.

    ‘If they want to expel me for that then so be it.

    ‘All I did was stand up for my constituents who feel they have been misled. I gave the example of flexi-pave where Cllr. Lodge previously admitted he was wrong.’”

    *****
    Source:

    “Sheffield opposition councillors walk out of meeting in protest”:

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-opposition-councillors-walk-out-of-meeting-in-protest-1-8477699

    “’It’s something you’d see on a school playground’ – Sheffield Council leader criticises opposition for mass walk out”:

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/it-s-something-you-d-see-on-a-school-playground-sheffield-council-leader-criticises-opposition-for-mass-walk-out-1-8478720

    *****
    * “Top salaries for Sheffield Council bosses revealed in new report”:

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/top-salaries-for-sheffield-council-bosses-revealed-in-new-report-1-8488305

    *****
    This contribution was originally posted online at Stocksbridge Community Forum:

    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/750#comment-750

    Please note that Stocksbridge Community Forum (SCF) was deactivated on 26th April 2018 (just in time for the local authority elections that took place on 3rd May 2018). On 30th April 2018, a decision was taken to “discontinue” the SCF website (trees are a politically sensitive topic in Sheffield). Should you wish to access any of the content that I referenced there, contact me.

    • Technotronic says:

      • 19th March 2017

      A letter to Cllr Bryan Lodge (Cabinet Member for Environment & Streetscene):
      http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/754.html#comment-754

      • 20th March 2017

      The response from Cllr Lodge:
      http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/755.html#comment-755

      *****
      These have been posted here, on Ian’s blog. However, they are not visible, as they are awaiting “moderation”.

    • Technotronic says:

      • 19th March 2017

      LODGE: LIES & DAMNED LIES:

      An e-mail From Cllr Bryan Lodge, following comments he made at the meeting of full Council on 7/12/2016.

      *****
      From: SORT
      Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2017, 21:58
      To: “Lodge Bryan (LAB-CLLR)” Bryan.Lodge@sheffield.gov.uk
      Subject: Your promise at the 7th Dec 2016 Full Council Meeting
      Your promise at the 7th Dec 2016 Full Council Meeting

      Cllr Lodge

      I refer to your statement at the Full Council meeting on 7th Dec 2016 that you would now be meeting with ‘Flexi™-Pave’ to discuss options for saving mature trees using their products (incidentally confirming that Cllr Fox and Mr Caulfield had indeed reneged on their promise to do just that when they met with SORT members over a year earlier on 2nd November 2015). Though I am surprised at the way this was minuted considering that Amey have publicly stated “We’ve been working for over 18 months now alongside KBI UK to install tree pits on behalf of Birmingham City Council. Our latest project has seen us use KBL Flexi™-Pave to replace full pavements that had been damaged by root intrusion from established trees. We are pleased with the performance of the material and see it as a great option for new and replacement tree surrounds”; (and are quoted as such in the ‘Flex™-Pave’ advertising literature).

      Please would you let me know the outcome of that meeting, which must have taken place by now, some three and a half months later?

      I see that you /the Council /Streets Ahead are still saying that you have a ‘comprehensive’ list / a list of 25 of engineering solutions. This is so disappointing after Mr. Robinson confirmed they had hardly been used and substantially dismissed them at the second Highway Tree Advisory Forum (sensible really as they included potentially dangerous and discriminatory suggestions, actions completely inappropriate for mature highway trees and other outlandish concepts) and Mr. Green (as Director of Place) subsequently effectively admitted they were only referred to in order to avoid criticism of the true situation! And you may recall we discussed this at our meeting. Why are you still doing this?

      I look forward to hearing from you on the above matters by return.

      Many thanks

      SORT

      *****
      Source:
      http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/754.html#comment-754

  4. Technotronic says:

    • 19th March 2017

    LODGE: LIES & DAMNED LIES:

    An e-mail From Cllr Bryan Lodge, following comments he made at the meeting of full Council on 7/12/2016.

    *****
    From: SORT
    Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2017, 21:58
    To: “Lodge Bryan (LAB-CLLR)” Bryan.Lodge@sheffield.gov.uk
    Subject: Your promise at the 7th Dec 2016 Full Council Meeting
    Your promise at the 7th Dec 2016 Full Council Meeting

    Cllr Lodge

    I refer to your statement at the Full Council meeting on 7th Dec 2016 that you would now be meeting with ‘Flexi™-Pave’ to discuss options for saving mature trees using their products (incidentally confirming that Cllr Fox and Mr Caulfield had indeed reneged on their promise to do just that when they met with SORT members over a year earlier on 2nd November 2015). Though I am surprised at the way this was minuted considering that Amey have publicly stated “We’ve been working for over 18 months now alongside KBI UK to install tree pits on behalf of Birmingham City Council. Our latest project has seen us use KBL Flexi™-Pave to replace full pavements that had been damaged by root intrusion from established trees. We are pleased with the performance of the material and see it as a great option for new and replacement tree surrounds”; (and are quoted as such in the ‘Flex™-Pave’ advertising literature).

    Please would you let me know the outcome of that meeting, which must have taken place by now, some three and a half months later?

    I see that you /the Council /Streets Ahead are still saying that you have a ‘comprehensive’ list / a list of 25 of engineering solutions. This is so disappointing after Mr. Robinson confirmed they had hardly been used and substantially dismissed them at the second Highway Tree Advisory Forum (sensible really as they included potentially dangerous and discriminatory suggestions, actions completely inappropriate for mature highway trees and other outlandish concepts) and Mr. Green (as Director of Place) subsequently effectively admitted they were only referred to in order to avoid criticism of the true situation! And you may recall we discussed this at our meeting. Why are you still doing this?

    I look forward to hearing from you on the above matters by return.

    Many thanks

    SORT

    *****
    Source:
    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/754#comment-754 (No longer available)

    • Technotronic says:

      • 20th March 2017

      LODGE: LIES & DAMNED LIES:

      An e-mail From Cllr Bryan Lodge, in response to the e-mail he received on Sunday 19th Mar 2017 (sent at 21:58 hrs)

      *****
      From: “Lodge Bryan (LAB-CLLR)”
      To: SORT
      Sent: Monday, 20 March, 2017 12:26:18 AM
      Subject: Re: Your promise at the 7th Dec 2016 Full Council Meeting

      Mr X,

      I CAN CONFIRM THAT I HAVE HAD A MEETING WITH A FLEXIBLE PAVING MANUFACTURER.

      I would also advise that engineering solutions are used as a matter of course across the city, and that I see evidence of them as I regularly to about the city. A few examples I have seen include thinner profile kerbing used on The Green Way, ramped pavements on Carter Knowle Avenue, ramped pavings on Sandygate Park Avenue, tree kept in situ and revised tree put used on Sandygate Park Avenue, pavements ramping on Thornbridge Drive – all visible where works have been conducted as part of the Streets Ahead programme over the course of the gifts four years of the CIP. There are many, many more examples across the city of you look for them.

      Regards,
      Bryan
      For Bryan Lodge
      Cabinet Member for Environment

      *****
      Source:
      https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/755#comment-755
      (No longer available)

  5. Technotronic says:

    • 7th APRIL 2017

    From: SORT
    Sent: 07 April 2017 12:56
    To: FOI
    Subject: Cllr Lodge and the promised meeting

    Cllr Lodge and the promised meeting

    Dear FoI Team

    I am sorry to bother you with this – but Cllr Lodge has declined to answer.

    At the full Council meeting on 7th December, he stated that he would be instructing Officers to contact representatives of Flexi™-Pave to discuss its potential use for circumstances pertaining to the retention of mature street trees where roots had caused footways to ramp.

    I wish to know; 1) if this took place; 2) what was the outcome,

    To save us all a lot of wasted time, the following may help.

    1) There is only one firm that produces the patented and trade-marked flexible paving product known as Flexi™-Pave – and that is KBI UK Ltd. I know this is known by Cllr Lodge and his Officers (and Amey) from meetings, press statements, and FOI responses. I have also confirmed this with him personally and given him the relevant information and contact details.

    Therefore a response that might suggest he has met with another supplier confirms that this has not happened as promised.

    2) However, if he did meet with KBI UK Ltd, then we know that he would have been told that it can be used for precisely the purpose that he queried. He has been directly provided with copies of KBI UK Ltd‘s ‘Case Studies’ and other material showing its efficacy in exactly these circumstances. He also knows that their Managing Director met with members of SORT and declared that all the healthy trees on Rustlings Road could be saved with this product – while also creating a safe and compliant finished surface that would, in addition yield many other benefits for the Council. Furthermore, he knows that Amey themselves have publicly endorsed this product for this very use, allowing KBI UK Ltd to quote them in their advertising literature thus:

    “We’ve been working for over 18 months now alongside KBI UK to install tree pits on behalf of Birmingham City Council. Our latest project has seen us use KBL Flexi™-Pave to replace full pavements that had been damaged by root intrusion from established trees. We are pleased with the performance of the material and see it as a great option for new and replacement tree surrounds”

    – and that it has also been endorsed by dozens of other Councils across the country.

    He has also been advised that the Council’s previous ‘paving’ supplier confirmed that they have not provided anything matching Flexi™-Pave – and while suggesting one might describe any tarmac material as ‘flexible’ compared to concrete, their own material (as supplied for the tree pits on the Moor and incorrectly stated to the Full Council meeting on 7th December as Flexi™-Pave) is not suitable for footways or for any expansion of a tree in a pit (those on the Moor relying on sacrificial concentric concrete edgings).

    Thank you for your cooperation.

    Yours faithfully

    SORT

    Source:
    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/752#comment-752
    (No longer available)

    • Technotronic says:

      • 20th APRIL 2017

      FLEXI®-PAVE – SCC / AMEY IGNORANCE & DECEIT

      *****
      THE SCC RESPONSE TO FOI REQUEST FOI /36

      (To aid interpretation, inverted commas have been inserted around the quote of the original request. Also, square brackets have been inserted to identify the response to each of the questions the Information Officer chose to respond to).

      *****
      From: “FOI”
      To: SORT
      Sent: Thursday, 20 April, 2017 11:51:30 AM
      Subject: Response – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI /36
      Re – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI /36

      Dear Xxxx,

      Thank you for your recent request for information relating to Details of Council meeting with KBI UK Ltd regarding Flexi™-Pave which we received on 07/04/2017.

      Please find below, Sheffield City Council’s response to your request:

      “At the full Council meeting on 7th December, he stated that he would be instructing Officers to contact representatives of Flexi™-Pave to discuss its potential use for circumstances pertaining to the retention of mature street trees where roots had caused footways to ramp.
      I wish to know;

      1) if this took place; [We can confirm NO SUCH MEETING WITH A SUPPLIER OF FLEXIBLE PAVING MATERIALS HAS TAKEN PLACE. THE MEETING IS STILL IN THE PROCESS OF BEING ARRANGED.]

      2) what was the outcome”, [No information held.]

      I hope the information we have provided is of help to your enquiries. If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to contact us.

      If you are unhappy with the response you have received in relation to your request, you are entitled to have this reviewed. You can ask for an internal review by either writing to the above address or by emailing FOI@sheffield.gov.uk.

      If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you can contact the Information Commissioners Office. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, telephone 0303 123 1113, or for further details see their website http://www.ico.org.uk

      Kind Regards,

      Resources Business Support
      Moorfoot Level 8 West Wing
      Sheffield S1 4PL
      Tel : 0114 20 53478
      E-mail : FOI @sheffield.gov.uk

      *****
      Source:
      https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/753#comment-753
      (No longer available)

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