Sheffield City Council apologise – at last!
More to follow
I would have liked a letter of apology published in the Star and Daily Telegraph signed by Julie Dore and all others who made the decision to involve the SYP in the way they have, as well as a statement about their inaccurate assessment or reasoning for felling the trees on Rustlings Road that the ITP said should stay. And to question why they sat on the ITP report since July 2016.
I can not accept in the apology that the SCC is listening in that they are felling trees that 1000’s
of Sheffield residents signed petitions not to fell the trees. Nor is the SCC protecting the city’s 36,000 street trees for generations to come – statement simply is way out of context to be polite.
TO INFLUENCE POLICY AND PRACTICE,
COMPLETE FEEDBACK FOR THE DRAUGHT TREE STRATEGY…BEFORE DECEMBER!
LABOUR LEADER GIVES ADVICE
“But speaking tonight at a Westminster event* attended by the families of fallen service personnel in Iraq, MR CORBYN SAID:
‘POLITICIANS AND POLITICAL PARTIES CAN ONLY GROW STRONGER BY ACKNOWLEDGING WHEN THEY GET IT WRONG AND BY FACING UP TO THEIR MISTAKES.’ ”
*At Church House, Westminster.
Watch the video (for proof):
OUR CABINET MEMBER FOR ENVIRONMENT
“One of Sheffield’s most senior councillors who has overseen collection of council tax and business rates has resigned from his cabinet role after running into arrears with his own payments.
BRYAN LODGE, Labour councillor for Birley, said he felt the ‘most appropriate action’ was to quit from his role as cabinet member for finance after falling behind with business rates at his city centre sandwich shop on Division Street.
Coun Lodge said: ‘My business rates have fallen behind by two months…’”
Read more: http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-councillor-quits-over-late-rates-1-6186303#ixzz4ByhJRpbI
READ THE SORT UPDATE:
Agreed – more comments please!
THOUGHTS ON THE DRAUGHT TREE STRATEGY
DEADLINE: END OF NOVEMBER 2016
In short, Aspinall & Gunton (the Sheffield City Council Officers responsible for the tree strategy*) are accepting the Amey 5yr plan* as a sub-strategy for highway trees, as-is. They are insisting that it will not be reviewed and revised until 2018 (end of the core investment period). The 5yr plan is an AMEY document. If you comment on that, AMEY will decide whether or not to take account of your contributions. They WILL ignore your contributions and dismiss them. You know that! >_<
If SCC intend to comply with good practice (which they probably don’t), the sub-strategy for highway trees WILL NEED to be reviewed and revised at planned and ad-hoc intervals, to integrate the aims, objectives, policies and plans contained within the parent strategy (the main strategy document) and associated sub-strategies (such as the sub-strategy for community involvement), and to accommodate changes (in policy, legislation and good practice), and to help ensure adequate implementation. This is NECESSARY, if the sub strategy for highway trees is to be adequate to guide and inform policy and decisions and help ensure implementation of current good practice.
I suspect the strategy is being used as a PR stunt. The way the draught strategy has been prepared, and the online “consultation” strongly indicate this is the case. Both have been and are a TOTAL shambles.
So, you see, the BEST way to influence the sub-strategy for highway trees is by ensuring that the main strategy contains adequate policies, plans, protocols, methods and authorised techniques, etc.
Think of ensuring the parent strategy is adequate as like seeking positive change by complaining to the organ-grinder rather than the monkey. 😉
*SEE THE PDF DOCUMENTS AT THE FOLLOWING LINK:
RECKLESS TREE FELLING: OPENNESS, TRANSPARENCY & JUSTICE
A LETTER TO THE SHEFFIELD TELEGRAPH (SIMILAR WAS SENT TO THE GUARDIAN)
Just over a week ago, on Wednesday 23rd November, 2016, the following letter arrived in my inbox. The author has given permission for me to post it here, in its entirety, for your benefit.
Last Thursday, EIGHT TREES ON RUSTLINGS ROAD were felled as part of the city-wide tree felling programme that is part of the £2.2bn ‘Streets Ahead’ highway maintenance project. Seven of the trees (limes) were healthy and structurally sound, but FELLED BECAUSE, LIKE MOST MATURE HIGHWAY TREES IN SHEFFIELD, THEY WERE ASSOCIATED WITH DAMAGE TO THE FOOTWAY AND KERB. At the second (most recent) meeting of the “bi-monthly” Highway Tree Advisory Forum (2/9/2015), SCC’s Head of Highway Maintenance (Steve Robinson) promised: ‘…IF AN ENGINEERING SOLUTION CAN BE APPLIED, THEN IT WILL BE APPLIED. …a tree is removed as a last resort’. He added:
‘…the Council has A DEFENCE UNDER THE HIGHWAYS ACT – Section 58 defence under the Highways Act – of NOT HAVING SUFFICIENT FUNDING TO DEAL WITH ALL THOSE DEFECTS.’
THE TREES FELLED HAD BEEN VALUED by Mr Christopher Neilan (Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters), using his nationally recognised Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT) method. THEY HAD A COLLECTIVE VALUE OF £139,534 AND A MEAN VALUE OF £19,933.
In February 2016, the Information Commissioner completed an investigation. The conclusions revealed that, OVER THREE YEARS IN TO THE £2.2BN CONTRACT, NEITHER SCC NOR AMEY HAVE COMMISSIONED OR DRAUGHTED ANY ALTERNATIVE HIGHWAY ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS for consideration for use as an alternative to felling, to retain trees. This was confirmed on 5th October, 2016, when SCC’s Director of Place (Simon Green: responsible for Highways and Planning) commented: ‘THE COUNCIL HAS NOT NEEDED TO COMMISSION ANY ALTERNATIVE ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS’.
On 1/8/2016 I met Cllr LODGE (SCC’s Cabinet member for Environment). He informed that use of alternative specifications would represent a ‘deviation’ from the Amey PFI contract. He informed that their use had not been budgeted for and, for this reason, they are unaffordable and not a reasonably practicable option. However, he added that SCC HAD FINED AMEY OVER £2 MILLION during 2015, for neglect to meet agreed standards. He added that SCC were “just in the process of taking some action against Amey”, for the same reason. I WAS LED TO UNDERSTAND THAT £2 MILLION WAS AVAILABLE AND COULD BE USED SPECIFICALLY TO RETAIN TREES ON RUSTLINGS ROAD. Unless there is a change in the attitude of decision-makers, SHEFFIELD STANDS TO LOSE ALMOST ALL ITS MATURE STREET TREES.
D.Long (BSc Hons Arb), Sheffield.”
The apology and I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m mistaken, appears to be for starting the assault before 7am?
Interesting that they ‘commit’ to publishing the ITP Report, but typical of the species (‘politician’) they omit to provide a timeframe?
THE STAR: A LINK TO THE NEWS ITEM
Hardly an apology – just sorry for the timing. If I punch someone on the nose I shall check if the timing is convenient first.
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