Breaking news – Leading city councillor responsible for the tree felling programme has resigned…..

Breaking News – Bryan Lodge – Leading city councillor responsible for the tree felling programme has resigned…..

https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-councillor-overseeing-controversial-tree-felling-scheme-steps-down-1-9155266

https://www.facebook.com/groups/392913244219104/permalink/951310078379415/

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8 Responses to Breaking news – Leading city councillor responsible for the tree felling programme has resigned…..

  1. Technotronic says:

    LODGE: GOOD RIDANCE TO YEARS OF IGNORANCE, MISREPRESENTATION, DECEIT, INCOMPETENCE & MALADMINISTRATION… HOPEFULLY!

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-councillor-quits-over-late-rates-1-6186303#ixzz4ByhJRpbI

    Cllr Bryan Lodge has, arguably, been the greatest hindrance and barrier to positive change, with regard to policy and practice that affect green infrastructure in Sheffield. His level of ignorance, bigotry, avoidance of cooperation, unwillingness to cooperate, misrepresentations, deceit, lies, and incompetence, are only rivalled and surpassed by his fellow Councillors.

    This resignation, together with the recent resignation of a senior cowboy arboriculturist, now means that there should exist a genuine opportunity for positive change in policy and practice. Based on what has happened previously, with the resignations of Cllr Terry Fox (Labour), Cllr Leigh Bramall, Simon Green, David Caulfield (SCC’s Director of Development Services: Place) and Steve Robinson (SCC Head of Highway Maintenance), the future doesn’t look any brighter – it looks grim. The world looks on as Sheffield City Council recklessly shuffles ever deeper in to what appears to be a bottomless bit of ignorance, incompetence and maladministration.

    BYE-BYE TO BAD PRACTICE?:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/chris-packham-in-sheffield-to-see-for-himself/comment-page-1/#comment-2174

    ***
    SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL / AMEY: DECEIT & MISINFORMATION
    (A letter to Sheffield Telegraph, dated 15th November, 2016):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/important-update-from-deepa-shetty-on-behalf-of-stag/#comment-1415

    ***
    THE SORT LETTER DATED 31st May, 2015
    (Published in The Star on 4th June 2015, as “Save our trees, have your say”*)
    https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-streetsahead-sheffield-gov-uk-save-the-12-trees-on-rustlings-road-sheffield/u/10951593

    * http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/letters-opinion/save-our-trees-have-your-say-1-7292659

    The letter is also included in Appendix 20 (pages 305 to 307) of the SORT Letter To The Cabinet Member For Environment & Transport (Cllr Terry Fox), dated 29th January, 2016. That can be accessed at the following link:

    https://bit.ly/2rvFf3c

    ***
    IMPORTANT SORT PETITION UPDATE
    (Dated 8th November 2016):
    https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-streetsahead-sheffield-gov-uk-save-the-12-trees-on-rustlings-road-sheffield/u/18390599

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/important-update-from-deepa-shetty-on-behalf-of-stag/#comment-1462

    ***
    FOI RESPONSE, EXPOSING SCC MISREPRESENTATIONS, LIES & DECEIT:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/updates-on-the-sheffield-trees-the-pre-trial-rally-friday-27th/#comment-1907

    ***
    LEAVES RUSTLING EVER LOUDER
    (A letter published in The Star on 9th January 2017):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/updates-on-the-sheffield-trees-the-pre-trial-rally-friday-27th/#comment-1909

    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/leaves-rustling-ever-louder-1-8323701

    ***
    FELLING: SCC/AMEY INCOMPETENCE AND DECEIT
    (How SCC & Amey get it so wrong: a letter dated 22nd November, 2016):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/21/like-thieves-in-the-night-they-came-to-cut-down-the-trees/#comment-1447

    ***
    CLOSURE OF THE SOUTH YORKSHIRE FOREST PARTNERSHIP – SYFP Partners Briefing October 2016:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/03/the-end-of-an-era-closure-of-the-south-yorkshire-forest-partnership-syfp/

    ***
    RECKLESS TREE FELLING: OPENNESS, TRANSPARENCY & JUSTICE
    (A letter to the Sheffield Telegraph, dated 23rd November, 2016):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/sheffield-city-council-apologise-for-tree-felling-at-last/comment-page-1/#comment-1474

    ***
    “HUNDREDS CHANT FOR COUNCILLOR’S RESIGNATION AT PROTEST RALLY”:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-trees-hundreds-chant-for-councillor-s-resignation-at-protest-rally-1-8260725

    ***
    LABOUR SAY GET LOST:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/important-update-from-deepa-shetty-on-behalf-of-stag/#comment-1462

    ***
    Criticism from Chrissy Meleady (CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF EARLY YEARS EQUALITY and past Chief Executive of Sheffield Racial Equality Council):
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/392913244219104/permalink/712030782307347/

    ***
    Sheffield Tree Felling 2016 -2017: SOUTH YORKSHIRE POLICE DISCLOSURE OF DOCUMENTATION RELATING TO TREE FELLING IN SHEFFIELD:

    http://www.southyorks.police.uk/foi/disclosurelog/sheffield-tree-felling-2016-2017

    ***
    “SHEFFIELD TREE PROTESTERS WILL ‘NO LONGER FACE ARREST’”:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-tree-protesters-will-no-longer-face-arrest-1-8439143

    ***
    “MORE THAN JUST VOTING”:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/more-than-just-voting-1-8288560

    ***
    A LETTER TO HUFFINGTON POST, FOLLOWING THE FELLING OF HEALTHY, STRUCTURALLY SOUND MATURE HIGHWAY TREES ON RUSTLINGS ROAD:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/582d9998e4b0eaa5f14d40ac?timestamp=1479384418011

    ***
    “SHINY OBJECT A DISTRACTION”
    (4th March 2016):
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/letters-march-4-2016-1-7773128

    ***
    “THIS CLUMSY EFFORT HAS FALLEN FLAT ON ITS FACE”:
    http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/this-clumsy-effort-has-fallen-flat-on-its-face-1-8501788

    ***
    “ASSAULTING TREES AND ASSAULTING DEMOCRACY”:
    (4th July 2017):
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/595aa67fe4b0c85b96c663f8

    ***
    LODGE: A COMPLAINT
    (a letter to The Star newspaper, dated 20th May 2016):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/the-scandal-over-sheffelds-trees-grows-with-16000-indicated-for-the-chop/#comment-2112

    ***
    STREET TREES: MYTH Vs FACT
    (a letter dated 22nd December 2017):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/12/21/merry-christmas-to-all-our-tree-fellas/#comment-1991

    ***
    WHERE’S OUR TREE STRATEGY?
    (A letter from Save Our Roadside Trees [SORT], dated 11th July, 2016):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/sheffield-tree-campaign-back-in-the-national-news-in-the-guardian/#comment-1311

    ***
    “DECEIT & LIES”
    (A letter to The Star, published on 12th September, 2016, as ‘Worthy of Trust?’):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/latest-from-deepa-and-the-trees-campaign/comment-page-1/#comment-1428

    https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/worthy-of-trust-1-8119547

    ***
    DECEIT? (City Tree Strategy)
    (A letter to The Star, dated 27th September 2016 – not printed):
    https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-streetsahead-sheffield-gov-uk-save-the-12-trees-on-rustlings-road-sheffield/u/18276845

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/latest-from-deepa-and-the-trees-campaign/comment-page-1/#comment-2192

    TREES: JUGGLING SUSTAINABILITY, RISK & FEAR
    (A letter to The Star, dated 13th April 2018):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/chris-packham-in-sheffield-to-see-for-himself/comment-page-1/#comment-2176

    ***
    HOW TO RETAIN MEMORIAL TREES
    (A letter to The Star, dated 6th December 2017):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/george-monbiot-addresses-the-sheffield-street-tree-issues/comment-page-1/#comment-1939

    ***
    “STREET TREE MASSACRE” – a response to Cllr Peter Price (published in The Star):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/the-farce-continues/#comment-1542

    ***
    THE GREAT SHEFFIELD CHAINSAW MASSACRE
    – A Response to Louise Haigh MP:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/chris-packham-in-sheffield-to-see-for-himself/comment-page-1/#comment-2182

    ***
    THE SORT LETTER DATED 14th JULY 2015
    (32 PAGES):

    https://bit.ly/2IhUA1B

    A letter was sent by the Save Our Roadside Trees group (formerly Save Our Rustlings Trees), to the Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport (Then Cllr Terry Fox). The SORT petition hand-out formed the bulk of the letter. The petition hand-out was published on 25th June, 2015 in support of the Save Our Rustlings Trees (SORT) campaign, in preparation for “debate” by city councillors at a meeting of Sheffield City Council, on Wednesday 1st July, 2015, when SORT presented their petition (4,693 signatures online plus an additional >5,307 on paper). An earlier version of the hand-out was submitted to and accepted by the Sheffield Green Commission, as “evidence”. For more detail, see the following:

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/the-sheffield-street-trees-campaign-grows-as-dissatisfaction-comes-to-a-head/comment-page-1/#comment-916

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/05/youre-nicked-my-son-street-tree-campaigners-arrested/#comment-1399

    ***
    Cllr TERRY FOX’S RESPONSE TO THE SORT COMMUNICATION DATED 14th JULY, 2015:

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/updated-report-from-technotronic-letter-to-sheffield-city-council-on-street-trees/#comment-811

    ***
    In response to the aforementioned SORT petition hand-out that had been used to form the bulk of the SORT letter dated 14th July, Amey distributed a PDF to selected residents – – the “Rustlings Road Response”:

    http://sheffieldcivictrust.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Rustlings-Road-Response.pdf

    The “Rustlings Road Response” PDF document was prepared by Ms Stephanie Roberts of and for the Streets Ahead Customer Services Fulfilment Team, during the afternoon of 8th July, 2015, and subsequently distributed to many individual SORT campaigners, directly, via e-mail. It is now being distributed by Labour Councillors in Nether Edge. The lies, misrepresentations and assertions made therein were challenged and firmly rebutted and debunked, by SORT, in their 140 page letter dated 29th January 2016.

    ***
    THE SORT LETTER DATED 29th JANUARY, 2016
    (140 pages, with 238 pages of appendices):

    https://bit.ly/2rvFf3c

    The letter formed part of the Nether Edge petition hand-out that was DISTRIBUTED TO EVERY COUNCILLOR in the city by SCC’s John Turner (Democratic Services Legal and Governance Resources) – on 1st February, 2016 – to encourage informed “debate” (about responsible, SUSTAINABLE tree population management) at a meeting of full Council, held on 3rd February, 2016 ( the letter triggered Amey & SCC to publish a back-dated “COMMERCIALLY SENSITIVE” 5yr contract document, on 2nd February 2016 – the “Streets Ahead Five Year Tree Management Strategy”).

    ***
    THE OFFICIAL SCC RESPONSE TO THE SORT LETTER DATED 29th JANUARY 2016
    (From Cllr Bryan Lodge):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/latest-from-deepa-and-the-trees-campaign/#comment-1424

    ***
    STREETS AHEAD COUNCIL “SPIN”
    (A letter to The Star, published on 4th April 2018):

    https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/your-say/much-loved-institution-1-9096457
    (it’s the second letter on the webpage).

    ***
    “SUSTAINABLE TREE POPULATION MANAGEMENT”
    AKA MANAGEMENT BY NUMBERS (Published in The Star on 8th August 2016, as ‘Impact Assessment’):

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/sheffield-tree-campaign-back-in-the-national-news-in-the-guardian/#comment-1300

    ***
    “TREE BENEFITS; THE MISSING PART OF THE STREET TREE COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS EQUATION”:
    (Comment by JEREMY BARRELL FICFor – Managing Director at Barrell Tree Consultancy):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/on-the-value-of-urban-trees-with-large-crowns/#comment-1644

    ***
    “AMEY ESAs DO NOT TAKE ACCOUNT OF VALUE OR LOSS OF VALUABLE TREES OR ASSOCIATED BENEFITS”
    (Comment from a Sheffield Arboriculturist and Urban Forester [Mr D.Long], dated 3rd October 2017:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/environmental_and_ecological_ass#comment-80486

    ***
    AN ASSESSMENT OF THE STREETS AHEAD ESAs
    (EXTRACTS FROM A BLOG ENTRY BY HARRY WATKINS – Principle consultant at “Rootstock”: a Sheffield consultancy for landscape architecture. Dated 9th March 2018):
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/02/26/the-battle-for-sheffields-trees-the-guardian-26th-feb-2018/comment-page-1/#comment-2093

    ***
    “A STATEMENT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD”:
    https://europeantrees.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/our-street-trees-are-not-your-highway-trees/#comment-2263

    ***
    UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD UPDATE
    (Prof Nigel Dunnett on BBC Look North, on 28th July 2017):

    ***
    CRITICISM FROM THE MASTER OF THE GUILD OF SAINT GEORGE
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/on-the-value-of-urban-trees-with-large-crowns/#comment-1756

    ***
    ARBORICULTURAL ASSOCIATION REBUKE SCC & AMEY:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/sheffield-live-the-big-debate-on-protecting-sheffield-from-the-floods-with-ian-rotherham-and-nigel-slack/comment-page-1/#comment-1617

    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/latest-from-deepa-and-the-trees-campaign/comment-page-1/#comment-1452

    ***
    TREES FOR CITIES PULLS OUT OF SHEFFIELD OVER STREETS AHEAD CONCERNS:
    (Horticulture Week. 8th March 2017)
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/sheffield-live-the-big-debate-on-protecting-sheffield-from-the-floods-with-ian-rotherham-and-nigel-slack/comment-page-1/#comment-1637

    http://www.hortweek.com/trees-cities-pulls-sheffield-streets-ahead-concerns/arboriculture/article/1426738

    ***
    Cllr LODGE: CRITICISM FROM THE WOODLAND TRUST:
    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/opinion/yp-letters-gove-right-to-intervene-on-sheffield-tree-felling-1-8702849

    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/woodland-trust-refutes-sheffield-council-s-claim-charity-is-working-with-authority-on-tree-felling-1-8699037

    ***
    DAMNING NEWS (The Future?) :
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/updates-on-the-sheffield-trees-the-pre-trial-rally-friday-27th/#comment-1945

    • Technotronic says:

      HOW TO GET 66.7% OF MATURE HIGHWAY TREES FELLED: THE SHEFFIELD STANDARD

      1)
      Avoid adopting a tree strategy, to avoid commitment to good practice, transparency, auditing and accountability.

      2)
      Don’t admit to not having a strategy to guide and inform decisions: make something up, if you must (the public shan’t know the difference).

      3)
      Avoid providing information to the public, particularly detailed information.

      4)
      If you have insufficient resources blame your predecessors.

      5)
      If you have neglected to do appropriate, adequate assessments, don’t admit it: just say something that sounds technical and the public will shut up.

      6)
      If you forgot to draught specifications for working around mature trees, want to speed up resurfacing operations, or just want to cut maintenance costs, consider using an excuse to fell:

      a) The machinery we use – diggers and planning machines will damage roots so severely that they are likely to become diseased and trees will become dangerous.

      b) There are no other highway engineering specifications that could be used.

      c) There are millions of other trees, “stop whinging”.

      d) Make out that planting another tree somewhere in the neighbourhood will adequately compensate for the annual loss of @£1,500 of ecosystem services that the mature tree would have provided to the neighbourhood & Communities.

      e) Find space to plant a woodland and make out that compensates for loss of highway tree cover and associated ecosystem service benefits.

      f) Find a piece of research that you can spin to your advantage: preferably something that’s not easily accessible or freely available. Whatever you do, don’t reference it.

      7)
      Hype up fear of harm, damage and liability: provided you haven’t educated the public, they’ll fall for this one hook, line & sinker – guaranteed. Plus it helps you appear as responsible and it distracts media attention while citizens argue amongst themselves.

      8)
      Whatever you do, don’t draw public attention to national good practice guidance or recommendations: you don’t want them insisting on compliance or holding you to account.

      9)
      Whatever you do, do not mention the range and value of ecosystem service benefits that mature trees afford to the environment and communities, or the replacement value of individual mature trees.

      10)
      Be sure to highlight all potential negatives of having trees. In particular, focus on disease and hazards. The public often can’t recognise these and don’t know how to assess them: they’ll believe whatever you say.

      11)
      Avoid providing any detail of organisation structure, to avoid awkward questions and accountability.

      12)
      Don’t give out contact details for managers or officers. In particular, do not provide an address.

      13)
      Convert all enquiries to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. You can claim this is a common, appropriate and efficient way of handling enquiries. As a bonus, the FOI Act provides a range of excuses that can be used to refuse access to information: use the time and cost excuses – they are most useful.

      14)
      If you have no choice but to respond, provide as little information as possible and/or provide alternative information: pretend you have interpreted the question differently.

      15)
      To avoid responsibility and accountability, hire a contractor to provide “Customer Services” and channel all enquiries via them.

      16)
      To avoid consulting with the public, set up a forum or tree panel. You can rig these to find in your favour by:

      a) not consulting with stakeholders;

      b) not having a constitution for them to amend, accept, or reject;

      c) ensuring that panellists do not have an adequate combination of appropriate education, knowledge, training and experience relevant to the matters being approached, and adequate understanding of the requirements of the particular task/s being approached;

      d) ignoring information that doesn’t support your previous or intended acts and omissions;

      e) only responding to questions you approve of: you can avoid providing answers and you don’t have to provide detail (just fob them off like a politician would).

      17)
      If you have a forum or tree panel, you can then dismiss all those enquiries that you convert to FOI requests on the basis that the issue has been: “otherwise subjected to some form of independent scrutiny.”

      18)
      Have a PFI contract. That way, you can avoid providing information on the basis that it is commercially sensitive.

      19)
      If citizens oppose your city-wide felling programme, set them against other citizens. You can do this in various ways:

      a) claim that damage to pavements impedes access and mobility so not felling represents a form of discrimination against those with disabilities;

      b) find disabled people to support this assertion;

      c) use the media to support this assertion: conflict makes good headlines & sells;

      d) stir up division between more affluent areas and less affluent areas: fell the less affluent areas first, as they are less likely to have the resources to oppose felling: time, money, access to information and opportunity.

      20)
      Use a felling questionnaire to gauge how many households on a street where felling is scheduled to take place are in favour of felling. You can skew this to your advantage by:

      a) ensuring that you do not provide information about the range of benefits that trees afford to the environment and communities – particularly those that enhance health and well-being;

      b) restricting the window of opportunity for responses to be submitted;

      c) not providing any information on exactly how the content of completed questionnaires will be used;

      d) ensuring that the questionnaire is only in one language;

      e) asking for personal information: if the citizen refuses to supply it, you can dismiss their submission on the basis that it incomplete;

      f) accidentally forget to mention the deadline for submission, then claim it has passed.

      21)
      Even if you are the greenest city in Europe, make out that you have insufficient canopy cover for the city’s collective tree and woodland cover to be classed as an urban forest: this way, you can wiggle out of the requirement to comply with the UK Forestry Standard and it’s really annoying definition of sustainable forestry. If anyone mentions The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) AGREED GLOBAL DEFINITION OF FOREST, just ignore it.

      22)
      If anyone mentions European legislation, such as EU Directive 2001/42/EC, which annoyingly requires use of the Precautionary Principle that the Government adopted at Rio in 1992, just ignore it: citizens are unlikely to be willing to go to court, so just call their bluff.

      23)
      If anyone mentions the guidance of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) on the relevance and application of the Precautionary Principle, just ignore it. After all, who’s going to enforce compliance with such guidance?

      *****
      SOURCE:

      Posted online at Stocksbridge Community Forum (on 14th February 2016):
      http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/407.html#comment-407

  2. Technotronic says:

    SCC & AMEY NON-COMPLIANCE WITH GOOD PRACTICE: A FEW EXAMPLES

    As you read this list, remember that the STREETS AHEAD project is a £2.2 billion, city-wide, “transformational” project that will change the face of the city, and that £1bn of that is money borrowed by our Council, at taxpayer’s expense (with interest adding up each day).

    1)
    No assessment of likely environmental impact of proposed felling (so no appreciation of the likely, reasonably foreseeable negative impacts);

    2)
    No tree strategy (no detailed policies and plans to guide and inform policy and decision making, and no systematic, integrated approach);

    3)
    No sub-strategy for community involvement (no opportunity for education, consultation and participation);

    4)
    No assessment of the shape, size and distribution of canopy cover;

    5)
    No monetary valuation of trees (community assets);

    6)
    No valuation of the range of ecosystem service benefits afforded to neighbourhoods and communities by trees;

    7)
    No adequate cost:benefit analyses;

    8)
    No risk analyses (as data is not collected);

    9)
    No BALANCED risk assessment of hazards associated with trees (help temper a risk-averse approach and help ensure that acts and omissions are based on sound evidence, PROPORTIONATE, defendable, and not unduly influenced by transitory or exaggerated opinions).

    10)
    No alternative highway engineering SPECIFICATIONS for footway, edging and drain construction (so no evidence that any alternative to felling trees associated with footway or kerb damage is considered);

    11)
    No/ inadequate on-site supervision, monitoring and auditing of highway works in close proximity to trees;

    12)
    No/ inadequate enforcement of compliance with good practice and policy commitments;

    13)
    Non compliance with nationally recognised and widely accepted good practice guidance & recommendations*;

    14)
    Wilful neglect to put in place a system whereby reckless or wilful acts or omissions that cause damage or destruction can be reported directly to the Council (not via Amey Customer Services);

    15)
    Continued, wilful, neglect to communicate in an open, honest and transparent manner;

    16)
    Abuse and misuse of the Freedom of Information Act to dismiss legitimate enquiries as “vexatious” or “futile”, or on the basis of “unreasonable persistence”;

    17)
    No guidance issued to those tasked with undertaking assessments;

    18)
    No guidance for those tasked with undertaking investigations.

    19)
    No consideration of the site constraints that trees represent, at any stage in project planning, development and implementation;

    20)
    Inadequate site preparation prior to planting;

    21)
    Inadequate planting, plant protection and planting aftercare;

    22)
    No provision for review and revision of policy and practice at planned and appropriate intervals;

    23)
    No steps to ensure decisions are auditable and that decision makers can and will be held accountable.

    24)
    No involvement of a competent SCC arboricultural consultant when drafting the contract or at any stage of the project.

    SOURCE:
    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/542#comment-542
    https://www.stocksbridgecommunity.org/comment/626#comment-626

    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.

    It should be noted that although each of the above criticisms were presented to Cllr Bryan Lodge (SCC Cabinet Member for Environment & Streetscene), repeatedly (in writing and face-to-face), and although he repeatedly made promises to address many of these points, in fact, he did NOTHING to address a single one of any of them. His empty promises turned out to be nothing more than delay tactics, to pacify, distract and cover. He abused people’s faith and trust in him. Lodge – a stereotypical politician to the end (dishonest, deceitful, untrustworthy & incompetent).

    Recently, I was copied in on a communication addressed to Cllr Lodge, dated 30th April 2018. For seven weeks, Cllr Lodge had been refusing to respond to someone that had accepted a couple of his invitations to meet and talk. The communication finished with this rather apt quote, appealing to Cllr Lodge’s Christian conscience*:

    “Mt 7: 12:20:

    12.
    So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets.
    13.
    Enter by the narrow gate, since the road that leads to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it;
    14.
    but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
    15.
    Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves.
    16.
    You will be able to tell them by their fruits. Can people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
    17.
    In the same way, a sound tree produces good fruit but a rotten tree bad fruit.
    18.
    A sound tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor a rotten tree bear good fruit.
    19.
    Any tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown on the fire.
    20.
    I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.

    Source:
    https://www.bibliacatolica.com.br/new-jerusalem-bible/matthew/7/

    * “Profile of Councillor Bryan Lodge…

    …I’ve always taken an active role in local community events whether through Schools, Church, Scouts or with family and friends in supporting events, and now as a local councillor.
    Growing up in Hackenthorpe, I’ve fond memories of helping my dad and others from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church…

    I attended St John Fisher Primary school …and took on the role of Chair. I served as a governor at the school, initially as a parent governor then as a foundation governor nominated by the church, for over twelve years. I’m now a governor at Birley Spa Community Primary School.”

    Source:
    http://birleywardlabourparty.org.uk/?page_id=174

  3. Technotronic says:

    THE YORKSHIRE POST

    SHEFFIELD COUNCIL’S SECRET POLICY FOR TREE-FELLING REVEALED (TODAY):
    https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/sheffield-council-s-secret-policy-for-tree-felling-revealed-1-9167600

    READ SHEFFIELD COUNCIL’S SECRET CONTRACT POLICY FOR FELLING TREES IN FULL:

    https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/read-sheffield-council-s-secret-contract-policy-for-felling-trees-in-full-1-9167613

    Does it look like it was cobbled together one night after the author stumbled home from the pub? That’s because, in all likelihood, it was, recently. It looks like someone was given a tight deadline to cobble some crap together to present to media folk, to fob people off with. Put it this way: if you knew the world was watching, would you produce that crap, or actually put some effort in and attempt to salvage what remains of whatever credibility and trust you once may have enjoyed? You would certainly make an effort to provide supported reasoning and reference the most appropriate standards and good practice guidance and recommendations wouldn’t you? Such as BS 8545*, which SORT have referenced time and again:

    https://bit.ly/2IhUA1B
    (THE SORT LETTER DATED 14th JULY 2015: 32 pages)

    https://bit.ly/2rvFf3c
    or
    https://bit.ly/2rNzE8n
    (THE SORT LETTER DATED 29th JANUARY, 2016: 140 pages, with 238 pages of appendices)

    Whatever the case, the average person would reasonably expect a greater level of care from professionals responsible for a £2.2bn**, 25yr project that has potential to have significant impact on environmental quality and public health & well-being.

    *
    Selected extracts from British Standard 8545 (Trees: From Nursery to Independence in the Landscape – Recommendations) can be found here:
    https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/street-trees-in-the-news/#comment-848

  4. Technotronic says:

    URBAN FORESTRY

    Mantova, Italy, will host the first World Forum on Urban Forests in November/December 2018

    ***
    USEFUL LINKS FROM THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION (FAO) OF THE UNITED NATIONS (UN)

    ***
    Vital Forest Graphics. Forest definition and extent (2009):
    http://www.grida.no/publications/152

    Quote:

    “The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been assessing the world’s forest resources at regular intervals. Its Global Forest Resources Assessments (FRA) are based on data provided by individual countries, using AN AGREED GLOBAL DEFINITION OF FOREST which includes a MINIMUM THRESHOLD FOR THE HEIGHT OF TREES (5 m), AT LEAST 10 PER CENT CROWN COVER (canopy density determined by estimating the area of ground shaded by the crown of the trees) and a minimum forest area size (0.5 hectares). Urban parks, orchards and other agricultural tree crops are excluded from this definition.”
    (Achard, 2009, p. 7)

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iXA5nwDNuLYC&lpg=PA4&ots=AKPCciZxL3&lr&pg=PA14#v=onepage&q&f=false

    ***
    [URBAN] FORESTRY COMMUNICATION TOOLKIT:
    http://www.fao.org/forestry/communication-toolkit/76376/en/

    ***
    FAO FORESTRY PAPER 178: Guidelines on urban and peri-urban forestry (October 2016):
    http://www.fao.org/forestry/news/92438/en/

    Selected Extracts:

    “Guidelines on Urban and Peri-urban Forestry explains how cities can maximize the contribution of urban forests to addressing local and global sustainable development challenges, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security, and human health and well-being.”
    […]
    ‘City planners and other urban decision-makers are often unaware of the crucial economic, social and environmental benefits that urban forests can provide, which means they are spending their budgets elsewhere,’ said FAO Forestry Officer Simone Borelli, one of the authors of the book. ‘In this publication we show them why MAKING URBAN FORESTS A PRIORITY AND “TURNING GREY TO GREEN” IS A WISE INVESTMENT THAT WILL IMPROVE MANY ASPECTS OF CITIZENS’ LIVES.’
    […]

    “WHAT IS AN URBAN FOREST?

    […]
    URBAN FORESTS CAN BE DEFINED AS NETWORKS OR SYSTEMS COMPRISING ALL WOODLANDS, GROUPS OF TREES, AND INDIVIDUAL TREES LOCATED IN URBAN AND PERI-URBAN AREAS; THEY INCLUDE, therefore, forests, ***** STREET TREES, ***** trees in parks and gardens, and trees in derelict corners. URBAN FORESTS ARE THE BACKBONE OF THE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE, bridging rural and urban areas and ameliorating a city’s environmental footprint.
    […]

    Urban and peri-urban forestry (UPF) is THE PRACTICE OF MANAGING URBAN FORESTS TO ENSURE THEIR OPTIMAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PHYSIOLOGICAL, SOCIOLOGICAL AND ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF URBAN SOCIETIES.

    UPF IS AN INTEGRATED, INTERDISCIPLINARY, PARTICIPATORY AND STRATEGIC APPROACH TO PLANNING AND MANAGING FORESTS AND TREES IN AND AROUND CITIES.
    It involves the assessment, planning, planting, maintenance, PRESERVATION and monitoring of urban forests, and it can operate AT SCALES RANGING FROM SINGLE TREES TO LANDSCAPES.
    […]

    At the community scale, UPF EMPHASIZES THE ENGAGEMENT OF URBAN CITIZENS IN THE STEWARDSHIP OF PRIVATE AND PUBLIC TREES, INCLUDING BY EDUCATING THEM on the value and benefits of trees and forests AND SUPPORTING their full ownership and responsibility for the environment around them.

    WHY URBAN FORESTS?

    Forests in and around cities face many threats, such as those posed by unregulated urban development and a LACK OF INVESTMENT AND MANAGEMENT. Although it has been demonstrated that coherent investment in the establishment, protection and restoration of URBAN FORESTS CAN HELP CREATE A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, such forests are often appreciated more for their aesthetic value than for their ecosystem functions.

    Mayors, planners and other urban DECISION-MAKERS ARE OFTEN UNAWARE OF THE CRUCIAL ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS THAT URBAN FORESTS CAN PROVIDE.”
    (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Salbitano, F. et al., 2016, p. 2)
    http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/e068e0d9-0c97-41c7-a856-05556a1bd10b/

    Previously also available online at Stocksbridge Community Forum

    *****
    UNASYLVA* 250: Forests and Sustainable Cities (2018):
    http://www.fao.org/3/i8707en/I8707EN.pdf

    * An international journal of forestry and forest industries, published by the FAO.

    ABSTRACT:

    “Cities need forests. The NETWORK of woodlands, groups of trees AND INDIVIDUAL TREES IN A CITY and on its fringes performs a huge range of functions – such as regulating climate; storing carbon; removing air pollutants; reducing the risk of flooding; assisting in food, energy and water security; and IMPROVING THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH of citizens. Forests enhance the look of cities and play IMPORTANT ROLES IN SOCIAL COHESION; they may even reduce crime.

    This edition of Unasylva takes a close look at urban and peri-urban forestry – its benefits, pitfalls, governance and challenges.”

    CONTENTS:

    • Urban forests in the global context;

    • Building green infrastructure and urban landscapes;

    • The benefits of urban and peri-urban forestry;

    • Improving city forests through assessment, modelling
    and monitoring;

    • The changing governance of urban forests;

    • Forests as nature-based solutions for ensuring urban
    water security;

    • The role of urban and peri-urban forests in reducing risks
    and managing disasters;

    • “Edible” urban forests as part of inclusive, sustainable cities

    • Protecting heritage trees in urban and peri-urban environments

    ***
    ECOSYSTEM SERVICES FOR ECO-CIVILIZATION:
    Restoring connections between people and landscapes through nature-based solutions: conference proceedings (December 2017):

    http://www.espconference.org/espconference2017/wiki/310512/proceedings#.Wvx0pSyWzWO

    http://www.espconference.org/espconference2017/wiki/310606/keynote-presentations#HRH

    ***
    FOREST MANAGEMENT WORKING PAPER:
    Sustainable forest management and the ecosystem approach: two concepts, one goal :

    http://www.fao.org/forestry/6417-0905522127db12a324c6991d0a53571fa.pdf

    ***
    FAO FORESTRY PAPER 179: National socioeconomic surveys in forestry (October 2016):

    http://www.fao.org/forestry/news/92504/en/

  5. Technotronic says:

    IF TREES COULD VOTE! – A LETTER THE STAR REFUSED TO PUBLISH

    The letter below arrived in my inbox on Tuesday 3rd May, 2016. The author (Save Our Roadside Trees: SORT) has given permission for me to share it here. To date, The Star have not published it:

    “With elections on 5th May, now is a good time to take stock of progress on the tree front, especially as SORT will be one year old this month.

    The SORT campaign began when residents asked to see what other alternative highway engineering specifications had been considered for pavement and kerb construction, prior to any decision to fell healthy, structurally sound, mature trees (scheduled for felling on the basis that they are associated with damage to pavements and kerbs). BOTH SCC & AMEY HAVE ALWAYS ASSERTED THAT FELLING IS A “LAST RESORT. SORT are aware that mature highway trees are VALUABLE COMMUNITY ASSETS that provide a range of VALUABLE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES to neighbourhoods and communities. They knew that mature trees were of great benefit to health, well-being and quality of the environment, so they asked whether these benefits were accounted for by COST:BENEFIT ANALYSES AND IN BALANCED RISK ASSESSMENTS, PRIOR TO MAKING A DECISION TO FELL.

    Both SCC & Amey did their best to avoid answering, and turned the focus to liability, accessibility & mobility.

    ***** Ironically, ALL STATUTORY DUTIES CAN BE ADEQUATELY FULFILLED, AND MATURE TREES SAFELY RETAINED, LONG-TERM, BY HAVING APPROPRIATE HIGHWAY ENGINEERING SPECIFICATIONS, AND BY COMPLIANCE WITH CURRENT ARBORICULTURAL GOOD PRACTICE. *****

    Eventually, answers emerged. On 8/7/2015, THE STREETS AHEAD TEAM CLARIFIED THAT MONETARY VALUATIONS ARE NOT DONE. On 22/7/2015, FOI 423 revealed that NO RISK ASSESSMENTS ARE DONE for hazards associated with trees. FOI responses (449 & 489) also indicated that RISK ANALYSES ARE NOT DONE, as the data necessary is not collected.

    On 6/7/2015 request FOI 422 was made:

    “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 17/2/2016, the SCC Information Management Officer stated:

    “The Council… note specifically that the options considered instead of felling each of these individuals trees is not (and would not be) recorded, therefore there is NO INFORMATION HELD in respect to your initial request.”

    The Information Commissioner investigated the original response and, on 19/2/2016, informed:

    “Assessment of suitability/lack of suitability for engineering solutions is made during a “walk and build” process by Amey… 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… ***** THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS AND RATIONALE FOR THE DECISION IS NOT RECORDED.” *****

    The Case Officer stated:

    “…the Council has now confirmed to you that ***** NO INFORMATION IS HELD WITHIN THE SCOPE OF YOUR REQUEST.” *****

    Flexible paving could be used to retain trees. On 14/3/2016, in the FOI 1259 response, SCC claimed: ‘We can confirm that our contractor Amey did use the brand “Flexi-pave” provided by the supplier KBI at the start of the contract’.

    ***** However, on 29/10/2015, SORT MET THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF KBI UK LTD. HE INFORMED THAT HE HAD NEVER BEEN CONTACTED BY SCC HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT OR AMEY ABOUT USING FLEXI®-PAVE ON HIGHWAYS IN SHEFFIELD. *****

    Even though Streets Ahead is a £2.2 BILLION, CITY-WIDE, ‘transformational’ highway maintenance project that will change the face of the city, at a meeting of full Council, on 3/2/2016, ***** THE COUNCIL REVEALED THAT THEY NEGLECTED TO BUDGET TO RETAIN MATURE HIGHWAY TREES, SO CANNOT AFFORD TO DO SO, ***** even though 75% (27,000) are mature.

    Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act is being used to convert legitimate general enquiries to FOI requests. Under the Act, they are then dismissed as ‘vexatious’ or ‘futile’, or on the basis of ‘unreasonable persistence’.”

    Source:
    http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/507.html#comment-507

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