The following is a summary of discussions from the Save Nether Edge Trees public meeting on the 23rd April 2017.
Introduction and talks
David Pierce introduced the evening emphasising participation. The campaign is all of us and the meeting hoped to offer everyone the opportunity to voice their thoughts and ideas and have the chance of discussion, socialising and networking with other people in the campaign. After updates on recent developments, and brief talks on successful actions and campaigns, the meeting would break into small group for discussion. At the end of the meeting there would be time for informal socialising and networking
- Paul Selby gave an update on planned Nether Edge felling that Sheffield Council had announced for the coming days – 3 roads in Nether Edge and 2 elsewhere in the city have traffic restriction orders and tree felling notices had been posted for the 26th The South Yorkshire police had previously said they would not be involved. But new legislation is being used which was still a criminal act if breached. So the police may come, given its new legislation and tactics from the Council. However, even if the police don’t attend, don’t forget that criminal conviction doesn’t necessarily need police involvement. You can still get a criminal conviction and substantial fines using photographic evidence in Court, without any police involvement.
- Many more roads have had their ITP results- can be found on the Council website or go to the SNET website. The proportion of trees recommended for felling is greatly increased since the last batch. For example, all 19 trees due for felling in Kenwood Park Road. Nearly all of these are for issues such as ‘root in carriage way’.
- A campaign of complaints has been launched. There are leaflets, and a form on the SNET website. This is about the work Amey is doing- the council is not checking the work but we as citizens can lodge any justified complaints- shoddy work, barriers absent or left up for months etc etc.
- Music Festival – Shelley Cockayne one of the organisers, reported back on The Roots of Steel festival was incredibly successful, attracting many people music lovers and STAG supporters (or of course both) who listened to great music from popular local groups. There was a market, activities for children, discussions through the afternoon, food, a raffle. More than £2,000 was made for STAG.
- Paul also talked about how the Campaign was not short of good ideas, but was short of people willing to take the time to lead on implementing ideas. He gave the example of the Chelsea Road Elm Campaign open top bus event that he had organised. He explained how easy it was to do, and how much support was available from others in the campaign. All that is required is individuals to step up and lead
Both Paul and Shelley emphasised that many people were involved in the success of these actions/events. If you have a good idea, don’t sit on it or just air it on face book, see if you can find others to work with. Though you may need someone or several people to take a lead in making it happen.
Based on topics which arose at the last meeting, Main points as follows
PFI AND AMEY
Lots to learn and understand- Amey, subcontractors, financers
Pressure can be put on all three.
Delays cost Amey money – we have this confirmed through freedom of information requests
Is there a diagram/document about this and can it be circulated?
Chris Rust has done a presentation on the topic, which will be up on the website shortly.
Who’s in charge SCC or AMEY?- there was a lot of discussion about this.
The main answer is that it is a tripartite agreement, signed by Sheffield Council, Amey and the Financers. Ultimately, Sheffield Council is in charge. But if they want something doing that isn’t included in the contract, or is contradictory to what is included in the contract, then this is a “variation in contract” and has financial implications.
SCC AND SPIN
Media fact sheet, briefing sheet or press pack.
This was suggested as a good idea for people less up to speed with the campaign as events unfold and they may wish to respond to press articles or write them. The point was made that a detailed press pack may have little notice taken of it, but a briefing sheet available to all would be useful. The Nether Edge Group could suggest this to STAG
Countering the spin from SCC in the press. Items in the media are collected in Sheffield Tree Action Group News (separate from the main STAG facebook group) and can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/saveshefftrees/
SPREADING THE WORD
Lots of people in Sheffield still don’t know about or understand the issues
Reaching beyond social media
Art on walls
Pictures in shop windows
Stalls at all local markets- including the Moor market
Coffee mornings locally
Something BIG to attract the attention of Sheffield and the media
Sea of Green (like Hull’s Sea of Blue)
Poster 6000 trees gone – and counting
Banners Town Hall Ecclesall road
Something to counter the persistent idea the its a ‘middle class tree huggers’ campaign. We need to respond clearly and specifically. There was an excellent letter sent by Rich Ward to the Sheffield Star.
Concerns about air quality might bring more allies/support to the campaign
Should it be seen as part of our campaign? Probably
Sheffield already not meeting clean air standards before tree removal.
Small replacement trees won’t be as effective in mitigating air pollution
Link with Treeconomics: street trees’ value- calculated in pounds and pence.
Could make more of this- big current issue- but is it a side issue for the tree campaign- we’d still be polluted even itf all the trees were saved.
ON THE STREETS
Confidence needed when protesting on the street
No-one has to do anything they don’t want to. Can just come and observe/ witness
Share facts and information
Talk to those felling politely
No two times are the same
Lots of guesswork involved- changing all the time.
If you want to take action on any of these issues, individually or with others, you can check out the idea, or find out if others are interested who you might work with by using the contact box on the SNET web page.
If it is a city wide idea, then go to the STAG website www.savesheffieldtrees.org.uk
If you want to campaign directly, then you can best keep in touch by joining the SNET supporters- see join us on the SNET website. Also keep an eye on face book.
Ideas for future meetings?
- If you have a new idea you would like to get others views on, or something you would like raised at the SNET public meeting, please use the contact box on the SNET website or raise it at the next meeting
- We are looking for people to talk at a future meeting about an activity or action you organised or were involved in, please get in touch.
- Next meeting Meetings are the last Monday in the month 45 for 8.00 at the Bannercross Pub. So the next one is on Monday the 29th May
- We are planning the usual format – update of what has been happening since the last meeting followed by discussion with an emphasis on action and what we all can contribute
Spreading the word -Can you get involved in a proposal to directly publicise the tree campaign aimed at people in Nether edge who don’t yet understand the issues?
- Tree protection – what can we do when the felling is due?
- Responding to the media
- Any of the above ideas that people would like to take further – eg: sea of green, tree walks, stalls at markets, coffee mornings.
- Please speak up on the night or get in touch via the google group or website