Last week Sheffield Council brought another case against four campaigners, who they allege had breached the injunction.
Though the outcome of the case is still not fully confirmed, here is a brief summary of significant information to come out of the court case, and what it may mean for the future of the campaign.
The barrister acting on behalf of Sheffield Council confirmed that Counselor Julie Dore had signed off on the court case, despite Counselor Lewis Dagnall saying publicly that the decision was solely the decision of officials, and that Councillors had no say in whether the cases were brought to court.
It appears that specific type of tactics campaigners have used to delay felling remain outside the terms of the injunction and able to continue to be used.
Two of the four accused were given suspended custodial sentences, the third was found guilty but with no sentence, and the the judge is still considering his decision on the fourth person.
The question of how much of the Council’s application for costs should be awarded against campaigners is still to be decided .
Over £4,800 has so far been raised via a crowdfunder setup to help cover court costs.
Clearly the outcome of the case isn’t good for the three individuals found guilty of breaching an injunction, and potentially significant costs may yet be awarded. But on the bright side, all three have avoided being imprisoned.
Though many fear that felling will commence immediately, it is likely that the pause in felling will continue for many more weeks yet. Word has it that Amey is still finalising its detailed proposal to save more trees. Which once submitted, will still need to go through Council Officers, the Labour Cabinet and the wider Labour Party, before hopefully being proposed to the campaign as a solution.
In the meantime, please continue to support the campaign in any way you can. Donate to the crowdfunder, or attend a supporters meeting.
It is hoped that Counselor Lewis Dagnall, the new Cabinet Member for Environment, will be at the next Save Nether Edge Trees supporters meeting, though this is yet to be confirmed.