Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) have released a video responding to the Sheffield Council’s / Amey’s recent propaganda.
“Whatever your views on the Street Trees issue in Sheffield, the way things are being handled by the council, their contractor Amey and the police are extremely questionable. This is a huge issue about governance in the city, especially in relation to the PFI contract and especially in light of the collapse of another PFI provider – Carillion – this week. We urge everyone to do a little research into the matter, we did and we are alarmed at how this whole thing has been handled by those supposed to be looking after our best interests.”
Please share as widely as possible.
This morning (12 Jan 2018), residents of St Ronan’s Road woke to find the healthy Ash tree on the junction with Steade Road had been butchered by council contractors during the night.
The raid is the latest in Amey and their subcontractor Acorn outragous pre-dawn raids on the city’s healthy street trees to be carried out despite Bryan Lodge’s assurances, after the Rustings Road incident, that “no work will begin before 7am”.
Before Christmas, there was anger on Abbeydale Park Rise when council contractors turned up at 4:15am to cut branches from street trees which had been decorated with charity Christmas lights. They arborists then sawed through the cable powering the lights, which this year was raising money for St Luke’s Hospice.
Reportedly more recent raids have involved arborists “oversailing” (trespassing) private property under the cover of darkness and cutting down branches whilst directly over parked cars (see video below), in contempt of UK law.
Read Professor Jennifer Saul’s excellent article on Amey’s flouting of UK law.
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In October Sheffield council decided to take prominent tree campaigners Calvin Payne and Councillor Alison Teal to court again.
The council alleged that they had broken the injunction forbidding peacefully protesting against the felling of healthy street trees.
The trial began on Friday 27th October and sentencing was carried out on Friday 3rd November.
Alison has been fastidious in respecting the terms of the injunction, and as such the evidence against her was weak. The judge decided she had not breached the order and the case against her was dismissed on the opening day of the trial.
Calvin was found guilty of breaching the injunction. This consisted of one count of encouraging others to breach the injunction by posting on Facebook, as well as two other counts of preventing the felling of healthy street trees by standing within the safety zone.
He has been given a 3 month suspended sentence, and ordered to pay £16,000 in costs.
“I apologise to the judge for being caught up in this and I have no contempt for the judge or the court but I do for the policy that we are fighting and I’m not ashamed or retracting my actions.”
“I’m slightly relieved to be here. As you could hear in there, it was a close run thing. Whatever happens here today, the issue won’t have gone away.”
For further information, please see the media links for the 3rd November, provided on our campaign timeline.
This is a reminder that there will be a rally this Friday to show support for the prominent tree campaigners that have been taken back to to court by Sheffield Council.
Please come along and show your support.
Date: 27th October 2017
Venue: Sheffield Combined Courts
Start of Rally: 09:30 am
Start of Trial: 10:30 am
Yesterday, the Save Dore Totley & Bradway Trees group announced that despite over two years of campaigning to save the “Vernon Oak”, the iconic tree is scheduled to be felled on Monday 16th October 2017.
“Losing this magnificent healthy oak would be a tragedy in any circumstances, but when the reasoning behind felling it is so palpably flawed it tells a distressing story about how little the positive impact of street trees is understood and valued by local decision-makers.”
Matt Larsen-Daw – The Woodland Trust
“As Chair of the Wildlife Trust, I have observed first hand how the Council leadership and its officers have consistently failed to take on board constructive expert advice from the principal local charitable natural environment champion. Whether it is responsible local residents or respected experts giving the advice and wanting to influence the City Council the result has been the same – a dialogue with the deaf”
Christopher Pennell – Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
Residents will be holding a candlelit vigil under the tree this Sunday evening at 6pm.
Read the full press released here.
Prominent tree campaigners Calvin Payne and Councillor Alison Teal are being taken to court by Sheffield Council again. The council alleges that they have broken the injunction forbidding peaceful protesting against the felling of healthy street trees from “within a safety zone”. The trial is to begin on Friday 27th October at 10:30am.
Please show your support by joining us for a rally outside before hand.
Venue: Sheffield Combined Courts
Start: 09:30 am
There will be speakers and chanting, but folk music will be kept to an absolute minimum.
See the Facebook event here.