2017 saw the inner workings of a dysfunctional Labour run council exposed, linked to an unwillingness to come clean on their failings. And offering “fake news” about the Streets Ahead contract in response to tree campaigners.

Throughout the year Bryan Lodge trotted out the same discredited information. “Trees are only replaced as a last resort”, “the only trees being replaced are those causing real problems for people on our streets” and more.

Thousands have challenged these claims in letters to councillors and MP’s and their responses consistently lack the evidence to back them up.

In these circumstances people feel they have no choice but to engage in non-violent direct action to save trees where there is no credible evidence they are diseased, dangerous or dying.

Or that engineering solutions available within the contract cannot be used to cover damaging or discriminatory situations.

Sheffield is a city with a great tradition of peaceful protest. From suffragettes and the Kinder Trespasses through to Orgreave, poll tax, the Iraq war, tuition fees and austerity.

When police are used in dawn raids and anti-trade union legislation is used to arrest peaceful tree protesters you have to question what this council represents.

Labour took back power in 2011, have a big majority and will run Sheffield for the immediate future unless voters take action. On May 3rd residents can elect more opposition councillors to hold a dictatorial council to account.

Or more Labour councillors whose ability to act on your behalf will be restrained by their leader and Cabinet.

Eamonn Ward
Sheffield Green Party


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