Green councillors are calling on the council to save public money and face up to the need to work on community relations in the tree-felling campaign.
The motion is in response to the Council’s intention to extend legal proceedings against tree campaigners for another three years, despite the claims of “compromise.”
Pointing out that the cost of managing protest should fall on Amey and not the Council, the Green councillors argue that the council should stop spending public funds on legal proceedings and instead should work towards a genuine compromise over the areas of dispute.
Douglas Johnson, Green Councillor for City Ward, said,
“This is a challenge for the new Cabinet Member to see if he is genuinely willing and able to compromise or if he is just going to continue his predecessors’ policy of confrontation.”
“It is time to stop wasting money on legal proceedings and free it up for use on social care or other areas of vital spending.”
For more information please contact Douglas Johnson on 07981 860 662 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
- Sheffield City Council issued injunction proceedings in July 2017 against a number of campaigners, including one of its own members, Cllr Alison Teal. An injunction was granted to the council after 4 days of legal argument in the High Court. Since then, the council has applied to send eight people to prison. Five people were given suspended sentences. The council withdrew one application and lost two cases: both Cllr Alison Teal and Paul Brooke were judged not to be in breach of the injunction, despite the council’s claims.
- The injunction expires on 25th July 2018.
- Clause 19 of the Streets Ahead contract states that Amey “shall bear, without recourse to the Authority, any Loss suffered by any person which is caused by any Protestor or Trespasser”
- The Green councillors’ motion is:
Best use of public money
Proposed by Cllr Douglas Johnson; seconded by Cllr Robert Murphy
That this Council:
- Notes the recent rejection by the High Court of the Council’s application to commit further tree campaigners to prison;
- Notes that clause 19 of the Streets Ahead contract places the responsibility (and therefore cost) of managing trespass and protest firmly on Amey Hallam Highways Ltd;
- Notes that this council has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money in legal proceedings against campaigners and believes it is not a good use of public money in a time of austerity;
- Believes this council should not spend further public money on legal battles with campaigners and should instead spend the money on vital services like social care;
- Therefore, asks the Leader of the Council not to proceed with an application to extend the injunction against tree campaigners.