Graham Wroe and Natalie Bennett tree campaigning in Norfolk Park
Graham Wroe and Natalie Bennett tree campaigning in Norfolk Park

A letter to the Sheffield Star

I was horrified to see the letter from Cllr Peter Price (Sheffield Star 10/04/23 not yet online) which confirmed that the Sheffield Labour Party have learnt absolutely nothing from the Lowcock Report

He continues to blame trees for damaging the pavements when it has been shown that in the majority of cases, the terrible state of the pavement was not caused by the trees but by many layers of tarmac. When this excess tarmac was removed in the vast majority of cases it was then possible to resurface or modify the pavement without chopping the tree down. Other trees were targeted because they had slightly moved the kerb. 

Where trees were found to be damaging or discriminatory (making life difficult for wheelchair users/parents with pushchairs/mobility scooters etc)  the issues should have been addressed using one of the recommended 14 Engineering and Tree-Based Solutions.  These practical alternatives to tree removal are used as standard by Local Authorities in the UK and had already been paid for under the terms of the PFI contract. In Sheffield they were ignored whilst Sheffield  Labour Councillors routinely lied about them and healthy trees were needlessly destroyed.

Many of the beautiful healthy street trees throughout the city were chopped down because they were wrongly accused of being damaging or discriminatory by the Council. In Shiregreen this happened before the campaigners became aware of it. Peter Price remains completely unapologetic.

He praises Cllrs Fox and Lodge, continuing to ignore the ecocide they presided over and the £400,000 of Council Tax payer’s money wasted on legal proceedings against tree campaigners who have now been completely vindicated. Councillors Price, Fox and Lodge should resign their posts on the Council now. 

Graham Wroe

Manor Castle Green Party

The original letter from Cllr Price








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Green Councillors Alexi Dimond and Marieanne Elliot call for resignations.
Green Councillors Alexi Dimond and Marieanne Elliot call for resignations.

A call by the 14-strong Green Group for an Extraordinary General Meeting to discuss the outcome of the Independent Inquiry into the Street Trees dispute conducted by Sir Mark Lowcock has been granted by Sheffield City Council. The request from the Green Group asked the meeting to:

“discuss the implications of the Street Tree Inquiry on the city, Sheffield City Council and councillors involved in the decision making at that time.”

Green Councillors made the call in the wake of the publication of the Lowcock report that revealed serious failings of strategic leadership of the Council.

The Inquiry was a key request secured in negotiations between the Greens and the Labour Party following the 2021 local elections when Labour lost their majority and the public voted for change in the governance referendum.

Councillor Douglas Johnson said,

“This issue can’t and shouldn’t be dodged. The Councillors responsible need to be held to account and answer for their actions. The lessons from the Lowcock report need to be implemented as part of the way the council does its business and relates to the people of this city. The street tree felling scandal made people lose faith with the Council and they need to see that the culture and leadership of the Council is changing to ensure that nothing like this can ever happen again.”

“This is something that is much more realistic now the council is in No Overall Control, where the parties are forced to work together.”

The Extraordinary General Meeting is expected to be held on the 10th of May, the week after the local elections and the week before the Council’s Annual General Meeting when the leader of the Council and the Chairs of the Council’s policy committee will be appointed.