‘All options are open’ on Sheffield trees, chief insists

Campaigners have been collecting a petition outside Sheffield Town Hall about the cutting down of trees in Sheffield and are calling for a wider debate about the issue.
Campaigners have been collecting a petition outside Sheffield Town Hall about the cutting down of trees in Sheffield and are calling for a wider debate about the issue.
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Sheffield Council’s environment chief has said ‘all options are open’ as a major debate on tree felling in the city looms.

The debate at full council next Wednesday was sparked after a petition signed by 8,000 people was handed in.

The petition started as a response to tree felling on Rustlings Road, but is now calling for a city-wide review of tree management.

Coun Terry Fox, cabinet member for environment, said: “All options are open.

“We will have a full and frank debate but I cannot predict what full council will say.”

He said options could include engineering solutions or a new ‘tree forum’ where campaigners could air their views.

But he warned there was also a need for the ‘management of expectation’, given the felling is part of Sheffield’s Streets Ahead project with highways contractor Amey.

“We cannot take away from the fact that we are tied to a contract with Amey and there are various contractual obligations we have with them,” he said.

“We’re not averse to any kind of solutions or options that are reasonable and practicable.

“We have just planted 50,000 trees across the city, so nobody can so we don’t love trees.

“But we can’t have a conversation about every tree. We have to take a city-wide, balanced and considered view.”

Streets Ahead says trees are felled when they are diseased, dying or damaging the pavement and they are replaced, although not necessarily in the right order.