How can £1.2bn be bad for city?

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Steve Barnard of the Greens rightly calls for Liberal Democrats to take responsibility for the Streets Ahead programme (Letters, February 11).

The contract to renew Sheffield’s crumbling roads and pavements was, as he claims, negotiated by Liberal Democrats when we ran the city.

And it was made possible by £1.2 billion from the coalition Government, agreed in the Autumn Statement of 2011.

For the Greens to advocate turning away £1.2 billion and claim the deal is “bad for the city” is breathtaking. Sheffield’s roads were – and many still are – in an appalling condition, leading to accidents, damage to vehicles, including bicycles, higher fuel consumption and poorer air quality.

The replacement of streetlights with LEDs will also save a great deal of energy and money, and reduce carbon emissions.

I do not believe that this contract requires the mass destruction of healthy trees. Tree removals are not simply decided by Amey, they are agreed by council officers.

The great majority of healthy trees condemned – doomed for minor disturbance to the surface of the footway – could be saved if a little flexibility were applied to the methods and standards of footway construction. If only the council were to listen.

CounJoe Otten

Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet member for Environment and Transport

Trees letter

ill judged

I noted with some disdain the points raised in the letter from the ‘Magnificent 17’ as I have dubbed them. In reality, it turns out to be 16 after Coun Mahzer Iqbal was found to have been included in this ill-judged epistle ‘by mistake’. Quite a big oversight I would say. Others appear not to support all that they signed up to endorse in a ‘personal capacity’. So maybe we can call it 15.5 signatories?

Sadly, your report appeared to lend undue credibility to the contributors’ academic credentials. I note that of the signatories, only two have overt academic claims, one being a PhD student and the other a senior lecturer in sociology.

Measured against the welter of renowned arboricultural practitioners and real subject experts prepared to call on actual credible evidence this does seem a rather pathetic showing from the critics of the city-wide tree campaigns.

As for the signatories’ mandate from any of the named organisations, it seems to me that the ethical appropriateness of their directly inferred affiliations might be open to further scrutiny.

Richard Ward.

S11

Desperate council move

It just goes to show how desperate our council is getting.

In March we can expect a 220ft phallic symbol in the city centre, and according to the story in your paper this is going to attract loads of people to the city centre.

Is it going to get more people to go to the already struggling Moor market I don’t think so?

What we desperately need are good shops and restaurants.

They forgot to tell Joe Public how much this experience is going to cost, bearing in mind the thrill only lasts for four minutes – a bit like some of the other ideas that the council come up with.

M D

S10

Let Gill carry on good work

There can only be one choice for our next MP– it’s got to be Gill Furniss.

She is born and bred in Sheffield and knows all about the problems we have here and where is there a better person to carry on the fight that her late husband Harry started?

I will be spreading the word wherever I go to vote for Gill.

In respect to her late husband we intend to change the name of Brushes Community Centre to Harry Harpham Community Centre, so a great man from the grass roots will be remember at the grass roots for ever

Mick Daniels

Chair Brushes TARA