I’m sick of distortion over city trees policy

Save the trees campaign on Rustlings Road in Sheffield
Save the trees campaign on Rustlings Road in Sheffield
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I am sick and tired of reading letters attacking the city council and its policy for the renewal of our highway trees.

The amount of distortion and untruths that are being repeated within these letters, much of it for political reasons, must be challenged, if only to save the reputation of our city.

When I was chair of the North East Community Assembly and before that the Shiregreen Area Panel, hardly a month went by without a member of the public at a meeting, requesting the removal of a highway tree that was making their lives a misery – blocking out light in gardens, destroying drains, lifting pavements and undermining foundations.

These covered homes in Norwood, Firth Park, Southey Green, Shiregreen, Wincobank.

While these street look nice for motorist who drove through, many people’s quality of life was being spoiled.

Unfortunately we did not have the resources in those days to tackle all these problems. Now we have the PFI agreement with Amey we can.

Only last week at the city council meeting the leader asked members to indicate if they had put in a request on behalf of their community for a tree to be removed.

Almost two thirds raised their hand. We were then informed that every Sheffield MP had written on behalf of a constituent requesting that a tree be removed.

To date 3,599 highway trees have been removed, almost all with the support of the local community, and 2,581 more suitable replacements have been planted, again with local support, and a further 1,100 will be planted before the planting season ends which will leave us with more highway trees than at present. These are not small whips but 10-12 foot young trees with a substantial rootball.

All this is in addition to the 50,000 extra trees planted in our city during 2015, creating 17 new woodlands, giving us more than one million trees.

Can any other comparable city match us?

I for one am proud of our green city and proud of Labour’s record in building this over generations and now continuing to develop it further.

I think our children and grandchildren will appreciate all the work we are doing now to guarantee a green future.

Well done city council and well done Amey. Keep up the good work.

Councillor Peter Price

MBE Chair of Sheffield North East Local Area Partnership