A reply to an email from Coun Adam Hanrahan,
councillor for Crookes and Crosspool.
The controversy over tree felling is entirely due to the inept drafting of the contract, and until the details are revealed, it will continue.
It would appear from the details garnered from press reports, that there is a number included in the contract for felling which can not be varied under any circumstances, and estimates of that number are in the order of 18,000.
Even if there aren’t such numbers along highways in Sheffield, they will have to be found elsewhere, even in parks.
This is because the felling works are sub-contracted out to a specialised firm, on a similar basis, and any reduction in the number would mean that Amey would have to pay the sub-contractor for the shortfall.
A figure of £12m was accidently slipped out in discussion and reported in The Star some weeks ago.
From my searches of the “streetsahead” web site, which has now been deleted, I found that the contract had 22 Schedules of which four were void, six were readable (about subsidiary matters) and sixteen were redacted.
The usual spurious reasons offered for consumption of a “gullible” public were “contractual sensitivity” and “protection of individuals”, possibly the chief executive included!
Until we know who drew up the contract and signed it and whether it is part funded by the EU we will never know whether we have any control of its ramifications at all.
I know your ex-leader purports to support the public outrage over this matter, but he has made negligible progress so far.
Perhaps you could investigate this, or find any single valid reason for the mass redaction of 16 clauses, unless of course it is funded by the EU, in which case the contract can not be publicised,or queried by any inferior authority.
Your views on this would be very welome, but if your interest is purely political posturing then I have no right to, or expectation of, any comment.
Ian Laurie (Engineer Ret.)