Mythbuster report

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Letter to Councillor Bryan Lodge. I read the “mythbuster” report and I am querying the legitimacy of the claims that have been made.

Myth 9: Tree replacement is always a last resort and ultimately, by the end of the 25-year contract, there will be over 600 more street trees in Sheffield than before the contract began in 2012

Tree replacement seems to be the first option in most cases, not the last resort. I see many examples of condemned trees where one of the engineering solutions could easily be used.

Myth 10: The council undertake independent assessments before making a final decision on each tree

The recommendations made by the independent assessors that many healthy trees should be retained have been mostly ignored.

Myth 11: On all occasions, the contract was found to be lawful and legal by a High Court judge.

I believe that it was not the contract itself that was challenged in the courts, but just a couple of points within the contract.

Myth 12: Engineering solutions that have been implemented by Streets Ahead can be seen across the city where trees, which fall into one of the 6D’s category, have been retained.

I have yet to see an example of one of the 14 engineering solutions in use, and would like to see them if you can give me a list of where they are. I have seen plenty of instances where one of the 14 engineering solutions within the contract could be used to retain trees, but they are not being used, and healthy trees are condemned.

Myth 13: This is not a new approach, but a concentrated programme while we have the funding available.

The mass felling of our street trees is a new approach. Campaigners are not against a sustainable tree management programme over time, nor are they in favour of retaining trees that need to be replaced for reasons of disease or because they are dead or dangerous.

Myth 14: The surveys which were sent to residents where tree replacement was needed found that less than 7% disagreed with tree replacement proposals.

How is the 7% figure calculated? I have spent time looking at the survey results and among those who responded, the figure for those disagreeing would be much higher than 7%. As the response rate was so low, maybe the ones who didn’t respond are counted as being in agreement with the fellings. The surveys do not give a fair view of the opinions of the people surveyed, for several reasons that I have put to you before, and an even poorer view of the residents of Sheffield, many of whom were not asked for their opinions. It’s equally valid to use the survey responses to say that approximately only 3% of Sheffield residents are in favour of the mass fellings that Streets Ahead would like to carry out.

Myth 15: The cost to the city’s taxpayers, brought on by delays to the programme, is already very significant and continues to increase as a result of protestor disruption.

The Streets Ahead contract states that the cost of delays caused by protestors is to be borne by the contractors, not by the council. I believe that this is standard for this type of contract.

Myth 16: There is a difference between protesting peacefully, and illegally preventing lawful work from continuing.

The courts, the police and the Public Prosecutor decide whether a person has acted illegally, and in every case where tree campaigners have been charged, the case has been dropped so those bodies have not found the protestors to be acting illegally. It is untruthful to call the action by campaigners illegal.

Myth 17: Street trees planted on the Streets Ahead contract are usually seven to eight years old and have a height of between three and four meters.

I have never seen a three or four-metre sapling planted by Streets Ahead. Again, if you can tell me the location of any recently planted saplings of this size, I would love to see them. Saplings, even if they are a decent size, are not a replacement for mature street trees as it takes them several decades to reach a size where they are giving us and our environment all the benefits that trees have.

Celia Pinnington

by email

Charity bosses

Can The Star publish a list of charities and the salary paid to the person who runs the charity?

I read in a Sunday newspaper that a man running a charity paid himself £750,000 a year.

People don’t give to charities to finance someone’s gold-plated lifestyle.

Ralph Johnson

S9

Will he do it?

Now we have Brexit, can Farage, UKIP’s mouthpiece, please stand up for the little people he constantly goes on about.

We are not counted by Brussels and are oppressed by Mother Theresa’s Tory policies, ie. bedroom tax, benefit sanctions.

Please reinstate the employment rights that Thatcher’s Tory government took away, not Brussels.

Not much to ask for, but will staunch Tory Farage do it?

S Ellis

Sheffield

We will see you soon

In reply to Chris Gee who kindly insinuated I was not intelligent, I can assure him I don’t need anything explaining to me.

Sheffield United have got automatic promotion and won the title even after giving the other teams in the league a four match start on us – that should tell you something.

We will see you and Sheffield Wednesday next season when you can come and watch football at a proper ground with up to date facilities.

BT

Chesterfield

Good luck to the teachers

Educating children to lead the fight against litter – ha ha what a joke that is.

Good luck, from what I have seen on a regular basis, having witnessed dropped litter such as crisp packets, chip wrappers, bottles etc.

When I have challenged these people, all I have had is bad language and abuse.

Disgusted, Lee Johnson

by email

Here is hoping

A big thank you to Sheffield City Council. It seems they have taken heed of my recommendations on how to tackle the litter problem in our city.

The only suggestion missing is the one where I said you need to send out leaflets to the worst-affected area, which is most likely the Page Hall/Firth Park area, printed in the appropriate languages, warning them as to what is going to happen if they don’t keep their area litter-free.

Let us hope this message gets through to them.

Here’s hoping and we’ll done again Sheffield City Council

Ted Fowler

by email