I admire Peter Price, a man who has done a great deal for Sheffield over a deservedly distinguished career, but on this occasion he has let his convictions get the better of him. He accuses others of distortion, but his letter about trees is a masterpiece of the craft.
The real story is that more than a third of councillors have found no cause to complain about a tree, and those who have would have had to receive more than 60 requests each to justify the destruction so far.
Apparently it’s all right for councillors to whinge about trees they want removed, just not about those they want kept,
His panel would have to have been sitting for 300 years to hear so many requests. But of course there is no connection: the council’s much-trumpeted D-list does not include “disliked”. Neither does it mention detritus or darkness, and although for some individual households leaves and light are serious issues, proper management can resolve many of these without felling.
The council’s main failure has been communication. The work required to overcome decades of neglect was always going to be controversial, but they were totally unprepared. The recent problems over consultation shows that they still have not grasped the scale of the problem, but they are willing to try. They will not be thanking Peter for writing a letter that portrays an obdurate council, convinced of its own rightness, self-justifying, self-congratulatory, unsympathetic to its electors and unwilling to admit any mistake. As I said before, Peter has given long and dedicated service to the city, but this is not his finest hour.
J Robin Hughes
Towngate Rd, Worrall, S35