Anger at lack of 'trees' on leaflet for Western Road memorial meetings

One of the memorial trees in Western Road.
One of the memorial trees in Western Road.
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Campaigners have accused Sheffield Council of trying to mislead the public by advertising a meeting about the future of the a living war memorial without using the word 'trees'.

The authority formed a group to look at options for Western Road in Crookes after protests against plans to fell 23 trees that commemorate pupils from nearby Westways School who were killed in the First World War.

The leaflet advertising the consultation meetings.

The leaflet advertising the consultation meetings.

The cross party group has organised two drop-in meetings to gauge the views of residents as it tries to form a plan for the trees, which have been marked for felling and replacement as part of the Streets Ahead programme, and the wider memorial, which also includes a plaque.

But some tree campaigners are angry the two page leaflet sent out to advertise the sessions did not mention the word 'trees' once.

Alan Story, a member of the Friends of Western Road Trees, said: "This definitely shows they really don't want people to come.

"Of course it's about a war memorial, but our main worry is about what happens to the trees.

Alan Story of Western Road Remembers.

Alan Story of Western Road Remembers.

"That's what people are upset about."

Read more:

'Urgent' campaign to save Sheffield war memorial trees

Crookes councillor Adam Hanrahan said he was 'deeply concerned' by the lack of reference to trees in the flyer.

Coun Adam Hanrahan.

Coun Adam Hanrahan.

"Over 5,000 people signed a petition calling for the trees, which make up the memorial, to be protected and to not mention them at all is dangerously careless," he added.

"It shows that the council still don't understand this issue and this will only reinforce people's views that the current administration doesn't listen to regular folk."

But Coun Lisa Banes, who chairs the working group, said there was no intention to shift focus from the trees.

"I have received a number of emails about the meeting scheduled for next week, but only two people have expressed concern to me that the word 'trees' doesn't appear on the leaflet," she said.

"The leaflet is advertising a residents' consultation about the war memorial on Western Road which does include trees as an intrinsic aspect of the memorial. It is widely recognised and understood that the trees are the memorial.

"The emphasis being placed on the memorial in the publicity is in no way intended to diminish the trees.

"On the contrary, the intention is to honour the special status of the Western Road trees as a war memorial which clearly gives this site added significance to many people in the city."

The meetings will take place on April 6 at St Timothy's Church in Slinn Street from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, and at Crookes Social Club in Mulehouse Road from 5pm to 7pm.

Earlier this month Streets Ahead workers put a new temporary surface around the war memorial trees following 'exploratory work' on the roots.

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