Appalling destruction

I have seldom felt so angry and have not been able to sleep all night as, apart from when my parents died, yesterday was one of the saddest days I can remember.

Monday, 21st November 2016, 5:53 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd November 2016, 11:06 am
Rustlings Road Tree felling

I turned on the TV to watch the teatime news and learned of the disgraceful event which had taken place earlier in the day on Rustlings Road when mature, healthy trees that campaigners had been trying to save for so long had been callously felled by Amey, the council’s contractors.

The underhand tactics used to carry out this operation just beggars belief and I find it quite frightening to think that our city is being run by people with such devious minds.

Apparently the cowardly army of council workers arrived in the dark at around 5am to fell these beautiful specimens that have graced the road for over a century.

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To say I am devastated is an understatement and there must be many other stunned and distraught people who have shed tears for the loss of these trees.

I am not a violent person and have never broken any laws but if I had known about this action I would have gone along to Rustlings Road to lend my support to all the residents and been prepared to be arrested even though, with the presence of police and riot vans, any attempt to prevent this massacre would have been futile.

I understand two people in their 70s were arrested at the scene and it is unbelievable that such shameful action can be taken against people trying to protect our heritage.

It also appears that police knocked on residents doors at 4.30am asking them to move their cars or else they would be towed away in order for the felling to proceed.

Surely people should only be roused from their beds in cases of emergency or if lives are in danger, and I would have thought notice in writing would have to be given well in advance.

I will not make any excuses for the Amey workmen by saying they were only doing their job as if I was employed in a job that caused such distress to people I would have trouble sleeping at night and would rather be on the dole.

The majority of these trees were healthy, not diseased or dangerous, and no replacements can ever be an adequate substitute for those lost which sadly could have lived for another 150 years.

The destruction of these trees which have provided so much pleasure over the years is a very personal thing for me and it feels like a part of my life has been ripped away, as I grew up surrounded by these trees at my family home which faced Endcliffe Park and where my parents lived for 55 years.

I am so glad I am approaching the end of my life as, due to the way in which the council is wrecking my home city, I find no pleasure living here any more.

I cannot understand why Sheffield people tolerate the disgraceful actions of this soulless Labour council which should have been voted out of office a long time ago.

They are nasty people who ignore public opinion. Their claim that they consult Sheffielders for their views is just a joke as they have no intention of listening and do just what they want no matter how strong the protests or how many signatures on petitions.

I have witnessed Labour councillors’ rude behaviour at many Town Hall meetings and have nothing but contempt for them.

They cannot be allowed to get away with this appalling destruction, as in years to come this chainsaw massacre of our street trees will be regarded as one of the saddest episodes in our city’s history.

Susan Richardson

Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10