Call for Theresa May to urge rethink on Sheffield tree felling

Campaigners are fighting the council's policy.
Campaigners are fighting the council's policy.
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A Sheffield tree campaigner has called on the Prime Minister to intervene in the council's felling policy.

Susan Richardson, from Lodge Moor, wrote to Theresa May in 'desperation' about the ongoing Streets Ahead programme.

Sheffield Council has identified 27,000 trees for felling.

Sheffield Council has identified 27,000 trees for felling.

Contractor Amey has identified 27,000 trees for felling in the city - 4,000 of which have already come down - and campaigners have been fighting the policy since it was announced.

While accepting that Mrs May had 'many important issues' to deal with, including the Brexit negotiations, Mrs Richardson called on the Prime Minister to appeal to Sheffield Council to rethink its strategy and suspend the 'disastrous' felling programme, which she called a "massacre".

Read more:

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She wrote: "We have never objected to the felling of diseased or dangerous trees but are talking about strong, healthy specimens of which many have another 100 to 150 years of life ahead of them, and have been inspected by arboricultural experts and an independent tree panel who have declared that the majority of these trees are healthy and that felling is not necessary."

Prime Minister Theresa May.

Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mrs Richardson repeated campaigners claims that there were ways to repair damaged roads and pavements without causing any extra cost to the taxpayer.

She referenced Rustlings Road, where residents were woken by early morning felling in November. Residents Jenny Hockey, 70, and Freda Brayshaw, 71, were arrested following a stand-off with police, who assisted council contractor Amey during the tree felling, sparking international headlines.

The pensioners will appear at Sheffield Magistrates' Court charged under the Public Order Act on January 26.

Mrs Richardson wrote: "I found the Rustlings Road incident particularly upsetting as I have a strong personal connection with the area having spent my childhood there in my family home where my late parents had lived for 55 years.

"This disgraceful episode was reported nationwide and has brought shame and embarrassment on our city."

Mrs Richardson added: "I do hope you can assist in some way with this problem as Sheffield people do not know who to turn to next for help as we watch our city’s once lovely tree-lined roads change beyond all recognition and witness our wonderful mature trees disappearing for ever at the hands of the chainsaw."

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