Campaigner calls on Jeremy Corbyn to help solve Sheffield tree 'crisis'

A petition has been launched calling on Jeremy Corbyn to mediate the Sheffield tree 'crisis'.
A petition has been launched calling on Jeremy Corbyn to mediate the Sheffield tree 'crisis'.
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A Sheffield resident has called on Jeremy Corbyn to help settle the bitter row between the city council and tree campaigners.

The council is cutting down and replacing thousands of trees as part of the Streets Ahead highways PFI contract with Amey. It says the work is essential for the ongoing maintenance of roads and pavements.

Police lead campaigners away from a protest.

Police lead campaigners away from a protest.

Read more: Tree campaigners demonstrate outside Sheffield highways depot as injunction begins

But a growing number of campaigners say healthy trees are being felled in the name of profit.

The dispute has been going on for several years, but recently has escalated with the granting of an injunction effectively barring people from protesting inside safety barriers put up around trees.

Any campaigner who breaks the injunction will be in contempt of court and could find themselves in prison as a result.

Environment secretary Michael Gove, at the request of The Star's sister title The Yorkshire Post, has even written to Sheffield Council asking for the felling to be stopped.

This week David Kirkham decided he would also appeal to one of the country's top politicians for help. He started a petition calling on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to step in and mediate a discussion between the two sides to help find a 'resolution'.

Hundreds have already signed the petition at

Writing online Mr Kirkham, a carer from Nether Edge, said the dispute had become 'more bitter and protracted', calling it a 'crisis' with 'little constructive dialogue'.

And speaking to The Star he added: "As things are it's a complete stand-off and it's accusation and counter-accusation with Amey in the background."

Mr Kirkham said much of the blame lay with the 'absolute stupidity' of the PFI system which the Government had told the council to use.

He said Amey was 'running rings' around the council and the people of Sheffield.

And he said it was time for someone with integrity and credibility to step in.

"I have met Jeremy Corbyn, and he seems a very approachable man and someone who's open to reason," said Mr Kirkham.

"He needs to be aware of the situation and how people are feeling.

"When you have got someone like Michael Gove, who can make himself look reasonable compared to the council's position, that's not a good thing.

"That's an open door for an opposition party."

The petition can be seen at