Sheffield woman pays tribute to her "hero" tree campaigning dad who died before he received a council apology

The daughter of a tree campaigner who died before he received an apology from Sheffield Council has described him as her hero.

Monday, 19th October 2020, 8:34 am

Sheffield Council was instructed to apologise by the Local Government Ombudsman after it investigated a complaint by Alan Robshaw regarding a dawn felling of trees on Rustlings Road.

Mr Robshaw contributed evidence to the Ombudsman while fighting cancer but died earlier this year before receiving the apology.

The Ombudsman found the council did not, at times, act with openness and transparency when removing trees across Sheffield, and when dealing with people’s complaints about that work.

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Alan Robshaw

The council was told to make a "public unreserved apology" to the city and a private apology to Mr Robshaw's family.

His daughter Rosie said: "My dad was a very professional, and committed man who, even during cancer treatment was determined to ensure the Ombudsman had every single bit of information needed.

"Hearing the roars of the chain saws outside his house in the early hours that morning began the determination to seek the truth.

"He believed in honesty and fairness and knew that what was being done was wrong and unfair. I’m so glad the Ombudsman has proved him right. He is our hero and I’m proud to call him my dad."

Alan Robshaw with daughter Rosie

Sheffield Tree Action Group said the council was still resisting calls for a proper enquiry into the felling of thousands of healthy street trees.

Chris Rust, representing STAG, said: “The Ombudsman has done us a big favour by making public some of the most significant facts with his authority behind them.

"The Ombudsman is quite right to say that recent developments show very clearly that openness and willingness to listen are the keys to good government.

"It is very sad that Alan, who worked so hard to save our trees, should have died without seeing this report. We owe him a huge debt.”

Alan Robshaw is pictured holding a clipboard to the right of the placard

Deepa Shetty, who worked closely with Mr Robshaw in the campaign said: “Alan was a founding member of the Save Our Roadside Trees campaign, which lobbied for the council to adhere to urban forestry good practice. Alan campaigned tirelessly for the council to acknowledge the value of mature street trees."

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