'We got some things wrong," admit Sheffield Council as new street tree plan is launched

‘We’re holding our hands up and admitting we got some things wrong’ – that was the message from a senior Sheffield councillor as a new street tree action plan was launched.

Friday, 20th December 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Friday, 20th December 2019, 4:00 pm

Sheffield Council says ‘a number of areas of common ground’ have been reached between Amey and Sheffield Trees Action Groups (STAG) and there’s now a ‘new approach’ to managing trees.

Coun Mark Jones, cabinet member for environment, street scene and climate change said: “This is a day for holding up our hands and admitting we got some things wrong.

“We have been working with partners including STAG for some months now, and this marks the next step in the process of learning lessons from the tree replacement works that led to such a damaging situation for the city we all love.

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Sheffield Council says ‘a number of areas of common ground’ have been reached between Amey and Sheffield Trees Action Groups (STAG) and there’s now a ‘new approach’ to managing trees.

“We wholeheartedly commit to the actions in this report, and are determined to move forward in a positive way, working with and listening to our partners.

“We fully recognise that our approach to managing street trees has, in the past, been the subject of different strongly held views about what is in the best interests of the city.”

The plan identifies practical solutions for keeping more street trees as well as proposing ways of doing things differently and comes after mediated talks.

Coun Jones added: “We know that we could have approached some things differently by listening to people’s views sooner and by being more open with what we were doing and why.

“None of the progress made so far would have been possible without the shared dedication and passion of STAG and we would like to thank them for continuing to work alongside us.”

Alongside the plan, a draft street tree strategy will be finalised shortly.

Paul Brooke, co-chair of Sheffield Tree Action Groups, said: “We are pleased to have been able to work with the council on this report which is a vindication of the campaign by citizens to protect healthy trees.

“It is a testament to the many hours put in by volunteers who care deeply about our city and our urban forest that we now see a new way forward being applied by the council.”

The action plan can be viewed here.