Councillors schedule special meeting for long-awaited response to tree felling inquiry following elections
and live on Freeview channel 276
Politicians promised a full response to the damning inquiry following the local elections, which are taking place today.
Sir Mark Lowcock’s long-awaited report – which was commissioned as part of a power sharing deal between Labour and the Green Party when the former lost control of the council – sought “truth and reconciliation” following the infamous Streets Ahead programme that aimed to fell 17,500 street trees as part of a £2.2 billion contract between the council and Amey.
The report showed the council overstretched its authority in taking drastic action against campaigners, had serious and sustained failures in leadership and misled the public, courts and an independent panel it set up to deal with the dispute.
Those involved apologised when the report was published and the council agreed to give a full response in this special meeting. Now a date has been confirmed.
Councillors are scheduled to address it in detail in an extraordinary full council meeting on Wednesday, May 10.
There was pressure for senior leaders of the council who were involved to resign and Coun Bryan Lodge, who was head of the programme during its most controversial years, stepped down from his position as co-chair of the finance committee and confirmed he would not be re-standing for election next year.
Council leader Terry Fox, who was also head of the programme for a year, said the council would adopt all of Sir Mark’s recommendations.
“What’s required now is time to fully process and reflect on the report, and understand how we can best implement all of the recommendations,” he said. “There remains a lot of work to do, to regain the trust of the people of Sheffield.”
The full agenda and link to the live webcast of the meeting can be found here: https://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=154&MId=8763