TREES: Lord asks parliament to change law to stop Sheffield tree axe

A Sheffield Lord is to raise the council's controversial tree felling policy in parliament today '“ and will ask for the law to be changed to halt such '˜municipal vandalism'.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 5:55 am

Liberal Democrat Lord Paul Scriven, former leader of the council, will raise the issue at Lords Questions, which gives Members of the House of Lords chance to question government ministers.

He will ask the Government to consider changing planning laws to give communities in Sheffield – and nationally – more power to stop ‘unnecessary’ felling.

Lord Scriven said: “It is time to raise the issue of the destruction of Sheffield’s trees at Government level. It is quite clear Sheffield Labour Council will not listen to communities and so Ministers need to hear first-hand from Sheffielders about what needs to change in law to stop this kind of municipal vandalism.

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“Given that Labour would like to start the tree felling sometime soon after the local elections if they control the council, I want to know what the Government can and will do to prevent Labour picking up the chainsaw again.

“I want to give the tree campaigners a real chance to be heard and influence national laws to protect trees in Sheffield and up and down the county.”

The felling of thousands of mature highway trees in Sheffield has faced massive public opposition and has garnered national and international media coverage.

In February, Sheffield residents raised £9,000 in two days to take Sheffield Council to the High Court over the Streets Ahead contract with contractor Amey.

The Judge had been due to deliver a verdict in early April, but campaigners and the council are still waiting.

Claimant Dave Dilner said: “It’s safe to say I’ve had many sleepless nights while the judge has been considering his verdict.”

A verdict is expected any day now.