How to make city better

Sheffield city skyline showing city centre 'Picture by Gerard Binks
Sheffield city skyline showing city centre 'Picture by Gerard Binks
Have your say

I am writing in response to H’s letter, (Other city causes worth looking at), published in the Star on January 22.

As H writes: “Let’s take a step back and try to be rational.

Firstly, there’s no “environmental lobby” out here, just worried Sheffielders who don’t like the wool pulling over their eyes or being told to “shut up” when they raise legitimate concerns.

I am sure the tree campaigners agree that the grass verges, road signage and all the other things H mentioned, also need reviewing as well as Sheffield City Council’s Streets Ahead approach to healthy, highway trees. Perhaps H would like to organise something?

H’s letter also says: “The roads and pavements of Sheffield are a disgrace. A relative from Lancashire when planning to visit asked if we were ‘still driving on those third world roads in Sheffield’.

Many tree campaigners agree, the whole of Sheffield probably agrees. Everyone wants the roads sorted. Retaining healthy, mature and safe roadside trees is not mutually exclusive to that outcome.

“There is no case to say that Sheffield trees prevent ‘heave’.” What does the writer mean? There is evidence to show that felling trees can cause heave, if that is what they meant?

Heave is caused when a clay soil with relatively high plasticity index expands, such as when a large tree is felled and so is no longer there to take up the water.

So the evidence shows that not felling trees is a far better, precautionary approach.

Furthermore, there appears to be a question mark over who pays for the damage caused by ‘heave’ due to the felling of a roadside tree. Sheffield City Council or Amey? It depends who you ask.

And the only way to truly find out, and to receive compensation to put the problem right, will be if your house insurance covers the long-drawn-out battle with them in the future.

So, next time H puts pen to paper, telling others what they need to do, can they ask themselves instead, “What is it that I can actually do to make this city a better place for us all to live in?”

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