I am in total disbelief – which is quickly morphing into frustration and outrage – over the guerrilla tactics employed by SCC, Amey and South Yorkshire Police in the crusade to destroy and remove healthy trees on Rustlings Road, S11 and the ongoing, profit-driven pursuit of needlessly felling trees across the entire city.
Should I be worried that these so-called protectors and servants of the people of South Yorkshire, under the direction of SCC, go about bullying innocent residents in the middle of the night and arresting pensioners who have a right to peaceful protest?
Should I be more disturbed by the fact that I live on Hunter House Road S11, whose trees – planted in memory of local residents killed in the 1st World War – are under the same threat as many others in the city?
Will I be woken up at 4am by South Yorkshire police, threatening that if I don’t move my car it’ll be towed away at my expense?
Should I be frightened that I may get arrested for exercising my legal right to protest against the trees being felled?
Should I be much more distressed by a city council who have outsourced the ‘maintenance’ of my city to Amey, a company which seems motivated by profit rather than any sense of service, care or safety for the people of Sheffield?
Should I be fearful of their disregard for the environment and wildlife that resides in the trees?
Should I be alarmed that I recently rejoined the Labour Party after years of absence, in an effort to help change a world that increasingly opposes community and social democracy, only to find that my own city appears to be run by the worst kind of capitalist, neo-con, blinkered ignoramuses?
Now, there’s a direct debit destined never to be renewed.
I would find it difficult to believe any answer from any of the guilty parties involved in this trashing of our city and our local democracy.
I have no respect for a city council which undermines its residents’ rights and wishes, which agrees flawed contracts with private companies such as Amey, and no trust in a police service that no longer seems to question its overlords.
Hunter House Road, S11
PFI contract is real issue
Coun Bryan Lodge has issued an apology for the disgraceful events that occurred with the tree-felling at Rustlings Road last month.
That apology said nothing about the real underlying issue, which is that Sheffield City Council signed a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with Amey and the contract is inadequate in terms of trees and consultation.
It is probably inadequate in lots of other key areas too but no one is being allowed to see the contract so we just don’t know.
The Greens refused to sign when asked to join in with cross-party endorsement in 2008 at the start of the process that led to the Amey contract.
Labour and Lib Dem leaders Jan Wilson and Paul Scriven fully supported it and their subsequent leaders fully supported it through to the contract signing in 2012.
Both parties then tried to claim the most credit for it.”
It’s good to hear that Sheffield Central Labour Party members are raising concerns on healthy tree felling four years into the contract.
But they can’t really complain about expensive and undemocratic PFI contracts – it was a Labour government that offered Sheffield the original deal.
Coun Rob Murphy
Sheffield Green Party