Have your say: what do you think of outsiders getting involved in Sheffield's business?

Michael Gove
Michael Gove

Environment secretary Michael Gove this week waded into the row over tree-felling in Sheffield, calling for the controversial programme to be halted.

His intervention appears to have divided opinion within the city, with some hailing him as its ecological saviour and others questioning what his edict will mean for ongoing work to upgrade its once infamous roads and pavements.

Bryan Lodge

Bryan Lodge

Whatever your views on the fate of Sheffield's trees, the one-time Tory leadership hopeful's letter to Sheffield Council has opened up another can of worms entirely.

It appears the environment secretary did not visit Sheffield, or even attempt to raise the matter with the city council, before making his very public announcement.

As the environment secretary, his view on the matter undoubtedly holds some clout.

But are Sheffielders fed up of being told what to do by people who neither live nor work in the city and do not have to live with the consequences, for better or worse?

Or do they welcome the opinions of those who might offer a fresh perspective or expertise which is not available within the city?

Mr Gove has had his two pennies' worth on our trees, and the riposte from Sheffield Council environment chief Bryan Lodge was not long in coming.

Now the political bigwigs have had their say, we want to hear from the ordinary people of Sheffield.

But we're not asking for your views on trees.

We're inviting anyone who lives or works in the city to pen 300 words on whether they welcome the input of outsiders when it comes to matters affecting Sheffield - be they crime, transport, education, or the environment - or whether they'd prefer those people - to put it bluntly - not to stick their oar in.

You needn't have a fancy job title or letters after your name to have your say.

All we ask is for you to keep it brief (no more than 300 words) and to provide your name, address and a photo.

We plan to feature the best responses, reflecting both sides of the debate, in the paper.

Please email your thoughts to news@thestar.co.uk, with the word VOICES in the subject line.