Letters: Apology from them would be welcome
The views of the tree campaigners have been wholly vindicated by the very recent ForestryCommission report (19 July 2019) entitled 'Alleged illegal tree felling investigation report - Sheffield's Streets Ahead programme' which details and comments upon some aspectsof the tree saga in detail.
It's worth reading just to see how Sheffield Council and Amey managed or rather mismanaged the tree aspects of the
Streets Ahead £2.2 billion PFI contract.
The Sheffield Telegraph in its report (25 July 2019, page 5) on the findings of the FC report reported on a number of failings that were identified including "failures in record keeping, engagement and consultation, tree management techniques and contract management" and
Michael Gove has said (reportedin a The Star article of 24 July 2019, p24) "...not only did Sheffield Council fell swathes of precious street trees unnecessarily, it failed to keep proper felling records, did not adequately consult the community and did not openly engage with the Forestry
Commission on its subsequent investigation.
This demonstrated a casual disregard which the [FC] report says may have even resulted in greater costs to the tax payer".
These are damning verdicts indeed. And that's of course ignoring the heavy handed policing; the Rustlings Road pre-dawn raid,
the fact that the Council for the most part ignored the recommendations of its own Independent Tree Panel, and the general misinformation that
was spread by the Council and its representatives.
The Forestry Commission report can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/alleged-illegaltree-felling-investigation-report-sheffields-streets-aheadprogramme
Coun Lewis Dagnall's recent half-apology might be thought to go some way towards answering the council's critics however there are others who
were much more involved in the tree felling policy and indeed the Rustlings Road pre-dawn raid than Coun Dagnall and an apology from them would be welcome.
SORT Supporter, S11