Tree protesters 'influenced charity with incorrect information', claims Sheffield councillor
A Sheffield councillor has accused a charity of basing a decision to stop working with the authority on 'erroneous' information.
Trees for Cities, which works to make urban spaces greener, announced yesterday it would not carry out projects on Sheffield Council land while tree felling under the Streets Ahead programme continued.
It called on the council to suspend work 'immediately' and 'for the sake of the city’s trees, inhabitants and wildlife'.
But the council's cabinet member for the environment Bryan Lodge has today fired back, suggesting the decision was influenced by tree protesters using false details.
“In the next few weeks we will meet with Trees for Cities to update them on our tree replacement programme," he said.
“It seems unfortunate that a charity committed to increased tree numbers does not feel able to support our programme to replace and increase trees, seemingly on the basis of erroneous information provided by people who in turn claim to be in favour of increasing tree numbers too.
“After 50 years of deterioration and decline, we are now in a very fortunate position where we’re able to renew and increase our street tree stock.
"We understand that Tree for Cities is a member-led organisation and it appears that some of its members are tree protesters who may have influenced the charity with incorrect information regarding our street tree programme."
Coun Lodge has not yet clarified what the incorrect information may be.
"In due course we will be confirming with Trees for Cities that the programme has the support of the majority of people in Sheffield and that we intend to proceed with the programme as planned," he added.
“Ultimately, by the end of the 25 year contract, Sheffield will have more streets trees than before the programme commenced in 2012.”