Green Councillors have reacted to the felling of another popular tree on Ventnor Place by referring to their motion of ‘no confidence’ in the council leadership.
The statements below come as the Council’s contractor, Amey, cut the tree down, despite objections from residents of Ventnor Place. The residents had been given until Friday 9th to respond to consultation letters but Amey cut the tree down today, Tuesday 6th December.
“From what I know, several residents have already voted in favour of keeping the tree with only one person opposed. I don’t know how I will explain this to the residents of Ventnor Place. I know they’ve been lobbying to keep the tree. Tonight they’ll come home to find their only street tree has gone well before the survey deadline to refer the decision to the Independent Tree Panel. ”
Speaker for the Green Group, Cllr Rob Murphy, said
“This is yet another example of how the council leadership has lost control of the situation. It clearly shows we’re right to put our motion of no confidence to the Council meeting on Wednesday.”
The Greens’ motion – with the latest amendment – is:
13. Notice of Motion given by Councillor Robert Murphy (consolidated)
That this Council:-
(a) notes that the Sheffield City Highways tree survey in 2006-07 identified 25,877 mature and over-mature trees, of which only 1000 needed felling;
(b) notes that 59 out of 65 residents of Rustlings Road disagreed with proposals to fell trees on their own street;
(c) notes that the Council’s Independent Tree Panel advised options other than felling for 6 out of 8 trees;
(d) notes that this report, dated 22 July 2016, was only published at 4.25am on the morning the trees were felled;
(e) notes that the Cabinet Member for Environment nevertheless allowed the felling of these trees in a major police-backed operation in the early hours of the morning, causing alarm and distress to residents of Rustlings Road;
(f) apologises for the alarm and distress to local residents on Rustlings Road for the action of the Council and its partners on Thursday 17 November 2016, and believes these actions did not have the support of the Members of the Council;
(g) Notes the formal apology from Cllr Lodge that “we commit to publishing the Independent Tree Panel reports in a timely manner, with full and transparent information about how we have come to decisions”
(h) But notes that the Council and its partner Amey has already blatantly disregarded this apology by felling a mature tree on Ventnor Place on 6 December 2016 after issuing consultation letters to all residents on the street inviting responses by 9th December; and
(i) therefore resolves that this Council has no confidence in the leadership of the current Administration.
Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party, City Ward