Green Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Natalie Bennett has welcomed the news that the charges have been dropped against Simon Crump and Calvin Payne.
They were arrested for protesting peacefully on 2nd November 2016 at the Council’s contractor, Amey, felling a mature tree at Marden Road, Sheffield.
Natalie Bennett said:
“I hope that we will soon be hearing that similar charges against the Chippinghouse Seven – including Green Councillor Alison Teal – and the two women arrested while standing peacefully on private property in the same street at the invitation of a householder, have also been dropped.”
“We should never have got into this situation, in which repressive anti-trade union legislation was being used against peaceful protesters seeking to protect the health and wellbeing of their communities.”
“The Crown Prosecution Service has saved the South Yorkshire Police and the council from the mess into which they had got themselves. This sensible decision is to be applauded.
“But this now makes it clear to South Yorkshire Police that they should not be using this legislation in this way.
“The Police and Crime Commissioner must now look into how the Police came to take this clearly unwise, and possibly illegal, action.
“It leaves the council in a position where it really has no alternative but to put the tree-felling programme on hold and to entirely rethink the management of street trees.
“It and private sector company Amey have been acting without the consent of the community, and if they continue to try to do that they are going to continue to encounter peaceful, clearly lawful, resistance.”