The Sheffield Green Party has welcomed the statement by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Billings that the police will no longer be arresting peaceful tree protestors under the 1992 Trade Union and Labour Relations Act.
Speaking on the developments, Natalie Bennett, prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Central, said
“We welcome news that protestors will no longer be arrested for standing up for their communities and defending their wellbeing.
“But we should never have got into a situation where anti-trade union legislation was being used against peaceful protesters in our city.
“Greens have previously demanded an investigation into the use of this legislation to arrest protestors, including Cllr Alison Teal, a Green Party representative for Nether Edge and Sharrow. We echo these calls again today.
“One area of particular focus should be the novel use of the legislation against people stood on private property at the invitation of the landowner. Just how South Yorkshire Police came to be apparently inventing a new use of the law is a specific question that needs to be answered.”
Natalie added: “Greens also want to the Labour Council to accept that its current approach to managing Sheffield’s street trees isn’t working, and to sit down with the various trees campaigning groups and residents across the city to find a sensible and agreed way forward.”