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Local people sent clear message against tree-felling in recent by-election

It’s a mystery why the result of the Nether Edge & Sharrow ward council by-election held on June 22nd has not been reported in the local press. I would have thought the council would have asked for this omission to be corrected so that local people know. It was a hard-fought 3-way contest which Labour (2641 votes) won by 132 votes over the Greens (2509) with the Lib Dems getting 722 votes.

Just 2 weeks earlier in the general election, Labour had got more than five times the combined Green/Lib Dem vote in Sheffield Central. Labour clung on in the council election but local people sent a clear message rejecting the felling of healthy street trees and harassment of those who want to peacefully protest against it. A lot more people voted for candidates who oppose the tree-felling than for Labour.

The winning candidate, Jim Steinke, stated before the election: “I will work with the Council to ensure the decisions regarding proposed tree replacements are transparent and well-communicated, and take up any further concerns arising from these decisions on behalf of all residents.”

Cllr Steinke may listen but his actions on street trees will be fully controlled and restrained by the Labour party whipping system. The only councillor to step out of line so far was Nasima Akhter who was suspended from the Labour group in January just for abstaining in a tree-felling council vote. Cllr Akhter resigned in April, triggering this by-election.

Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party

Topics: Council, Douglas Johnson, Elections, Featured, Letters to the press, Nether Edge and Sharrow, trees