Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/31576

Posted on 29 October 2020 at 17:09 GMT

Sheffield: Tree-cutting council must admit it was wrong

Sheffield trees, photo Graham Turnbull, STAG

Sheffield trees, photo Graham Turnbull, STAG   (Click to enlarge)

Calvin Payne, wrongfully arrested trees protester

The long running Sheffield tree-felling saga took another twist. Thousands of healthy trees were felled under the privatised Streets Ahead programme between 2012 and 2018

Seven trees were felled on the Rustlings Road, which caused particular anger locally and provoked large protests. Road work began in the early hours of the morning, accompanied by a large police presence.

Following a complaint by a member of the public, who has sadly died in the meantime, the Local Government ombudsman issued a damning report. The report accuses the Labour council of "misleading the public", "lack of honesty", "misrepresenting expert opinion", and making unsubstantiated claims about accidents and damage caused by trees on the road.

The report also questions claims by the council that South Yorkshire Police supported their plan for a night raid. The ombudsman's report tells the council to make an unreserved apology.

The Sheffield tree protests saw 14 people arrested under anti-trade union laws between November 2016 and February 2017 - all resulted in wrongful arrest claims later settled out of court in the protesters' favour (see "Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win" at socialistparty.org.uk).

In summer 2017 the council spent hundreds of thousands of pounds securing a High Court injunction against protesters preventing tree felling. Four people received suspended prison sentences for continuing to peacefully do so.

The felling programme was 'paused' in March 2018 and never resumed.

Campaigners have long called for an independent inquiry into events. Lessons need to be learned to prevent similar things happening in Sheffield and elsewhere.

The use, by a Labour council, of legal force and heavy-handed policing to enforce privatisation has caused anger. Labour has lost council seats over the last couple of years, and is set to lose overall council control next May.

Many leading figures pursuing the policy - councillors and unelected officers, have either taken early retirement or been moved to other roles. The language from Sheffield City Council has softened in recent times.

But the calls for an inquiry and justice for those affected is louder than ever. The tree felling is now a bitter memory, but the fallout continues to haunt the Labour Party locally.

Read more: Sheffield tree fellings paused as bully Labour council feels pressure

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Sheffield:

triangleSelling the Socialist: increase in NHS anger

triangleStop NHS meltdown

triangleSheffield Socialist Party: Crisis in Lebanon

triangleSheffield: Support Sue

Environment:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The environment - how can it be saved?

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleThe history of struggle to make the workplace safe

triangleCuts and climate change cause floods

Council:

triangleTUSC sets out core policies for May 2021 local elections

triangleLittle Ilford school strike stands firm - council must use reserves!

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Labour:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleHugo Pierre, a candidate in Unison's general secretary election, speaking at Socialism 2020, 21st November 2020. Click here for a report in the Socialist. Videos will be posted soon.

Privatisation:

triangleNapo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

25/11/20

NEU

Little Ilford school strike stands firm - council must use reserves!

25/11/20

Heathrow airport

Heathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

18/11/20

Socialism 2020

How will Socialism 2020 work?

18/11/20

Yorkshire

Optare: Right to strike defended

18/11/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

18/11/20

Manchester

Manchester student occupation - end rip-off rent, free education now

18/11/20

Leicester

Stop Leicester hospital closure

18/11/20

Police

#SpyCops inquiry - Revealing police violence against Socialists

18/11/20

Young Socialists

Young Socialists organising for our future

18/11/20

BAME

Race disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all

18/11/20

Ilford

Overcrowded Little Ilford School strikes against more expansion

18/11/20

UCU

Strike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

18/11/20

Hackney

Hackney council parking services brought in-house

14/11/20

Steel

Fight Tata Steel jobs threat - nationalise now!

12/11/20

TUSC

Ex-MP Chris Williamson joins TUSC

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999