11 Comments
Apr 4, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

Don't forget prima facie at the oliviers. Music by our very own self esteem.

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Apr 3, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

Extraordinary pic of Richard Hawley, head bowed but stood proud. He must have felt the tallest man in the room that night, amongst a glittering sea of admirers. I missed his speech (and it’s now old news)-expect I could search and faff about looking. I don’t suppose you’re going to do a piece about it, are you Dan? Again, great photo, I’d say . . .

Bob

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Apr 3, 2023Liked by Dan Hayes

Whatever happened to Count Linsey III and The Skeletons 🤔 ?

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SHEFFIELD’s STREET TREE DEBACLE

Yes, voters do have more on their mind than just trees, but national party politics has absolutely nothing to do with to do with what the Labour party does or does not do in Sheffield. One thing is sure - Sheffielders do NOT need or want deceitful Councillors or Officers that wilfully mislead, misrepresent, deceive, lie, coerce, and evade and avoid being held accountable for their acts and omissions. Sheffielders DO NOT need or want another decade of arrogance, bigotry, selfishness, wilful obfuscation, non-cooperation and secrecy. Sheffielders also don't want their money misused by the Council to wilfully smear citizens or others that challenge or oppose acts and omissions that are wrong, harmful or destructive, or all three.

Cllr Fox set up the bi-monthly Highway Trees Advisory forum, appointed himself as Chair and discontinued the forum after two meetings, without telling anyone - not even the voluntary panellists that he had appointed. Tree campaigners were excluded from the setting up of the forum and its ‘Terms of Reference’). In 2016, the High Court was told by SCC that the forum had been paused and would resume [1]. It was a lie. The invitation for citizens to attend and participate remained on the Council's website [2] until shortly before The Forestry Commission initiated an investigation in to criminal felling of Sheffield's street trees, in April 2018 [3]. That was when Cllr Lodge resigned his position as the SCC Cabinet Member responsible.

As those responsible for the felling, Cllrs Fox & Lodge (along with SCC Officers & private contractors) could have faced criminal charges. As they would say - had politicians from a different party been responsible - they got off on 'technicalities': the necessary record keeping hadn't been started or maintained and evidence had been destroyed. SCC had neglected to cooperate with the Forestry Commission investigation [3].

Cllr Fox misled and deceived tree campaigners and others about the cost and possibility of making changes to the £2.2bn highway maintenance contract. [4]

Cllrs Fox & Lodge were also part of a lengthy and very costly deception about the alternative highway engineering options available, considered and used to retain existing, long-established mature street trees [5]. During SCC 'debate of a petition by the Nether Edge tree group, on 3rd February 2016, Cllr Fox personally publicised what he informed had been a 'commercially sensitive' contract document [6]. It had been made public a day earlier, in response to letters from the Save Our Roadside Trees group (SORT) – one of which was a letter to Cllr Fox (140 pages, plus 238 pages of appendices) that was distributed to every Cllr in the city, by SCC, as a Nether Edge petition hand-out, ahead of the SCC ‘debate’ [7]. Long after the ‘contract document had been used in High Court – misleading and deceiving a judge – an SCC response to a request submitted under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the ‘contract document’ was fake and NOT a contract document, but an SCC PR piece, intended to mislead and deceive tree campaigners and others [8].

Both Cllrs Fox & Lodge were responsible for the Household felling survey and the Independent Tree Panel (ITP). Both lied about how people could contribute to the process [9]. The ITP, under Cllrs Fox & Lodge, were barred from presenting or using their own ideas, research, methods and techniques, and barred from presenting alternative highway engineering specifications. Instead, they were instructed, by SCC, that their recommendations must be limited to choices from a list of SCC ideas that SCC & Amey had made in response to enquiries, criticisms and requests from SORT, between April & July 2015 (20 ideas provided by SCC) and between the 1st & 22nd July 2015 (5 more ideas added to the list by SCC). [10]

Both Cllrs Fox & Lodge wilfully ignored and neglected to respond to communications. The latter converted simple enquiries to be dealt with as requests submitted under the Freedom of Information Act [11], as a way to obfuscate, withhold information, maintain secrecy and prevent wrongful acts and omissions from coming to light. That wilfully and effectively hindered and prevented openness, transparency, accountability, timely intervention and penalisation (proportionate or otherwise).

NOTES:

1)

‘SHEFFIELD’S FIRST EVER TREE FORUM’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/mystery-photograph-of-the-day-no-26/comment-page-1/#comment-4352

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/the-scandal-over-sheffelds-trees-grows-with-16000-indicated-for-the-chop/comment-page-1/#comment-4242

2)

‘AIR QUALITY, THE SCC HIGHWAY TREES ADVISORY FORUM, STRATEGY, & THE FUTURE’ (scroll to item 11c):

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/another-one-on-the-sheffield-street-trees-city-council-to-apologise/comment-page-1/#comment-4259

3)

LOOK LOCAL – ISSUE 1233 – Thursday, 1st September 2022

‘STREET TREE ARCHIVE’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2022/08/30/5939/comment-page-1/#comment-6784

4)

‘SCC & AMEY AT THE 2nd, ‘BI-MONTHLY’ MEETING OF THE HIGHWAY TREES ADVISORY FORUM – THE FINAL HTAF MEETING’

(See the letter to June Elm from the SCC Leader, with quotes of Cllr Terry Fox – the current SCC Leader):

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2021/07/27/avant-homes-at-owlthorpe-fields-in-sheffield-nature-caged-and-soon-to-be-destroyed-another-self-inflicted-tree-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-5911

4a)

‘SCC DEBT: REFINANCING THE £2.2bn HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE ‘STREETS AHEAD’ PROJECT’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2021/07/27/avant-homes-at-owlthorpe-fields-in-sheffield-nature-caged-and-soon-to-be-destroyed-another-self-inflicted-tree-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-5919

4b)

‘THE £61 MILLION SCC / AMEY DEBT’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2021/07/27/avant-homes-at-owlthorpe-fields-in-sheffield-nature-caged-and-soon-to-be-destroyed-another-self-inflicted-tree-disaster/comment-page-1/#comment-5906

5)

‘GREAT TREES OF SHEFFIELD (GTOS) WINNER – NEWS UPDATE’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/the-daily-mail-steps-in-for-the-street-tree-debate/comment-page-1/#comment-5199

6)

‘IMPRISONMENT, MISREPRESENTATION & DECEPTION: POLITICAL DECISIONS’ (scroll to items 3 & 4):

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2022/04/21/tackling-issues-of-climate-change-at-a-local-level/comment-page-1/#comment-6845

7)

‘SORT – 5th YEAR ANNIVERSARY’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2020/05/01/mystery-photograph-of-the-day-no-26/comment-page-1/#comment-4431

7a)

‘TRUTH & RECONCILIATION’ (scroll to item 5):

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2022/03/14/spring-is-in-the-air/comment-page-1/#comment-6247

8)

‘VERY IMPORTANT TREE NEWS’ (5yr Tree Management Strategy):

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/a-review-of-some-publications-from-the-past/comment-page-1/#comment-2828

8a)

Tuesday, 15th August 2017 – THE STAR

‘KEY POINTS FROM HIGH COURT JUDGE'S INJUNCTION RULING ON SHEFFIELD TREE CAMPAIGNERS’:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170815220159/https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/key-points-from-high-court-judge-s-injunction-ruling-on-sheffield-tree-campaigners-1-8704307

9)

‘INDEPENDENT TREE PANEL’ (SCC Webpages):

18/2/2017:

http://web.archive.org/web/20170218074236/https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/report_request/trees/independent-tree-panel.html

24/3/2016:

http://web.archive.org/web/20160324095509/https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/in-your-area/report_request/trees/independent-tree-panel.html

10)

‘TRANSCRIPT FROM THE MEETING OF FULL COUNCIL ON 1st July 2015: Cllr Fox’s Speech’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/save-sheffields-street-trees-petition/comment-page-1/#comment-733

10a)

‘FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST’:

https://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archived.website/comment/204.html#comment-204

11)

‘ITP SCAM: EXTRACTS FROM THE SORT LETTER DATED 29th January, 2016’:

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/latest-from-deepa-and-the-trees-campaign/#comment-1425

11a)

'A SELECTION OF EARLY LETTERS FROM SAVE OUR ROADSIDE TREES (SORT)':

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress.com/2022/03/14/spring-is-in-the-air/comment-page-1/#comment-6254

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Apr 4, 2023·edited Apr 4, 2023

THE PICTURE OF Cllr BRYAN LODGE HOLDING A RING OF FRECHEVILLE WW1 MEMORIAL CHERRY

For an arboriculturist's perspective on this, see:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/cllr_lodge_and_wwii_memorial_che#comment-84338

https://www.facebook.com/groups/392913244219104/posts/929523043891452/?comment_id=929540640556359&reply_comment_id=929550233888733

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Oh golly gosh! Dan *and* Technotronic - everything one could want from a publication. Verily, my cup runneth over ☕🫖🍺

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A thousand thanks for this, Dan. Having read the article about Bryan Lodge's change of status in the Sheffield Star, I was still mystified regarding from what he was actually resigning. Now, with your article, all is clear. I would say that you can now regard your ambition to create a really good newspaper as fulfilled. Congratulations.

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