AddThis SmartLayers

Horizontal Jobs Scroller

Latest Jobs Call 01332 895994 to advertise here

Gove halts tree felling after regional daily’s “persistent and persuasive” campaign

Environment secretary Michael Gove has told a council to halt plans to chop down thousands of trees as he praised a regional daily’s “persistent and persuasive” campaigning on the issue.

Sheffield City Council has embarked on a controversial scheme to remove around 6,000 trees from city streets as part of a 25-year highway maintenance programme.

But residents have complained bitterly about the plan – which has involved ‘dawn raids’ on residential areas with householders woken at 5am and ordered to move their cars to make way for tree-fellers.

The Yorkshire Post took up their concerns – and the newspaper now appears to have won a significant victory after Mr Gove effectively ordered to council to call a halt to the programme.

YPtrees

In a letter to the council leader, Julie Dore, Mr Gove accused the council of ignoring residents’ views – and the Post’s campaign.

“Despite the strength of local feeling, and some persistent and persuasive campaigning by The Yorkshire Post, the call from local residents to end the felling appears to have gone unanswered,” he wrote.

“If our aim is to leave the environment in a better state than we found it, we must examine how our actions impact the next generation. The destruction of thousands of mature trees from the Steel City will surely damage our children’s rightful inheritance.

“To that end, I would call on the council to listen to the people of Sheffield and end the tree-felling and replacement programme.”

Mr Gove’s intervention came after The Post raised the issue with him personally during a visit to Yorkshire last month.

The move provided an exclusive front page story for today’s edition of the newspaper, backed up by an editorial in which the paper called on the council to heed Mr Gove’s warning.

Editor James Mitchinson expressed his delight at the move in a series of Twitter posts.

He wrote: “We made a difference today. The Yorkshire Post did what it’s meant to do for the people and communities we serve. Proud to #makeadifference.”

12 comments

You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • August 10, 2017 at 11:01 am
    Permalink

    Very well done to the Yorkshire Post for bringing the Labour Sheffield Tree Scandal to Michael Gove’s attention.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • August 10, 2017 at 11:14 am
    Permalink

    The Yorkshire Post has undertaken sustained scrutiny of the PFI fuelled street tree debacle in Sheffield. The Gove article is the culmination of proper journalistuc endeavour. The many campaigners for Sheffield’s heahy street trees are buoyed by the light being shine on the disgraceful PFI driven debacle that plays out daily on our streets. #SaveSheffTrees.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)
  • August 10, 2017 at 11:16 am
    Permalink

    The Yorkshire Post has undertaken sustained scrutiny of the PFI fuelled street tree debacle in Sheffield. The Gove article is the culmination of proper journalistuc endeavour. The many campaigners for Sheffield’s healthy street trees are buoyed by the light being shone on the disgraceful situation and the frankly repressive behaviour of Sheffield City Council #SaveSheffTrees.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(4)
  • August 10, 2017 at 11:17 am
    Permalink

    Great to see a regional newspaper doing pro-active stuff for citizens. It’s not always the case but YP have always been prepared to dig into tree campaign stories, check the facts, tell campaigners when they aren’t convinced and challenge the authorities when they are.

    And the sublime irony of a Labour council defending a huge Private Finance outsourcing project against a Tory minister concerned about citizens rights and the urban environment is a huge coup in itself.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(13)
  • August 10, 2017 at 11:17 am
    Permalink

    The behaviour of Sheffield City Council in respect of street trees and towards its residents has been increasingly bizarre. Who would have thought a Tory Minister would step in to save the day. Well done Yorkshire Post.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(11)
  • August 10, 2017 at 11:23 am
    Permalink

    I’m not certain that Gove has actually ‘halted’ tree felling. I think it’s more of a request that can’t be ignored but might not be complied with. At least two other Government Departments have a stake in this. We’ll have to wait and see.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(10)
  • August 10, 2017 at 12:03 pm
    Permalink

    Slightly embarrassing for Sheffield’s own paper,The Star..?

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(11)
  • August 10, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    Permalink

    Delighted at this intervention! Thanks Yorkshire Post.So hope the Labour Council now feel able to halt the tree felling & look after their people & city of whom they are temporary custodians.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(8)
  • August 10, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    Permalink

    Felling thousands of healthy street trees is very damaging to the local environment in Sheffield, and it’s great to see the Secretary of State for Environment recognises this.
    He also has a better sense of local opposition to the tree felling programme than the local council does, who like to dismiss campaigners as a “small minority” and have, thus far, simply attempted to make campaigners go away rather than addressing their concerns.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(6)
  • August 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm
    Permalink

    Thank you Yorkshire Post for your excellent journalism and thank you Michael Gove for standing up for the people of Sheffield and speaking out against the crazy tree felling programme in Sheffield. It is a shame Sheffield’s Labour MP’s or Jeremy Corbyn haven’t done likewise. Sheffield street trees have been neglected for many years under both Labour and Lib Dem City Councils. Now many trees that are said to be damaging the pavement or kerb are being felled. In other cities the council use engineering specifications to avoid this, but in Sheffield, despite what the Council say, felling is the first resort.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(7)
  • August 10, 2017 at 2:48 pm
    Permalink

    Don’t forget the Sheffield Star has done tons on this over the last year or so and has helped to keep the issue in the news. Of course Gove loves trees almost as much as he loves bashing a Labour council.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(9)
  • August 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    Permalink

    I really appreciate the time, effort, and good journalistic practise that has gone into YP’s thorough and fair reporting of the situation with the trees in Sheffield.

    It is often frustrating when our local paper The Star simply report by saying “This side say this” and “The other side say this” and leave it there with no independent analysis or discussion of the existing evidence.

    It is a joy to read articles that take the issue seriously, and intelligently examine the implications of this case, in the full context of its history, for not only the environment and environmental practises nationally, but also the use of public money in PFI contracts, and ultimately the right to peaceful protest itself.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(1)

Advanced search

View Jobs by Category

Job Alerts Please log in or register to sign up for job alerts