17,500 Highway trees replacement ‘insurance cover’

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Sheffield City Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

On 13th of March, councillor Bryan Lodge appeared on the Toby Foster to discuss to the council release of more the highways contract, this release was prompted by the ICO ordering disclosure.

For your reference here is the council's news release:
http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/counc...

On the Toby Foster Show Bryan Lodge made repeated claims that 6,000 was the number of trees felled during the core investment period, subsequently ~200 trees are felled annually due to car strikes and the like.

And that ~10,000 trees will be felled during the entire span of the 25 year Streets Ahead Contract. The remaining 7,500 figure is an "insurance" policy against catastrophic events such as "ash die back", "dutch elm disease" and any other event that may hit the Street Tree Stock.

There are two aspects to this request for information, the first is as follows;

I am seeking documents related to these claims. I am requesting any documents the contain information about maintain control or mitigating the effects in both the response and recovery phases; and taking other action in the event of catastrophic events to the highway tree stock.

As one would expect the insurance plan to contain a procedure for determining whether an emergency has occurred; provision Amey involvement; and provision for
exercising the plan to ensure it is effective.

The second request for information;

From SERVICE STANDARD Section 6 of the released Schedule 2 document. I am seeking any document or record that makes reference to Service Standard 6.38 and its relation to ‘insurance cover’ relied upon by Bryan Lodge and Sheffield City Council's News Room to support their published statements.

Yours faithfully,

Marcus Combie

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Re – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI / 1969
 
Dear Marcus Combie,
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to 17,500
Highway trees replacement ‘insurance cover’ which we received on 14/03/18.
 
This has been logged as a Freedom of Information Request, and will be
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act.  The reference number for
your request can be found above.
 
The Freedom of Information Act states that we must respond to you within
20 working days, therefore, you should expect to hear a response from us
by 13/04/18.
 
In the meantime, if you have any queries please contact us on the number
below.
 
Thank you.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Resources Business Support
Moorfoot Level 2 North Wing
Sheffield S1 4PL
Tel : 0114 2734427
E-mail : [1][Sheffield City Council request email]
P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: Marcus Combie [[2]mailto:[FOI #470775 email]]
Sent: 14 March 2018 08:46
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - 17,500 Highway trees replacement
‘insurance cover’
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
On 13th of March, councillor Bryan Lodge appeared on the Toby Foster to
discuss to the council release of more the highways contract, this release
was prompted by the ICO ordering disclosure.
 
For your reference here is the council's news release:
[3]http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/counc...
 
On the Toby Foster Show Bryan Lodge made repeated claims that 6,000 was
the number of trees felled during the core investment period, subsequently
~200 trees are felled annually due to car strikes and the like.
 
And that  ~10,000 trees will be felled during the entire span of the 25
year Streets Ahead Contract. The remaining 7,500 figure is an "insurance"
policy against catastrophic events such as "ash die back",  "dutch elm
disease" and any other event that may hit the Street Tree Stock.
 
There are two aspects to this request for information, the first is as
follows;
 
I am seeking documents related to these claims. I am requesting any
documents the contain information about maintain control or mitigating the
effects in both the response and recovery phases; and taking other action
in the event of catastrophic events to the highway tree stock.
 
As one would expect the insurance plan to contain a procedure for
determining whether an emergency has occurred; provision Amey involvement;
and provision for exercising the plan to ensure it is effective.
 
The second request for information;
 
From SERVICE STANDARD Section 6 of the released Schedule 2 document. I am
seeking any document or record that makes reference to Service Standard
6.38 and its relation to ‘insurance cover’ relied upon by Bryan Lodge and
Sheffield City Council's News Room to support their published statements.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Marcus Combie
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[4][FOI #470775 email]
 
Is [5][Sheffield City Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sheffield City Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
 
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...
 
Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.
 
If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
 
 

show quoted sections

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Re – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI / 1969
 
Dear Marcus Combie,
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to 17,500
Highway trees replacement ‘insurance cover’ which we received on 14/03/18.
 
Please find below, Sheffield City Council’s response to your request:
 
In relation to your request, Sheffield City Council do not hold any
recorded data relating to this enquiry.
 
If you have any queries about this response, please do not hesitate to
contact us.
 
If you are unhappy with the response you have received in relation to your
request, you are entitled to have this reviewed.  You can ask for an
internal review by either writing to the above address or by emailing
[1][Sheffield City Council request email].
 
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your internal review, you
can contact the Information Commissioners Office. The Information
Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner's Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF, telephone 0303 123
1113, or for further details see their website [2]www.ico.org.uk
 
Kind Regards,
 
Resources Business Support
Moorfoot Level 2 North Wing
Sheffield S1 4PL
Tel : 0114 2734427
E-mail : [3][Sheffield City Council request email]
P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
 
_____________________________________________
From: Marcus Combie [[4]mailto:[FOI #470775 email]]
Sent: 14 March 2018 08:46
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - 17,500 Highway trees replacement
‘insurance cover’
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
On 13th of March, councillor Bryan Lodge appeared on the Toby Foster to
discuss to the council release of more the highways contract, this release
was prompted by the ICO ordering disclosure.
 
For your reference here is the council's news release:
[5]http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/counc...
 
On the Toby Foster Show Bryan Lodge made repeated claims that 6,000 was
the number of trees felled during the core investment period, subsequently
~200 trees are felled annually due to car strikes and the like.
 
And that  ~10,000 trees will be felled during the entire span of the 25
year Streets Ahead Contract. The remaining 7,500 figure is an "insurance"
policy against catastrophic events such as "ash die back",  "dutch elm
disease" and any other event that may hit the Street Tree Stock.
 
There are two aspects to this request for information, the first is as
follows;
 
I am seeking documents related to these claims. I am requesting any
documents the contain information about maintain control or mitigating the
effects in both the response and recovery phases; and taking other action
in the event of catastrophic events to the highway tree stock.
 
As one would expect the insurance plan to contain a procedure for
determining whether an emergency has occurred; provision Amey involvement;
and provision for exercising the plan to ensure it is effective.
 
The second request for information;
 
From SERVICE STANDARD Section 6 of the released Schedule 2 document. I am
seeking any document or record that makes reference to Service Standard
6.38 and its relation to ‘insurance cover’ relied upon by Bryan Lodge and
Sheffield City Council's News Room to support their published statements.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Marcus Combie
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[6][FOI #470775 email]
 
Is [7][Sheffield City Council request email] the wrong address for Freedom of Information
requests to Sheffield City Council? If so, please contact us using this
form:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
 
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[9]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[10]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/ico-...
 
Please note that in some cases publication of requests and responses will
be delayed.
 
If you find this service useful as an FOI officer, please ask your web
manager to link to us from your organisation's FOI page.
 
 

show quoted sections

Mr Long left an annotation ()

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE 200/yr ASSERTION

SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL ANNOUNCE THE FELLING OF 17,500 STREET TREES

73.8% of Sheffield's street trees were mature when the £2.2bn "Streets Ahead" highway maintenance project began, in August 2012. On 9th March 2018, in response to a demand by the Information Commissioner, Sheffield City Council (SCC) released a redacted version of the PFI contract for the project (awarded to Amey). It reveals that SCC have set a target for the contractor (Amey) to FELL 200 MATURE STREET TREES PER YEAR with a total of 17,500 TO BE FELLED over a 25 year period (67.6% of mature street trees).

This is what the SCC Cabinet Member for Environment & Streetscene said about the target, when interviewed on BBC Radio Sheffield's Toby Foster at Breakfast programme (a transcript provided by Chris Rust - Co-Chair of Sheffield Tree Action Groups - STAG):

https://sheffieldtreemap.files.wordpress...

You can listen to the interview here:
https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/172025...

For detail, see:
https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/our-regi...

https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/roads-...

The contract does permit the contractor to request that fewer trees be felled, and it permits the Council to grant that permission. However, to quote the Council, as reported in The Yorkshire Post (newspaper):

“The spokeswoman said: […] If, at the end of the contract, a smaller number has been replaced, A FINANCIAL ADJUSTMENT WILL BE MADE.

[...]
The council has now confirmed to The Yorkshire Post that NO FORMAL AGREEMENT HAS BEEN MADE TO CHANGE THE CONTRACT and a spokeswoman said THERE IS NO INTENTION TO...".

SOURCE:
https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/she...

As the contractor will receive a reduced payment if 17,500 street trees are not felled, and as the contractor makes greater profit by felling mature trees, there is no incentive for the contractor not to fell so many. To make matters worse, SCC rely heavily on the contractor monitoring, auditing and reporting on their own work. See:
https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-...

*****
THE CONTRACTOR (AMEY) IS ALSO TASKED WITH HANDLING AND INVESTIGATING ALL ENQUIRIES AND COMPLAINTS ABOUT THEIR OWN WORK, ON BEHALF OF SCC

From Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) Facebook (posted by Cathie Rainbow, on 12th March 2018):

Interesting ! I put in official complaint to Sheffield Council re trees and got response ! Is this normal for Sheffield Council to pass my details to the person I am in fact complaing about ?
I asked if response was from SCC and got this reply.

"Thank you for your email dated 2 March 2018.

I can confirm that I am an Amey employee.

For your information, I can confirm that AMEY HAS DESIGNATED POWERS TO RESPOND ON BEHALF OF THE COUNCIL ON ALL MATTERS PERTAINING TO STREETS AHEAD WORKS, INCLUDING THE HANDLING AND INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS.

All complaints are handled in accordance with the Council’s Customer Complaints procedure and the Council retains an oversight of all Streets Ahead complaints handled, including this one. I can confirm, therefore, that the Council is aware of your complaint and has reviewed this response prior to it being sent to you.

As previously advised, at this stage you do have the right to ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a more senior manager.

To request this please contact me via streetsahead@sheffield.gov.uk or by telephone on (0114) 273 4567, giving details of why you are not satisfied and what further action you want to be taken.

Kind regards

Jeremy Willis

Operations Manager
Customer Services (Amey)

Tel: 0114 273 4567
Email: streetsahead@sheffield.gov.uk "

SOURCE:
https://en-gb.facebook.com/groups/392913...

*****
The above content is copied from the ‘News’ area of the archived Stocksbridge Community Forum Website:

http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archive...

*****
Readers may also find the following to be of interest:

‘Read Sheffield Council's secret contract policy for felling trees in full’
https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/rea...

What follows is the official breakdown of how many trees are to be felled in each part of the city during the £2.2bn highway maintenance contract for the 25yr Streets Ahead project. The figures in brackets are the totals that were to be felled in each part of the city during the first five years of the contract, to 2018 AD (the ‘Core Investment Period’).

South East: 1,370 (445)

South: 2,795 (882)

South West: 3,979 (1,224)

Central: 2,103 (534)

North: 2,420 (715)

North East: 2,939 (763)

East: 1,894 (445)

SOURCE (pages 18 & 19 of the Streets Ahead ‘FIVE YEAR TREE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY’, dated 2012):
https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam...

Also of interest:

AMEY SELF-MONITORING & AFTERCARE: THE SHEFFIELD TAXPAYER RIP-OFF:
https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

SCC & SYP INCOMPETENCE & MISREPRESENTATION:
https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

HOW MANY TREES FELLED?:
https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

HOW TO RETAIN MEMORIAL TREES:
http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archive...

TREES: JUGGLING SUSTAINABILITY, RISK & FEAR:
https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

SCC Misuse & ABUSE of The FOI ACT:
https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

****
The above information is copied and pasted from:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

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