Cllr Lodge and WWII memorial cherry

Marcus Combie made this Freedom of Information request to Sheffield City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Sheffield City Council did not have the information requested.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

In the full council meeting on 28th March, Cllr Lodge presented a section of one of the WWII memorial cherry tree that has recently been felled. The tree had a cavity, and Lodge claimed this was proof that the tree needed to be felled.

My request is in relation to this:

1. Was Sheffield City Council made aware of the disease and danger of the tree in the sample Cllr Lodge presented, if Yes - please provide date and communication where SCC was informed.

2. Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From the point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party moved the sample between locations.

2.1 Please provide any copy of communications to arrange the transport and receipt of the sample above. As I am aware Councillors and cabinet members receive large quantity of communication, to narrow down your search, these events will have transpired between the date of the felling and it's arrival in the Council Chamber.

2.2 For any non recorded communication, please provide details of times of oral transmission of instructions, and parties involved.

3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists, discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees in Birley their removal. If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of the communication suitably redacted for personal information.

Yours faithfully,

Marcus Combie

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Re – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI / 5
 
Dear Marcus Combie,
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to Tree Felling
which we received on 03/04/18.
 
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 01/05/18.
 
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 #474486 email]]
Sent: 30 March 2018 16:05
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Cllr Lodge and WWII memorial
cherry
 
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
In the full council meeting  on 28th March, Cllr Lodge presented a section
of one of the WWII memorial cherry tree that has recently been felled. The
tree had a cavity, and Lodge claimed this was proof that the tree needed
to be felled.
 
My request is in relation to this:
 
1. Was Sheffield City Council made aware of the disease and danger of the
tree in the sample Cllr Lodge presented, if Yes - please provide date and
communication where SCC was informed.
 
2. Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From the
point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of
transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party
moved the sample between locations.
 
2.1 Please provide any copy of communications to arrange the transport and
receipt of the sample above. As I am aware Councillors and cabinet members
receive large quantity of communication, to narrow down your search, these
events will have transpired between the date of the felling and it's
arrival in the Council Chamber.
 
2.2 For any non recorded communication, please provide details of times of
oral transmission of instructions, and parties involved.
 
3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists,
discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South
Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees  in Birley their removal.
If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of
the communication suitably redacted for personal information.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Marcus Combie
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[3][FOI #474486 email]
 
Is [4][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:
[5]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/change_re...
 
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the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[7]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

 
Dear Mr Combie,
 
Thank you for your recent request for information relating to Tree Felling
which we received on 30/03/2018.
 
Please find below, Sheffield City Council’s response to your request:
 
1. Was Sheffield City Council made aware of the disease and danger of the
tree in the sample Cllr Lodge presented, if Yes - please provide date and
communication where SCC was informed.
Sheffield City Council were aware that both trees identified for
replacement on Heathfield Road were affected by basal Pholiota Squarrosa
decay. The Council were first made aware of the decay on 16/10/2014 when
approval was sought for the replacement of the trees as outlined below:
 

x: y: Confirm
Fell job co-ordinates co-ordinates Tree Existing 'Reason Planting Replant
number Job Job notes of new of new position Site name tree for notes species
planting planting species Removal'
position position
Species
to be
decided
TR: to match Betula
12018070 Felling, Dead 439886.76 383672.17 s/o 62 HEATHFIELD Prunus Dead proposed ermanii
Dead ROAD sp new ?
planting
scheme,
plant in
verge
Species
to be
decided
Basal to match Betula
12018072 TR: Pholiota 439874.75 383659.04 s/o 57 HEATHFIELD Prunus Decay proposed ermanii
Felling, squarrosa ROAD avium new ?
decay planting
scheme,
plant in
verge
Species
to be
decided
Basal to match Betula
12018074 TR: Pholiota 439888.46 383690.26 s/o 60 HEATHFIELD Prunus Decay proposed ermanii
Felling, squarrosa ROAD avium new ?
decay planting
scheme,
plant in
verge

 
2. Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From the
point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of
transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party
moved the sample between locations.
 
Sheffield City Council do not hold any recorded data relating to this
transport of this section of the tree.
 
2.1. Please provide any copy of communications to arrange the transport
and receipt of the sample above. As I am aware Councillors and cabinet
members receive large quantity of communication, to narrow down your
search, these events will have transpired between the date of the felling
and it's arrival in the Council Chamber.
 
Sheffield City Council do not hold any recorded data relating to this
transport of this section of the tree.
 
2.2. For any non recorded communication, please provide details of times
of oral transmission of instructions, and parties involved.
 
Sheffield City Council do not hold any recorded data relating to this
transport of this section of the tree. We do further note that the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 only provides a right of access to recorded
information only.
 
3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists,
discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South
Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees  in Birley their removal.
If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of
the communication suitably redacted for personal information.
 
Please find attached emails between Sheffield City Council and Amey
relating to the trees on Heathfield Road. A per your request we have
redacted personal information and not provided a refusal notice in this
regard.
 
 
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 #474486 email]]
Sent: 30 March 2018 16:05
To: FOI
Subject: Freedom of Information request - Cllr Lodge and WWII memorial
cherry
 
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
In the full council meeting  on 28th March, Cllr Lodge presented a section
of one of the WWII memorial cherry tree that has recently been felled. The
tree had a cavity, and Lodge claimed this was proof that the tree needed
to be felled.
 
My request is in relation to this:
 
1. Was Sheffield City Council made aware of the disease and danger of the
tree in the sample Cllr Lodge presented, if Yes - please provide date and
communication where SCC was informed.
 
2. Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From the
point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of
transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party
moved the sample between locations.
 
2.1 Please provide any copy of communications to arrange the transport and
receipt of the sample above. As I am aware Councillors and cabinet members
receive large quantity of communication, to narrow down your search, these
events will have transpired between the date of the felling and it's
arrival in the Council Chamber.
 
2.2 For any non recorded communication, please provide details of times of
oral transmission of instructions, and parties involved.
 
3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists,
discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South
Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees  in Birley their removal.
If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of
the communication suitably redacted for personal information.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Marcus Combie
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[5][FOI #474486 email]
 
Is [6][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:
[7]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:
[8]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[9]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

Dear FOI,

Thanks for the response. The PDF of emails in relation to 3 appears not to have been attached.

Could you re-upload.

Thanks

Marcus Combie

FOI, Sheffield City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Combie,

Apologies the individual sending your response missed the attachment in the initial email response. Please find attached the relevant document.

I hope this assists with your enquiries.

Kind regards

Mark

Mark Knight
Information Management Officer
Business Change and Information Solutions (BCIS)
Resources Portfolio, Sheffield City Council
Email: [email address]
Postal Address: Sheffield City Council, PO Box 1283, Sheffield S1 1UJ

show quoted sections

Dear Sheffield City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Sheffield City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Cllr Lodge and WWII memorial cherry'.

While I appreciate the effort and the partial answer received. I believe there are more records held that have not been provided.

"2. Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From the
point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of
transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party
moved the sample between locations.

Sheffield City Council do not hold any recorded data relating to this
transport of this section of the tree."

I'm going to hazard a guess and I'm sure the ICO will agree, that a contractor grabbing a slice of memorial tree, it making it's way to a Councillor for use in the chamber and to be photographed with the BBC is not a normal day to day occurrence. As such there must have been some logistics for transport and planning .

Please conduct an internal review into this element of my request.

"3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists,
discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South
Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees in Birley their removal.
If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of
the communication suitably redacted for personal information.

Please find attached emails between Sheffield City Council and Amey
relating to the trees on Heathfield Road. A per your request we have
redacted personal information and not provided a refusal notice in this
regard. "

Thank you for the documents you have provided. I believe there are some communications not included that should be. Example the first email is a confirmation, indication prior discussion about an action. It also mention a definitive item "the two trees on Heathfield" followed by the response "From a comms point of view" If this was a the first interaction about the discussion on removal at Heathfield one would expect note of the memorial status.

Yours faithfully,

Marcus Combie

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Review Request – Freedom of Information Request – Reference – FOI / Cllr
Lodge and WWII memorial cherry
 
Dear Marcus Combie,
 
Thank you for your recent request for a review of the Freedom of
Information response provided to you.  Your response related to
information regarding Cllr Lodge and WWII memorial cherry.
 
We are sorry to hear that you are not happy with your response.
 
I am writing to acknowledge your request for a review, which we received
on 02/05/2018.  This has now been logged and will be carried out by a
member of the team.
 
We will endeavour to provide a response between 20 to 40 working days in
line with ICO guidance.
In the meantime, if you have any queries please, contact us at the number
below.
 
Thank you.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Resources Business Support
Moorfoot Level 2 North Wing
Sheffield S1 4PL
Tel : 0114 2734427
E-mail : [1]FOI @sheffield.gov.uk
P Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
 
 
 
_____________________________________________
From: Marcus Combie [[2]mailto:[FOI #474486 email]]
Sent: 02 May 2018 23:40
To: FOI
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Cllr Lodge
and WWII memorial cherry
 
 
Dear Sheffield City Council,
 
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information
reviews.
 
I am writing to request an internal review of Sheffield City Council's
handling of my FOI request 'Cllr Lodge and WWII memorial cherry'.
 
While I appreciate the effort and the partial answer received. I believe
there are more records held that have not been provided.
 
"2.  Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From
the point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of
transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party
moved the sample between locations.
 
Sheffield City Council do not hold any recorded data relating to this
transport of this section of the tree."
 
I'm going to hazard a guess and I'm sure the ICO will agree, that a
contractor grabbing a slice of memorial tree, it making it's way to a
Councillor for use in the chamber and to be photographed with the BBC is
not a normal day to day occurrence. As such there must have been some
logistics for transport and planning .
 
Please conduct an internal review into this element of my request.
 
"3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists,
discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South
Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees  in Birley their removal.
If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of
the communication suitably redacted for personal information.
 
Please find attached emails between Sheffield City Council and Amey
relating to the trees on Heathfield Road. A per your request we have
redacted personal information and not provided a refusal notice in this
regard. "
 
Thank you for the documents you have provided. I believe there are some
communications not included that should be. Example the first email is a
confirmation, indication prior discussion about an action. It also mention
a definitive item "the two trees on Heathfield" followed by the response
"From a comms point of view" If this was a the first interaction about the
discussion on removal at Heathfield one would expect note of the memorial
status.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Marcus Combie
 
 
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[3][FOI #474486 email]
 
Disclaimer: This message and any reply that you make will be published on
the internet. Our privacy and copyright policies:
[4]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/help/offi...
 
For more detailed guidance on safely disclosing information, read the
latest advice from the ICO:
[5]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 ()

AN E-MAIL OF RELEVANCE, SENT BY A COMPETENT SHEFFIELD ARBORICULTURIST

(Content between square brackets is additional content that has been added by me)

From:
DL

Sent:
29 March 2018 21:31

To:
'sheffieldtreeactiongroupsmedia@gmail.com'

Cc:
'michael.gove.mp@parliament.uk'; 'abdul.khayum@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'abtisam.mohamed@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'adam.hanrahan@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'adam.hurst@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'alan.law@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'alison.teal@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'andrew.sangar@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'andy.bainbridge@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'andy.nash@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'anne.murphy@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'anthony.damms@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'ben.curran@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'ben.miskell@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'bob.pullin@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'bryan.lodge@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'c.rosling-josephs@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'cate.mcdonald@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'chris.peace@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'cliff.woodcraft@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'colin.ross@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'craig.gamblepugh@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'david.baker@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'david.barker@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'dawn.dale@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'denise.fox@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'dianne.hurst@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'douglas.johnson@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'gail.smith@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'garry.weatherall@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'george.lindars-hammond@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'ian.auckland@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'ian.saunders@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'jack.clarkson@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'jack.scott@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'jackie.drayton@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'jackie.satur@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'jayne.dunn@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'jim.steinke@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'joe.otten@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'john.booker@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'josie.paszek@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'julie.dore@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'karen.mcgowan@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'keith.davis@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'kieran.harpham@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'lewis.dagnall@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'lisa.banes@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'magid@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'mark.jonescllr@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'martin.smith@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'mary.lea@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'mazher.iqbal@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'michael.rooney@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'michelle.cook@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'mike.chaplin@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'mike.drabble@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'mohammad.maroof@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'moya.orourke@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'neale.gibson@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'olivia.blake@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'patricia.midgley@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'paul.wood3@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'paulcouncil@gmail.com'; 'pauline.andrews@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'penny.baker@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'peter.price@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'peter.rippon@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'richard.crowther@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'richard.shaw@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'robert.johnson2@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'robert.murphy@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'roger.davison@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'shaffaq.mohammed@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'sophie.wilson@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'steve.ayris@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'steven.wilson@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'sue.alston@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'sue.auckland@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'talib.hussain@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'terry.fox2@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'tony.downing@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'vickie.priestley@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'zahira.naz@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'zoe.sykes@sheffield.gov.uk'; 'paul.blomfield.mp@parliament.uk'; 'jared.omara.mp@parliament.uk'; 'louise.haigh.mp@parliament.uk'; 'clive.betts.mp@parliament.uk'; 'smithac@parliament.uk'; 'lauragordonld@gmail.com'; 'francynejohnsonlabour@gmail.com'; 'Nancy.fielder@sheffieldnewspapers.co.uk'; 'yp.editor@ypn.co.uk'; 'guardian.letters@theguardian.com'; 'Rob McBride'; 'sheffieldtreeactiongroupsmedia@gmail.com'; 'no.stump.city@gmail.com'; 'info@blackbirdnorthfilms.co.uk'; 'friendsofwesternroadtrees@gmail.com'; 'n.rivers@wildsheffield.com'; 'sacredheart479@gmail.com'; 'office@stmariecathedral.org'; 'enquiries@sheffield-cathedral.org.uk'; 'office@stmarkssheffield.co.uk'; 'admin@sheffieldcircuit.org.uk'; 'revgw@btinternet.com'; 'garethjones11@googlemail.com'; 'iandraffan@hotmail.com'; 'info@southyorkshire-pcc.gov.uk'; 'correspondence.section@defra.gsi.gov.uk'

Subject:
WW1 Memorial Trees - Cavities - SCC - Lodge - Amey - Hazard - Risk - Fear-mongering - Misrepresentation, Misinformation, Spin & Deceit

Importance:
High

WRT the WW1 memorial Cherry with a cavity, which Cllr Lodge presented a section of at the meeting of full Council yesterday afternoon (presumably as evidence that felling was the most appropriate option?). Pictures can be viewed at the following links:

https://twitter.com/LizzieRoberts/status...

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=...

Most of Sheffield’s “old” street cherries have columner decay that spreads outward from the centre of the stem from near or below ground level. A central column of decayed wood, possibly including a cavity, is common for cherries of advanced years – particularly ‘Kanzan’ cherries (such as on APR). The presence of a cavity does not necessarily indicate that the tree is so structurally compromised or that it must be felled, and nor does it indicate that the tree is dying. Cherry is a fast-growing species and even the old cherries often put on thick incremental growth, which can compensate for any internal loss. I really doubt Amey did sonic tomography on the WW1 cherries. They are not likely to have confirmed the presence or extent of a cavity prior to felling. Such investigations are usually only done for special trees but I doubt those trees were considered as special by SCC or Amey. I note that it appears to be a BBC reporter that initially made something of the presence of a cavity, rather than Amey.

Things that can be said about the section of stem that Lodge was photographed with in the Town Hall:

1) the tree appears to have been healthy, as indicated by the number, colour and thickness of growth increments;

2) structural integrity at that point on the tree does not appear to have been compromised to such extent that felling was necessary (t/r ratio acceptable);

3) the thickness of recent growth increments indicates that the tree was, in all likelihood, successfully managing to compensate for internal loss (see the Du & Yamamoto reference in v51)

QUOTES FROM STAG FACEBOOK (Simpson is a professional arboricultural consultant):

“Moray Simpson
Exactly, cavities in trees is not a disease, it's a by-product of the fungal decay process. Before, Blodgit starts huffing and puffing on the use of the term 'fungal decay process', be aware that this is a natural process which trees have co-evolved with over hundreds of thousands of years.

The vast majority of our most venerable veteran and ancient trees are hollow. If Blodgit had his way, with his back off a fag packet knowledge of tree biology, tree biomechanics and failure analysis, he would fell these veteran and ancient trees felled, as they surely must be dangerous, as they have stem cavities!

If I want help on the best way to make a sandwich, I might go to Blodgit for advice.

But when I want advice on tree safety and risk management, or even, on paying my business rates on time, I wouldn't ask a non-expert for advice.”
Manage
Like · 1h

“Marika Puglisi from Moray Simpson:
The piece of wood holding the stem section with the cavity is not an arboriculturist, so shouldn't be talking about something outside of his professional understanding.

Trees with stem cavities are not more dangerous than a tree without a stem cavity, unless the stem cavity to stem diameter ratio has severely comprised the loading capacity of the stem, which in this case appears to not be the case!”
Manage
Like · 2h · Edited

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

Harding (a professional arboriculturist) has recommended a general text on hazard assessment. Actually, for practical purposes, you are better spending your money on these:

https://www.summerfieldbooks.com/the-bod...

https://www.trees.org.uk/Book-Shop/Produ...

Also, see my letter:
http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archive...

Also see SCF (& v51: https://bit.ly/2L5AQga - distributed to EVERY Councillor in the city on 2nd February 2016).

QUOTES FROM SCF [Stocksbridge Community Forum - a website that has since been archived]:

On 8th July, 2015, the Streets Ahead Customer Services Fulfilment Team (Sheffield City Council and Amey) issued a PDF document - “Rustlings Road Response”*. It informed:

“ IF A MATURE TREE CAN BENEFIT FROM A BETTER MAINTENANCE REGIME and pruning and would thrive in its current location, then THIS WOULD BE RETAINED, EVEN IF IT HAS A SHORT LIFESPAN OF 5 YEARS.”

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

On 2nd February 2016, Amey & SCC published a back-dated 5yr document*, which they said had been kept from the public as it was a “commercially sensitive” contract document. It informed:

“Given the RISK associated with managing trees with neglected historical pollards… POLLARDS WILL BE MANAGED ON A SHORT-TERM CYCLICAL PROGRAMME OF NO MORE THAN 3 YEARS to minimise the impact on tree health and ensure highway safety.”

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

The document was quickly cobbled together by Amey and PUBLISHED IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER FROM THE SAVE OUR ROADSIDE TREES GROUP (SORT: Sheffield's first Sheffield Tree Action Group), dated 29th January, 2016.

All content on arboricultural / urban forestry matters contained within the petition hand-outs mentioned here, including works cited and referenced, is technically accurate, correct and currently valid. This has been verified by a competent, professional arboriculturist.

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

Another little gem from the “Rustlings Road Response" document*, dated 8th July, 2015:

“However… if trees can be retained FOLLOWING FOOTWAY EXCAVATION and further examination, this would always be OUR PREFERRED OPTION.”

Again, Amey and SCC never bothered to excavate the footway around any of the trees on Rustlings Road prior to felling. In fact, to date, I am not aware that they have ever followed this "preferred option" on any street in Sheffield.

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

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

Please find nine audio files attached above. They are named as follows (Cllr Lodge is the SCC Cabinet Member for Environment and Streetscene):

I. HTAF 1_23rd_July_2015_Steve_Robinson - SCC Head of Highway Maintenance_6Ds_ASSESSMENT_Accountability_SPECIFICATIONS_Restocking_150723_002_8_2

II. 4_Cllr Lodge_1st August 2016_PFI_Client Team_160801_002_4_2

III. 4_Cllr Lodge_1st August 2016_Fines_Standards_Enquiries_Accountability_Allan_Symonds_No Capacity to Monitor Amey Monitoring_160801_002_4_3_2_1

IV. 12_Cllr Lodge_1st August 2016_Transparency_Accountability_NO SCC ARBORISTS_160801_002_12_02

V. 10_Cllr Lodge_1st August 2016_NO SCC ARBORISTS_160801_002_10_2

VI. Amey_Roadshow_Sharrow_Nether Edge_14th Sept_2016_Michael Carl & Vincent Varnam - Amey Community Stewards - PFI Client Team_NO Technical Staff_Enquies_Complaints_160914_003_2a

VII. 4_Cllr Lodge_1st August 2016_Enforcement_Client Team_160801_002_4_3_1_2

VIII. HTAF 1_23rd_July_2015_Steve_Robinson - SCC Head of Highway Maintenance_Last Resort_150723_002_5[1]

IX. Cllr Terry Fox - SCC Cabinet Member For Environment And Transport - 3rd February 2016_Elliott_Maturity_5yr Doc_Last Resort_ITP_Nether Edge_Petition_160203_008_1_4_2

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...

Now listen to the audio file listed seventh, above.

Sheffield City Council’s £2.2bn highway maintenance PFI is reliant on the contractor (Amey) “self-monitoring” their own work. For evidence, see the SORT petition update dated 8th November 2016:

https://www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-...

[& https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p... ]

I hope this helps.

D.Long (BSc Hons Arb)

FOI, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Combie
 
First of all please accept my apologies for the protracted delay in
getting this internal review response to you, we have experienced a large
number of requests and as a result have a backlog. We have allocated extra
resource to addressing the backlog and I would like to apologise for any
inconvenience caused.
 
In relation to your request, I am sorry that you are not happy with the
response you received. In your request for review you have highlighted
your concerns in regard to Council’s handling of your request and I have
used these comments as the framework for the response to this internal
review, with my comments to the issues raised in blue.
 
While I appreciate the effort and the partial answer received. I believe
there are more records held that have not been provided.
 
"2.  Please provide details on the transport of the slice of tree. From
the point of felling into receipt of Cllr Lodge, please details method of
transport, and locations the sample was moved between, and which party
moved the sample between locations.
 
Sheffield City Council do not hold any recorded data relating to this
transport of this section of the tree."
 
I'm going to hazard a guess and I'm sure the ICO will agree, that a
contractor grabbing a slice of memorial tree, it making it's way to a
Councillor for use in the chamber and to be photographed with the BBC is
not a normal day to day occurrence. As such there must have been some
logistics for transport and planning .
 
Please conduct an internal review into this element of my request.
 
Further to your request I can confirm that the Council’s initial response
was correct and we do not hold any information relevant to your request.
Sheffield City Council was not party to, or involved in, the
transportation of this slice of tree, as this activity was completed by
Amey rather than oursleves. As a result SCC had no involvement in this
case and there is no further information relevant for disclosure, as no
records are held. This has been confirmed with the relevant service area.
 
"3. Please confirm or deny if any record of the following exists,
discussions between Amey and or Sheffield City Council and or South
Yorkshire Police as to WII memorial cherry trees  in Birley their removal.
If any record exists please provide the date it occurred, and a copy of
the communication suitably redacted for personal information.
 
Please find attached emails between Sheffield City Council and Amey
relating to the trees on Heathfield Road. A per your request we have
redacted personal information and not provided a refusal notice in this
regard. "
 
Thank you for the documents you have provided. I believe there are some
communications not included that should be. Example the first email is a
confirmation, indication prior discussion about an action. It also mention
a definitive item "the two trees on Heathfield" followed by the response
"From a comms point of view" If this was a the first interaction about the
discussion on removal at Heathfield one would expect note of the memorial
status.
 
Further to your request for any additional records I can confirm that you
have received all relevant records in regard to the removal of this tree.
This was the initial recorded communication detailing the removal and
therefore considered to be likely captured by your request and relevant
for disclosure. We note that discussions may have occurred previously but
we do not hold an records and the provided correspondence was the
correspondence specifically identified as relating to the removal on this
site.
 
I consider therefore that all relevant information was provided in the
initial response to your request and we confirmed the state of records
held in accordance with the Act. I am sorry if this is not the response
you would have liked, however, the Act has been correctly applied in this
case.
 
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 [1]www.ico.org.uk
 
Kind regards
 
Mark
 
Mark Knight
Information Management Officer
Business Change and Information Solutions (BCIS)
Resources Portfolio, Sheffield City Council
Email: [2][email address]
Postal Address: Sheffield City Council,  PO Box 1283, Sheffield S1 1UJ
 
_____________________________________________

show quoted sections

Mr Long left an annotation ()

SCC MISUSE & ABUSE OF THE FOI ACT

DON'T BE FOBBED OFF BY AN INCOMPETENT SCC INFORMATION OFFICER

Sheffield City Council (SCC) often dismiss requests for information about aspects of the £2.2bn highway maintenance contract for the 25yr ‘Streets Ahead’ project, by asserting that SCC does not hold any relevant information, as Amey has it and it is therefore ‘commercially sensitive’.

The Information Commissioner has ruled that it is WRONG for SCC to misuse and abuse the Freedom Of Information Act to withhold access to information that is held on its behalf by the service provider (contractor) for the Streets Ahead project.

Following investigation, on 4th October 2017 the Information Commissioner’s Office issued a Decision Notice (Reference: FS50637180). The Decision Notice can be accessed via this link:

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

THE ICO DECISION NOTICE STATES:

“13.
During the course of this investigation, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT THE COUNCIL DID HOLD INFORMATION, BY VIRTUE OF IT BEING HELD ON ITS BEHALF BY ITS CONTRACTOR AMEY as per regulation (2)(b) of the EIR. Amey has a contract with the Council to carry out maintenance work for roads, street lights, and roadside trees. WHILST THIS MAINTENANCE WORK HAS BEEN OUTSOURCED TO AMEY IT REMAINS THE COUNCIL’S RESPONSIBILITY, AND THEREFORE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE EIR INFORMATION about the location of the 143 trees IS HELD BY THE COUNCIL.
[…]

40.
The SECTION 46 CODE OF PRACTICE* provides guidance on effective record management policies and why this is of benefit for both public authorities and requesters alike. The following extract comes from PARAGRAPH 9.3 and deals with what record systems should be held:

‘9.3
RECORDS SYSTEMS should be designed to meet the authority’s operational needs and using them SHOULD BE AN INTEGRAL PART OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS AND PROCESSES. RECORDS SYSTEMS SHOULD HAVE THE FOLLOWING CHARACTERISTICS:

a)
THEY SHOULD BE EASY TO UNDERSTAND AND USE so as to reduce the effort required of those who create and use the records within them. Ease of use is an important consideration when developing or selecting a system;

b)
THEY SHOULD ENABLE QUICK AND EASY RETRIEVAL OF INFORMATION. With digital systems this should include the capacity to search for information requested under the Act;

h)
THEY SHOULD ENABLE AN AUDIT TRAIL to be produced of occasions on which selected records have been seen, used, amended and deleted.’

41.
The Commissioner considers that this guidance would be appropriate in this instance. THE COUNCIL (VIA AMEY) HOLDS INFORMATION ABOUT ITS MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME IN A WEATHER-STAINED MANUAL FORM with little recognisable capability for extracting details.

THIS SHOWS THE RECORDS ARE NOT EASY TO USE, DO NOT ALLOW FOR QUICK RETRIEVAL, and – from what the Council said about ongoing changes to the records – do not allow for it go back and determine what information would have been held.”

* Selected extracts from the ‘Freedom of Information Code of Practice’ (published 4th July 2018:

“Code of Practice issues under section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, providing guidance to public authorities on the discharge of their functions and responsibilities under Part I (Access to information held by public authorities) of the Act.”):

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

*****
The aforementioned ICO investigation centred on an assertions made about use of Flexi-Pave to retain mature street trees over the duration of the £2.2bn PFI contract, made by the following:

• SCC Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport (Cllr Terry Fox and his successor – Cllr Bryan Lodge [Labour])
https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/row-over-...

• SCC Director of Development Services (David Caulfield: former Head of Planning)
http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archive... (see Appendix 22: page 313)

• SCC Information Management Officer (Mark Knight)
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c...

From May 2015 until July 2018, SCC – including the SCC Information management Officer - wilfully misled and deceived Councillors and citizens about the use of about use of Flexi-Pave on the Streets Ahead project – a “highway maintenance solution” that comes at “NO EXTRA COST TO THE COUNCIL”, according to the previoius, shamed, SCC Head of Highway Maintenance:

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

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

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

http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/counc... (a link to the 5yr Contract Document)

*****
Finally, in July 2018, in a private e-mail, SCC & Amey (the service provider for the project) informed:

“WE ARE NOT USING FLEXI-PAVE although the asphalt used on footways is a flexible material.”

SOURCE:
https://www.facebook.com/wes.hedge/posts...

Full detail of the alternative surfacing/Flexi-Pave debacle can be found online at the archived Stocksbridge Community Forum website. Use the following links:

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

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

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

PDF files can be accessed here (on pages 2 & 3):
http://stocksbridgecommunity.org.archive...

*****
SOURCE:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Mr Long left an annotation ()

EVIDENCE - AUDIO FILES

In my earlier comment - https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/c... - I mentioned a number of audio files (nine). Those audio files can be accessed and downloaded via this link:
https://1drv.ms/f/s!AsWguV74n6x7i37DkCqE...

Mr Long left an annotation ()

My letter to The Star (a Sheffield newspaper), following inspection of the Western Rd trees, dated 7th December 2016 (not printed):

“DANGEROUS HIGHWAY TREES

Recently, I have been contacted by citizens concerned that there has been a significant increase in the number of highway trees scheduled for felling on the basis that they are 'dangerous' and have 'structural integrity issues'. At first, I thought they must have misinterpreted information received. At the first of the two 'bi-monthly' Highway Trees Advisory Forum (HTAF) meetings, on 23rd July, 2015, which I attended, Sheffield City Council’s HEAD OF HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE (Steve Robinson) informed:

'We had a survey carried out by an independent firm in 2006/2007… So, IN LIGHT OF THAT, the Council, as part of its application to Government for THE STREETS AHEAD PROJECT, RECEIVED FUNDING TO MANAGE THE CITY’S HIGHWAY TREE STOCK.
[…]
So, our underinvestment and underfunding left us with a number of DEAD, DYING AND DANGEROUS trees. Some of you would be surprised that THERE WERE 1,200 TREES THAT WERE WITHIN THAT CATEGORY. So, AMEY IDENTIFIED THOSE TREES AND ADDRESSED THOSE FIRST.
[…]
OUR NEXT PRIORITY is to improve the condition of our roads and pavements. So, in other words, deal with the DAMAGING trees – those trees that are damaging kerbs, pavements and drains.
[…]
So, JUST BECAUSE A TREE IS DISEASED DOESN’T MEAN TO SAY THAT THAT TREE NEEDS TO BE REPLACED. …whether it turns out to be dangerous… those judgements are made by tree people. …they have their budget to look after their trees. In terms of damaging… if an engineering solution can be applied, then it will be applied.'

Curious to see these 'dangerous' trees for myself, I have visited a couple of streets in different parts of the city to take a look. What I have discovered is shocking, but not surprising, given the fact that THERE HAS BEEN CONTINUED, WIDESPREAD NON-COMPLIANCE WITH AND DISREGARD FOR A RANGE OF CURRENT GOOD PRACTICE BY SCC & AMEY. It would appear that TREES THAT HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN MAINTAINED BY PRUNING ARE BEING CLASSED AS 'DANGEROUS', on the basis that regrowth could break loose. Such trees can and should be safely retained, long-term, by use of the range of British Standard pruning operations that the Save Our Roadside trees Sheffield Tree Action Group have detailed previously, in a letter dated 29th January 2016 (see Appendix 4). The letter (available online) was distributed to every Councillor in the city, as a Nether Edge Petition hand-out. TO CLASS ALL SUCH TREES AS 'DANGEROUS' IS WHAT I WOULD EXPECT FROM A 'ROGUE TRADER' and not what should be expected of reasonably skilled, competent arboriculturists.

The National Tree Safety Group guidance is particularly apt:

'WITH INADEQUATE UNDERSTANDING, so-called defects may be erroneously confused with hazards and, furthermore, hazards with risk – so unless the risk of harm arising from a hazard is properly taken account of, MANAGEMENT CAN BE SERIOUSLY MISINFORMED, POTENTIALLY LEADING TO COSTLY AND UNNECESSARY INTERVENTION.'

In April 2013, The Star reported*:

'THE COUNCIL SAID IT WOULD NOT REPLACE TREES WHERE PLANTING A NEW TREE WOULD BE CHEAPER THAN PRUNING THE EXISTING SPECIES.'

In October 2015, Amey’s Operations Manager for the Streets Ahead project (Jeremy Willis) stated:

'IT IS MORE COSTLY TO FELL AND REPLACE A TREE THAN MAINTAIN IT IN THE CURRENT POSITION.'

In December 2015, he stated:

'IF IT IS FELT THAT THE TREE COULD BE SAVED BY PRUNING AND MAINTAINING IT THEN THAT IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN.'

Mature trees accounted for 73.8% of all highway trees (25,877) at the start of the Streets Ahead project (in 2012). Most have been previously pruned and are associated with minor damage to the built environment. If citizens are unwilling to permit Amey to fell most mature highway trees, perhaps it is time to call in Matt Allwright of BBC’s Watchdog?

D.Long (BSc Hons Arb), Sheffield”.

SOURCE:
https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

https://web.archive.org/web/201912130151...

NEWS:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....

https://ianswalkonthewildside.wordpress....