Those responsible for the Sheffield tree-felling scandal need to be moved on - The Yorkshire Post says

The findings of the independent inquiry into Sheffield City Council’s handling of its controversial tree-felling programme are to be welcomed but the question of trust will linger over the local authority so long as those who were responsible for allowing the situation to get out of hand remain in positions of authority.

Only when new leadership is in place will Kate Josephs be afforded the opportunity to reinvigorate Sheffield because the erosion of trust risks undermining any progress the council and city could make.

Sheffield is a great city, one with a bright future ahead of it. But before it looks forward economically, there needs to be a reckoning for those that sought to ram through the ill thought out policy of removing thousands of trees unnecessarily.

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Thanks to the likes of Terry Fox and Bryan Lodge, Sheffield Council stumbled into this furore, which brought the world’s attention to the city for all the wrong reasons.

Campaigners were right to protest against the felling of trees in Sheffield.Campaigners were right to protest against the felling of trees in Sheffield.
Campaigners were right to protest against the felling of trees in Sheffield.

But then, as the inquiry has subsequently proved, the local authority continued to escalate the situation with its refusal to listen to protestors.

While Councillor Fox accepted the findings of the inquiry, he said he won’t quit over his role in the scandal and has rejected a resignation offer from senior councillor Bryan Lodge, who was also implicated. That is simply not good enough.

Councillor Fox was cabinet member with responsibility for the mass tree-felling programme between 2015 and 2016, before being succeeded by Councillor Lodge, who was in charge during some of the most controversial moments of the dispute - including multiple attempts to send protesters to jail.

It was a dark chapter in the story of Sheffield and those who authored that chapter need to move on for the good of the city.