Sheffield trees: residents will never trust Sheffield City Council again - until the rot that wrecked the city is removed

Why? Why is it important to this newspaper that every single person who contributed to the orchestrated killing of Sheffield’s street trees be held to account? Why does The Yorkshire Post care so much about what happened, and remain insistent that those responsible for heaping shame on the Steel City are not allowed to simply say sorry and carry on - as some so clearly wish to?

Four words ought to be enough: Jenny Hockey; Freda Brayshaw.

Both at the time were septuagenarians with proud reputations as law-abiding, community conscientious people with many friends and myriad interests – yet they were arrested by South Yorkshire Police for daring to object to Sheffield’s natural assets being stripped bare for cash.

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Now, following further extensive investigations by The Yorkshire Post alongside tenacious probing by Sheffielders, today we can reveal that as well as having protestors in their crosshairs, Sheffield City Council had convinced itself it had the mandate to take South Yorkshire Police to court if the force was not prepared to arrest and lock up anyone on the streets of Sheffield standing in the way of the council’s mindless vandalism of the city - perpetrated not by local miscreants with nothing better to do, but by paid public servants whose only job was to work in the best interests of the city.

Now, current council chief executive Kate Josephs finds herself in the invidious position of having to put her name to an apology for the incompetent, arrogant bullying meted out by her predecessors, despite having no responsibility for it whatsoever. The co-signatory on that apology? Councillor Terry Fox, the man responsible for the £2.2bn Streets Ahead PFI project between 2015-16, a man who has refused the resignation of Bryan Lodge: he was in charge when Jenny and Freda were thrown in jail.