How many people are still waiting for an apology for the tree scandal from Sheffield Council?

The leader of Sheffield Council has been asked to provide an update on how many there are still waiting for an apology for the tree scandal.

At last week’s full council meeting, members were able to submit questions to the leader of the council Coun Tom Hunt.

One of them was Coun Douglas Johnson (City, Green Party, Speaker for the Green Group) who asked Labour’s Coun Hunt how many people were known to be waiting for their formal apology in connection with the Street Trees Inquiry.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Coun Tom Hunt, the leader of the council, said three people were still due in-person apologies

Sheffield Town Hall.Sheffield Town Hall.
Sheffield Town Hall.

He said: “With the exception of those people who provided undertakings to the council or who were served an injunction, all formal apologies are either complete or scheduled.

“Those people who contacted the dedicated street trees inbox to request a written apology have all been provided with one. All those who have requested an in-person apology have received one, with the exception of two individuals whose apologies have been deferred to later in December at their request and one person to whom dates have been offered but has not responded.

“The situation with regard to those who provided undertakings or who were served an injunction is as follows: Two people who were subject to the committal proceedings have been in direct contact about an apology and have engaged about the apology and how it might be framed. They are waiting for the draft apology to be provided to them.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“There are a further 11 individuals who the council started proceedings against who either had an initial apology in July or the council did not have contact details to send the apology at that same time.

“These people are in a similar position and following discussion, the council has agreed that it will determine outstanding complaints from some of these before finalising revised apology wording for all of them. The complaints are being considered under the council’s complaints system.”

In November, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported that some campaigners who fought against the infamous street tree felling scandal are still waiting for personal apologies from Sheffield Council despite the deadline having passed.

An inquiry found that the council overstretched its authority in taking drastic action against campaigners, had serious and sustained failures in leadership and misled the public, courts and an independent panel it set up to deal with the dispute.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Earlier this year, in June, Sheffield City Council published a letter, apologising for its actions during the street trees scandal, with Coun Hunt accepting in the summer that some of the 17,500 trees cut down were healthy.

The letter, at one point, stated: “The errors that the council made led to harm. Our own staff, contractors and subcontractors were placed in unacceptable positions and subject to harassment.

“Protesters and campaigners were maligned, injured and experienced physical, emotional, and for some, financial stress. The action the council took damaged Sheffield’s reputation in a way that casts a long shadow”.