Sheffield councillor overseeing controversial tree felling scheme steps down

Trees have been felled across Sheffield as part of a road improvement programme
Trees have been felled across Sheffield as part of a road improvement programme

The councillor overseeing the controversial tree felling programme in Sheffield has stepped down from his cabinet post.

Coun Bryan Lodge resigned as Cabinet Member for Environment and Streetscene last night and described his last two years in post as 'interesting' and 'challenging'.

Bryan Lodge

Bryan Lodge

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He had responsibility for overseeing the controversial tree felling programme which forms part of the £2 billion road improvement scheme being carried out across the city.

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Coun Lodge has been subject to widespread criticism by those who object to trees being axed and in a statement posted on Facebook last night he said some of the abuse had been 'aggressive, nasty and personal'.

He wrote: "Just wanted to say, it's been an interesting/challenging two years.

"To the Sheffield City Council officers - you have been awesome. Never let the truth get lost in the aggressive, nasty and personal abuse directed at us.

"I'm proud to have worked with such a dedicated, hardworking and professional team of people."

He added: "We need to get the people of Sheffield, all the people, back on board to realise the benefits of this biggest ever investment in the infrastructure of the city.

"It's become a political football and everyone has lost sight of why successive Labour, Lib Dem and then again, Labour administrations have worked to improve the highway network across our fantastic city.

"Can it ever be right to ignore the needs of anyone who experiences problems on our roads and pavements?

"I hope that in years to come, others can hold their head's high because I know I can.

"To the campaigners, I respect your passion but can't condone the behaviour. Respect plays both ways."