Friday, October 16, 2020

Ombudsman finds Sheffield Council misled public over tree scandal

Remember the scandal over Sheffield's Labour-run council and tree-felling? The council had signed a ridiculous PFI contract that saw many healthy street trees felled.

When this caused an outcry the council turned on the protestors. They even tried to have an opposition councillor jailed for demonstrating.

There was a good article on the affair by George Monbiot.

Yesterday the Yorkshire Post covered a report on the affair by the local government and social care ombudsman:

A 25-page report by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has recommended an unreserved public apology is issued by the council to the people of the city within the next three months over its handling of the controversial removal of thousands of street trees. ...

It concluded the council should “provide a public, unreserved apology accepting those findings of this investigation which draw attention to general failings in the implementation of its ‘Streets Ahead’ policy”, as well as providing a private apology to the complainant’s family.

The report added: “We ask it [the council] consider if there are wider implications for how it delivers services and lessons it should learn as a result of how it implemented its Streets Ahead programme. In particular, how it can embed the principles of openness and accountability across all its services.”

You can read the full report on the Ombudsman's website.

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