Decision details

Appointment of the Independent Chair of the Local Inquiry into the Street Trees Dispute

Decision Maker: Co-operative Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes


Following agreement that there should be an independent local inquiry into the street trees dispute, the Council must appoint a suitable individual to lead and oversee the inquiry and its work.



The report set out:


  • the context for the commitment in the Co-operative Agreement to “appoint an independent person to conduct a local non-statutory inquiry into the management of the street trees dispute”;
  • the work undertaken during 2021 to carry out this commitment;
  • the recommended outcome of the recruitment process to identify a suitable Independent Chair; and
  • a financial envelope for the inquiry.




RESOLVED: That Co-operative Executive:-



1.    Note the work conducted to establish a firmly independent inquiry into the street trees dispute;


2.    Delegate authority to the Chief Executive and Director of Finance and Commercial Services to take the necessary steps to secure Sir Mark Lowcock as the Independent Chair of the Inquiry, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community Engagement and Governance; and


3.    Agree that the Co-operative Executive receive a further report with details of financial implications of the Terms of Reference once developed by the Independent Chair and agreed by the stakeholders.




Reasons for Decision




The appointment of an independent person to conduct a local inquiry into the street trees dispute fulfils a commitment in the Labour and Green Co-operation Agreement.




A rigorous assessment process has identified Sir Mark Lowcock as the recommended candidate for this role.




Alternatives Considered and Rejected




The need for an independent Inquiry was included in the May 2021 Labour and Green Co-operation Agreement. No alternative to meeting that requirement was considered.




Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted








Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration








Respective Director Responsible for Implementation




Executive Director, Resources




Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In




Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee


Report author: Ryan Keyworth

Publication date: 25/01/2022

Date of decision: 19/01/2022

Decided at meeting: 19/01/2022 - Co-operative Executive

Effective from: 01/02/2022

Accompanying Documents: