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Agenda item

Developing The Sheffield Street Tree Strategy

Report of the Executive Director, Place.

Decision:

8.1

The Executive Director, Place, submitted a report updating Cabinet on the steps taken since the Council issued the Street Trees Joint Position Statement and adopted the Sheffield Trees and Woodlands Strategy in December 2018 and to seek endorsement for the proposed process and timescales for developing a new Street Tree Strategy.

 

 

8.2

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:- 

 

 

 

(a)

notes and endorses the positive progress made following the issue of the Street Trees Joint Position Statement and the adoption of the Sheffield Trees and Woodlands Strategy in December 2018 including:

 

·         the establishment of the Street Tree Strategy development group, including the appointment of Liz Ballard as its chair; and

·         the adoption of the new joint inspection and assessment process for street trees.

 

 

 

 

(b)

agrees to receive a draft of the Street Tree Strategy for consideration in January 2020; and

 

 

 

 

(c)

notes the recommendations made by Amey to the Council in respect of the trees assessed to date as part of the new process, and advocates the continuation of this approach for future tranches.

 

 

 

8.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

8.3.1

It is considered that the approach set out in the report will enable the Council to make good on the commitments it has made in the Joint Position Statement and the Trees and Woodlands Strategy.  It is also felt that the approach being taken by Amey that Cabinet are being asked to advocate continues to represent an acceptable balance between the benefits of mature street trees and the need to maintain the highway programme for the benefit of all Sheffield communities without additional expenditure on the part of the Council.

 

 

8.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

8.4.1

The only other options that are open to Cabinet are to reject the outcomes of the new approach and to revert to the previously agreed policy for the street tree element of the Streets Ahead programme.  It is considered that this would not be in line with the commitments set out in the Joint Position Statement agreed with  Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) members, and would be likely to result in substantial loss of trust for the Authority, as well as placing the successful completion of the Streets Ahead programme in significant doubt.

 

 

8.4.2

Similarly, Cabinet could decide not to endorse the approach to the development of the Street Tree Strategy and to rely on the existing Five Year Tree Management Strategy (produced by Amey) and the Council’s current Highway Tree Replacement Policy.  This would also be out of line with the commitments set out in the Joint Position Statement and the Trees and Woodlands Strategy agreed by Cabinet in December 2018.

 

 

8.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

 

None

 

 

8.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

 

None

 

 

8.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

 

Laraine Manley, Executive Director, Place.

 

 

8.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

 

Economic and Environmental Wellbeing.

 

Minutes:

8.1

The Executive Director, Place, submitted a report updating Cabinet on the steps taken since the Council issued the Street Trees Joint Position Statement and adopted the Sheffield Trees and Woodlands Strategy in December 2018 and to seek endorsement for the proposed process and timescales for developing a new Street Tree Strategy.

 

 

8.2

RESOLVED: That Cabinet:- 

 

 

 

(a)

notes and endorses the positive progress made following the issue of the Street Trees Joint Position Statement and the adoption of the Sheffield Trees and Woodlands Strategy in December 2018 including:

 

·         the establishment of the Street Tree Strategy development group, including the appointment of Liz Ballard as its chair; and

·         the adoption of the new joint inspection and assessment process for street trees.

 

 

 

 

(b)

agrees to receive a draft of the Street Tree Strategy for consideration in January 2020; and

 

 

 

 

(c)

notes the recommendations made by Amey to the Council in respect of the trees assessed to date as part of the new process, and advocates the continuation of this approach for future tranches.

 

 

 

8.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

8.3.1

It is considered that the approach set out in the report will enable the Council to make good on the commitments it has made in the Joint Position Statement and the Trees and Woodlands Strategy.  It is also felt that the approach being taken by Amey that Cabinet are being asked to advocate continues to represent an acceptable balance between the benefits of mature street trees and the need to maintain the highway programme for the benefit of all Sheffield communities without additional expenditure on the part of the Council.

 

 

8.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

8.4.1

The only other options that are open to Cabinet are to reject the outcomes of the new approach and to revert to the previously agreed policy for the street tree element of the Streets Ahead programme.  It is considered that this would not be in line with the commitments set out in the Joint Position Statement agreed with  Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG) members, and would be likely to result in substantial loss of trust for the Authority, as well as placing the successful completion of the Streets Ahead programme in significant doubt.

 

 

8.4.2

Similarly, Cabinet could decide not to endorse the approach to the development of the Street Tree Strategy and to rely on the existing Five Year Tree Management Strategy (produced by Amey) and the Council’s current Highway Tree Replacement Policy.  This would also be out of line with the commitments set out in the Joint Position Statement and the Trees and Woodlands Strategy agreed by Cabinet in December 2018.

 

 

 

Supporting documents: