Summary Of Results
Sheffield Council has now released all of the Independent Tree Panel’s recommendations, as well as its own response to those recommendations.
Adding these to the previously released information, here are the final summary statistics:
150 roads were referred to the ITP, and on these roads there were 802 trees for consideration.
Of the 802 trees:
- 44 (5.5%) were dead or had already been removed;
- 130 (16.2%) were dying or diseased so the ITP agreed with their removal;
- 628 (78.3%) were perfectly healthy so the ITP seriously considered them.
Of the 628 healthy trees the ITP recommended:
- Saving 307 of them (48.9%), suggesting using one of the 14 free engineering solutions;
- Saving a further 5 trees (0.8%) as special cases (The Vernon Road Oak, the Chelsea Road Elm, a “rare” Italian Alder on Kenbourne Road, a “magnificent” London Plane on Vainor Road), and one on Spring Hill Road, using one of the additional engineering solutions;
- Felling 316 of them (50.3%) as the damage to the road or pavement was too substantial
Of the 312 trees that the ITP recommended saving, the Council ignored them on 237 trees (76% of the time).
Of the 75 trees “saved” by the ITP process, five trees were incorrectly identified or listed by Amey and were therefore administrative errors, so 69 are “genuine saves”. Nearly all were listed as “temporary” reprieves.
In nearly all cases where the Council decided to ignore ITP recommendations to save, they have been vague about why, and have seemingly accepted Amey advice, unquestioned.
Extrapolating these numbers across the 6000 trees being felled in the first five years of the 25 year PFI contract:
- 4698 would have been healthy, 1302 would have been dead, dying, diseased, or already removed
- 2335 of the 6000 trees are being unnecessarily felled
- Despite the lack of transparency, the ITP do at least seem to be partly independent;
- The Council have questionable engineering expertise, and so are pretty much forced to accept Amey advice above the ITP advice;
- So far the process has only saved 75 trees (9.4%) out of the 802 considered, only 70 of which (8.7%) is a genuine saving.
- The process has cost the Council over £1 million in contract penalties as a result of the delays it has caused. If only that money had actually been spent on saving trees using proper pragmatic solutions.