As we write this on a Sunday, it has now been 13 days since an attempted felling on a street anywhere in Sheffield!
Labour Party waking up to campaign:
The divisions within the Labour Party ranks really are growing. More and more local branches are taking forward motions to ask the leaders of their own party to change course, and last week, the influential Momentum Group within Sheffield also came out against the PFI and felling, more here.
Amey next steps:
Over a week ago, in an interview on BBC Radio Sheffield, Toby Foster asked Darren Butt (Head of Amey in Sheffield) what the next move would be from Amey, after the pause. Would it be to give up, or hit the campaign harder? Without hesitation, Darren Butt answered, they wouldn’t give up. But the reality is that Sheffield Council and Amey are unlikely to be able to take that stance. Hitting the campaign any harder would likely involve proactive assault, (rather than reactive “reasonable force”), and the Police are unlikely to allow that to happen. Sheffield Council and Amey have been stupid before, but there may now finally be the realisation that compromise and negotiation is the only way out for them. Let’s see. But many in the campaign now feel there is real hope.
Campaign next steps:
However, like the motto “Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”, learning from previous lulls, that is what the campaign is doing. Patrols continue every day, whatever the weather, to protect our lovely trees. The dedication of people is incredible.
And now is also not the time to relax. We might now have the advantage, so this is the time to press forward the advantage. Everyone reading this email needs to continue doing all they can to pressure the Council and Amey. Freedom of Information requests, complaints, letters to Councillors, letters to Amey, letters to the Police, literally all you can. The pressure cooker on the Council and Amey is creaking under the intense pressure at the moment, and we want it to break down.
Calvin’s Court Case:
There is a court case this week. It’s about the £16,000 fine Calvin was given in his September injunction case. Calvin has tried to reasonably negotiate a payment plan, but the Council have refused to negotiate, and are taking him back to court. Let’s hope this backfires on the Council again.
This week’s full Council meeting:
Should also be interesting! Lots more difficult questions will be asked by members of the public, and a motion has been tendered by the Liberal Democrat opposition requesting that the PFI contract is ended. It could be fiery. Join the discussion here. Sheffield City Council’s QC is a mouth watering £15k + VAT per day!
Campaign ‘Lego Set’:
Hilarious bespoke ‘lego set’ from one of the ‘master builder’ campaigners here.
Tales from Stump City Documentary:
In the pipeline and sounds like it will be a powerful, must see documentary, but needs support, see here.
Now then Magazine:
Laurence Peacock has written an excellent account of the campaign. You can access it on line at: nowthenmagazine.com