STAG Steering Group meeting: 22nd May 2018

Action Notes

1. Meetings with Councillor Lewis Dagnall
1.1 Two of the local groups have met Cllr Dagnall, following his public statements that he wanted to meet local groups.
1.2 Other groups reported that he hadn’t responded yet to emails.
1.3 All local groups were encouraged to push again to ensure they meet him.
1.4 He has a clear interest in history/heritage, for example, he was interested in the Vernon Oak being a historic Sheffield boundary tree.
1.5 Chris Rust and Paul Brooke then reported back from a meeting they had held late last week with him. They were surprised that he listened for the majority of the hour. This was a refreshing change from previous meetings with SCC.
1.6 Chris and Paul made a number of points to him as follows:

– It was very disappointing that the Council had chosen to pursue the breach of injunction cases against four people. As a consequence campaigners were inclined to pursue cases against the Council with renewed vigour

– The Council have said in statements that they want to draw a line in the sand around the history of the issue, however the campaign felt this was not possible, because so much of where we are at today are as a result of the past.

– Some home truths about Council Officers not telling the truth about certain issues (i.e. examples where public statements were clearly not the facts).

1.7 Cllr Dagnall listened intently to all of the above, and was clearly very interested to hear some of these things.
1.8 On the point about pursuing of the injunction cases in court, he said that this was solely the result of Council Officers following due process, and that elected Councillors couldn’t intervene. Some attendees made the point that in national government Civil Servants cannot take such significant decisions without a Minister’s approval. Ministers absolutely have the right to intervene to prevent individuals being taken to court.
1.9 There was a discussion about how we might pursue the Council about the above point.

2. Urgent Fellings
2.1 Chris had agreed with Darren Butt that he would give him three names, including Helen McIlroy’s. Amey would contact these three people with details of trees needing urgent fellings. It was agreed that the names would be Kaarina, Christine, Helen M, and potentially Helen Kemp. 2.2 Those three/four people would be responsible for receiving the information, contacting relevant experts (arborists and engineers) if needed for verification of the Amey claims, and then ensuring local groups were fully informed about whether the campaign should protest or not.
2.3 Chris promised to contact Helen, Helen, Christine and Kaarina today, and then let Darren Butt have these names.
2.4 The final details of the process would be worked through by the people above with Darren Butt and Amey.
2.5 Also, Steering Group were adamant that more notice needs to be given that what is being given currently.

3. Removal of Arborist’s picture from Facebook page
3.1 An Amey arborist has expressed his desire for a photo of him on the STAG Facebook page to be removed. He currently provides details of emergency fellings to STAG.
3.2 The photo was originally taken in 2017, when consent was given for the photo to be published on social media. It has been re-published multiple times since then, so is out there in multiple posts not just the recent post.
3.3 The Facebook group rules are clear, so long as original consent was given, and the post isn’t offensive, there is no reason to remove it. Privacy law is also clear. Once consent to publish photos is given, it can’t later be revoked.
3.4 Some SG members then challenged on the matter of goodwill. Would it not be a matter of goodwill in this specific instance to remove the latest photo.
3.5 The moderators and STAG Steering Group co-chairs had already discussed the matter and reached the consensus not to remove the photo. It was decided to confirm this decision.

4. Update on the STAG Facebook Group moderators
4.1 Nine moderators remain, after three left this week.
4.2 The nine are just about enough for the immediate future, but more are being identified and approached individually.
4.3 There was a long discussion about the fact that there were clear rules on Facebook, but no clear process for implementing these rules for the moderators to follow.
4.4 It was agreed that this process was needed.

5. Contract Rescission Judicial Review
5.1 Paul Selby updated everyone on the Judicial Review, including funding available. It is highly likely that we’ll send a Pre Action Protocol (PAP) letter in the near future.

6. Injunction obtained under false pretences?
6.1 This is something for which there is some potential evidence. Discussions took place on how this might be taken forward.

7. Injunction breach cases against four campaigners
7.1 Being held 5-7 June. There will be organised demonstrations outside of court each day.

8. Steve Andresier and STEEL Facebook group.
8.1 Steve has been organising the trip to Oxford to demonstrate outside Amey’s head office.
8.2 Paul Brooke undertook to speak to him about timing and how he organises support for this action.

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Posted in Minutes from official meetings

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