STAG Steering Group meeting: 26th June 2018

1. Notification of urgent felling by Amey
1.1. It had been working okay, but this week has not been working. There has been no notification about a number of trees in need of genuine felling or pruning.
1.2 Paul Brooke took an action to contact Lewis Dagnall and John Mothersole about this. It was another thing that was not helping to build trust.

2. STEEL and TreeSave
2.1 There is some confusion in SG about these sites run by Steve Andresier.
2.2 One site was originally called STIC, but is now called STEEL.
2.3 There is also a new separate group called TreeSave, which Steve has created with Rob McBride for street trees nationally.
2.4 It was agreed we should encourage the support of TreeSave, particularly as Rob McBride is involved, and monitor how STEEL performs.

3. Feedback from the STAG Facebook Group moderators
3.1 Abuse of the moderators privately and material that breaks the STAG Facebook group rules continues to be a headache for the Moderators.
3.2 It was noted that although rules for moderation were in place, the process for applying those rules and appealing against potential overzealous moderation were not fully formed.
3.3 It was again agreed that these need to be published and then if the rules were again breached by repeat offenders a potential serious long ban from the Facebook Group would be implemented.

4. The recent existing injunction court cases
4.1 There is no timescale for the costs to be awarded against those found guilty. It is normal to have a Cost Hearing which will take place when the Judge decides.
4.2 SG agreed to go back to our local groups and encourage people to start fundraising through whatever means they can.
4.3 A new Crowdfunder will soon be launched.

5. The potential for a new and extended injunction
5.1 Most of the individuals sent the new “threat” letter from the Council have met legal experts on Monday to discuss them.
5.2 It is a private matter for the individuals receiving the letter as to their next steps.
5.3 There may be further decisions that STAG Steering Group will need to make at some point in the near future dependent on the actions of potential injunctees.

6. Update on the Forestry Commission Investigation
6.1 Steering Group noted the story that was in the Yorkshire Post at the weekend.
6.2 There was discussion about any further steps that SG should take in the light of this turn of events and Chris agreed to consider these.

7. Update on the other proactive legal action
7.1 Paul S has been in discussion with the solicitors about these actions and updated SG.

8. STAG funds
8.1 Chris provided an update on the latest funding position.

9. Merchandising and Advertising
9.1 Shelley gave an update on the digital advertising campaign.
9.2 There are still some funds available for further actions in this area if needed.
9.3 Various other STAG Fun Branch initiatives have raised money with the majority of raised funds being donated back into STAG funds.
9.4 Shelley and Cecilie agreed to work together on next steps and Steering Group agreed that STAG funds could and should be used to “pump prime” any worthwhile merchandising or events proposals.

10. Refreshed STAG Press Group
10.1 Chris, Rebecca, Heather and Anne have spent time making an effort to put out press releases which seems to have made some impact.

11. Meetings with Cllr Lewis Dagnall
11.1 Despite Cllr Dagnall informally meeting lots of local groups and residents, he hasn’t arranged an official meeting with STAG reps since he joined the cabinet.

11.2 There hasn’t been any recent contact from John Mothersole either.
11.3 Chris and Paul B will contact Cllr Dagnall again this week to express our dissatisfaction at the lack of progress on talks, the continued erosion of trust the threat letters have caused, and the continuing silence after the earlier positive overtures John Mothersole had made in April.

12. Replacement Saplings
12.1 Heather very briefly updated all that, using Helen Kemp’s data, work was about to begin to check whether the replacement saplings are healthy, in the right place, of the right species etc, as concerns have been expressed.

13. SIA complaints
13.1 There was a brief discussion about the interplay of the strands of work on the SIA complaints and Police complaints.

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