STAG Steering Group meeting: 11th September 2018

1. Finances Update
1.1 Chris gave an update on the state of STAG finances.
1.2 There was a brief discussion about whether we should use this opportunity to pay off any loans outstanding. However Chris confirmed that all the individuals owed money were content to keep the current loans outstanding.
1.3 It was confirmed that the merchandising spend and income should have accounts.
1.4 There are two crowdfunders currently open.
1.5 All of the above information will soon be published in more detail with the STAG Steering Group minutes on the STAG website
1.6 STAG Steering Group wanted to formally record their thanks to Save Nether Edge Trees for their recent and historic efforts to organise so many events to raise money for the campaign overall.

2. Talks with Sheffield Council
2.1 The facilitator will soon be confirmed. Likely to be Fiona from CEDR.
2.2 They have expertise at complex multi-party community disputes.
2.3 Paul Brooke and Chris Rust have met Fiona twice now, and a number of other campaigners had recently met her as she did some tree walks to try to get a better understanding of the situation.
2.4 Paul and Chris sought Steering Group approval to go ahead and confirm Fiona as facilitator.
2.5 Fiona has already shifted the Council’s thinking about how long the talks will take. The Council had previously thought it might only take two two-hour meetings, but they now understand it could take two full days, followed by a minimum of another full day a few weeks later, with potentially more again needed if necessary.
2.6 When Paul Brooke and Chris Rust last met Lewis Dagnall, he also thought the process would take quite a few months. He also confirmed that there was no pressure from Amey to speed things up, and that he felt it was more important to get the right outcome regardless of time.
2.7 Still to be absolutely confirmed, but the first two full days for the talks are likely to be 27 and 28 September.
2.8 SG then held quite a long discussion about who should be represented on the STAG side given we could have up to six people in the room.
2.9 Chris and Paul Brooke had nominated themselves as co-chairs of STAG, and sought views on whether there was support for this. There was no dissent.
2.10 David Elliott (from Trees for Cities) was also suggested as another person, and again there was no dissent.
2.11 Paul Selby was also nominated. Again there was no dissent.
2.12 The final two participants are still to be decided, but there was a short list of suggestions, some in Steering Group, some not. These will be considered over the next few days, based upon availability, willingness to participate, and expertise.
2.13 On top of the main six fronting the talks, there is clearly going to be the need for many more supporting, both on the day in the background.
2.14 It was agreed that all Steering Group members should be part of this “wider group”.
2.15 Other names were also suggested, including independent arborists and independent highways engineers.

3. Forestry Commission Investigation
3.1 Paul Selby gave an update on this including input required from STAG.

4. Felling notification process
4.1 Not much change since last update at the last meeting as there haven’t been further notifications.
4.2 The situation regarding the Upper Albert Road potential felling that campaigners had been questioning seems to have become clearer.
4.3 As a result it is likely that campaigners won’t protest the felling. However they are awaiting some final FoI information.

5. AOB
5.1 Crookes Group is likely to be organising something for Armistice Day 11 November.
5.2 Heather Russell announced her intention to launch a “comedy” cook book based upon the tree campaign to raise funds.

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Posted in Minutes from official meetings
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Innocent protest to save Sheffield’s healthy street trees turns into a nightmare, as a small group of brave suburbanites take on their Council, the police and a multinational corporation.

Crowdfunder: street trees legal fund

We are currently collecting to support the small number of campaigners who are facing court costs after cases brought by Sheffield City Council.

Heartwood TiCL trail

Walk the Heartwood Trail and find Robert Macfarlane’s beautiful charms against harm hung from some of Sheffield’s threatened Street Trees. Designed by Jackie Morris.

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