1. Street Tree Strategy Implementation Group Update
1.1 Christine and Paul S gave an update on progress.
1.2 Paul S updated about the additional planting of trees in Nether Edge application. 40 locations have been suggested to Amey, and 20 have been approved with no issues. Of the 20 rejected, about 10 are clear valid rejections (eg utilities, phone lines, signs etc) and probably not rectifiable by moving the location slightly. However the other 10 potential sites warrant further discussion. All this is obviously prior to discussing costs, or considering resident views.
1.3 There was a debate about the fine line to be walked between taking residents views into account and not bending to the will of people who will always object to further street tree planting.
1.4 Paul S also updated on the volunteer Street Tree Wardens process. A draft advert and role description still needs to be signed off by SCC. After that, it should be advertised soon.
1.5 Christine is doing a final proof read before the publication of the glossy Strategy. This had thrown up a couple of paragraphs that needed updating.
Christine and Paul S also mentioned the Public Engagement exercise that is likely to run between July and September. That is to ensure that residents and community groups are allowed to feed in views about the “Working Draft” we’re using in 20/21, so it can be tweaked into a final document in 21/22 onwards.
2. Legal Work
2.1 This is now paused and unlikely to be re-opened, unless conflict begins again.
3.1 No progress on this and Covid-19 seems to have removed hopes of moving this forward.
4. Tree Disease Symposium
4.1 Caroline Millman put forward the possibility of this now being run via videoconference in some slightly modified format. Steering Group agreed, though it may still be some while before it can be progressed.
4.2 Paul S took an action to draft the story of Thornsett Road as a case study for use in the videoconference.
5. 1000 Oak Saplings
5.1 Two months back, there was the potential for STAG to purchase 1000 oak saplings, to prevent them from being composted. However the company selling them didn’t reply to emails, and when they eventually did, they admitted that the saplings hadn’t been watered in the meantime.
5.2 Given that there is every likelihood that many may have died in the interim, so a purchaser might only receive 400 live ones after purchasing 1000 Paul Brooke made the decision not to go ahead with the purchase on behalf of STAG.
6. Future of STAG
6.1 At the Tree Huggas celebration event in early 2020 there was a consultation about the vision for a future STAG.
6.2 It received wholly positive feedback, including a couple of additional volunteers for working on the conversion of STAG from a collective of representatives of local campaign groups, into a membership organisation, with a constitution, and set up as an unincorporated organisation.
6.3 Paul Brooke will draft a STAG Facebook post on the process to be shared with local action groups.
7. Paul Brooke position as co-chair of STAG
7.1 Paul Brooke will be stepping down as co-chair of STAG over the next month owing to a change in his circumstances.
7.2 After a discussion about whether any SG members would like to volunteer to co-chair it was agreed that Christine would continue in the position on her own. In light of this, Paul S emphasised the importance of moving to a new organisational structure asap.
7.3 There was unanimous praise for Paul B and for everything he has done for the campaign. He will announce his retirement on Facebook in the coming days.