Tree felling halted despite increased police presence

Tree felling operations were halted again today as a woman climbed up a tree outside her house on Abbeydale Park Rise to stop it from being cut down.

Last Monday operations were also stopped in Nether Edge after a man climbed a tree, despite an increased police presence on site.

The increase in police came in response to actions in January where tensions climaxed between protesters and Amey contractors.

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Hartley released a statement following the arrest of two men after this incident. He said: “We have a duty to balance and protect the rights of all parties involved”.

There was around 30 police officers on Abbeydale Park Rise where the trees are decorated during Christmas for charity. Despite this, local Jane Sharp was still able to climb up a tree.

Police have not been involved since 2016, when the Council called for them to support their controversial 5am felling operations. It was said the police believed they were misled and “thrown under the bus” in this incident.

Green Party Councillor for Nether Edge Alison Teal said: ‘I am angry and disappointed at the police’s decision to get involved.”

Last week at a Labour Party Constituency meeting in Heeley it was discussed how 14 alternative engineering methods were outlined in the contract and questioned why these were not being used. Attempts had reportedly been made to re-negotiate the controversial PFI contract which Amey rejected, however the firm denied any talks taking place.