Sheffield Greens are very disappointed that today the High Court ruled in favour of granting an injunction aimed at preventing peaceful protesting against the Council’s tree felling programme. The injunction was taken out against Green Councillor Alison Teal, two other named campaigners, and ‘persons unknown’. It comes into force on August 22nd.
The ruling, handed down this morning, means that tree campaigners will not legally be permitted to continue standing up for Sheffield’s street trees and for local residents by preventing the felling of healthy street trees.
Reacting the the verdict, Cllr Teal has vowed to continue opposing the Council’s plans, despite the injunction, and expressed dismay at the Council’s heavy handed and unnecessarily aggressive tactics:
I am very disappointed with this outcome, but will continue to do all that I can to save Sheffield trees. Sheffield Greens will not stop standing up for residents and communities who do not want this disastrous and unpopular tree felling programme to go on.
I would like to thank my legal team for their excellent work, and for all the messages of support I have received. In the short term, we will of course be looking into possible avenues of appeal against this decision.
It never had to come to this. The Council say that this action was a ‘last resort’, but in truth they have wasted time and taxpayers’ money on this needless, aggressive action when all they had to do was acknowledge residents’ concerns and to mediate with us.
In this, the case of Sheffield City Council vs The People, it is democracy and the residents of Sheffield who have lost. This decision by the high court is very worrying, as the right to peaceful protest has been fundamentally threatened.
The Council’s disastrous and unpopular tree felling programme continues to be a story of national and international embarrassment for our city.