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Labour Sheffield City Council Election Panic Could Prompt Suspension of Tree Felling's Private Security

Local / Sheffield Dec 01, 2017 - 02:50 PM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Local

The escalation this week of the Labour controlled Sheffield City Council's PFI contractor Amey deploying private security in footage and images has been generating outrage amongst Sheffield's electorate where even the mainstream press who usually tend to ridicule the tree protestors as being a fringe group have started to question recent tactics in the wake of footage of protestors being 'geckoed' i.e. squashed between walls and metal barriers.


Here is a video example of the secuity patrols on Sheffield's streets as they descend upon a tree lined Sheffield suburban street, Abbeydale Park Rise, populated by at least 60 Cherry Trees which each Christmas has virtually every tree covered in Christmas lights as is the case for this year. However, given their relative small size, the Amey tree felling machine sees the Cherry trees as easy pickings towards meeting their 6k street trees felling quota and so security and felling crews has descended upon this narrow street:

A few stills from the 12 minute video:

Campaigners are now being met with an increase in force as following youtube video illustrates, which begs the question where is the police?

Where once we would see police cars patrolling areas, now we see Labour SCC / Amey private security patrols driving around and in convoy behind tree felling crews as they roam Sheffield's streets to the next scheduled tree felling.

Again the Labour / Amey security are doing what is the trained job of police officers who abandoned routine attendance of tree felling sites some 6 months ago.

Whilst this week in another Sheffield street an even greater Amey force was out to fell two large trees.

Whenever someone ventured near any of the barriers would immediately trigger frantic activity as radios buzzed for the private security to concentrate in that location of the felling site.

Whilst someone venturing past the barriers could soon find themselves on the ground.

To date approximately 5,750 of Sheffield's big street trees have been felled leaving 250 remaining to fulfill contractual obligations and thus with the holidays approaching the Council and it's contractor have adopted a blitzkrieg approach by blanket coverage of whole areas with barriers surrounding dozens of trees as they play a cat and mouse game with tree campaigners eager to prevent further damage to Sheffield's environment. However, for most of 2017 the situation at felling sites had proven to be largely peaceful on both sides of the barriers as protestors crossing barriers to prevent the felling of healthy trees at worst would tend to have their photos taken by Council information gatherers.

Where virtually every encounter had a peaceful outcome.

However, the start of this week has seen what can only best be described as blitzkrieg approach, one of aggressively deploying private security personnel for the purpose of fulfilling the contracts quota of felling 6000 big street trees by the end of 2017, the first 5 years of a 25 year contract.

What Happens Next?

Clearly there are two major factors at play :

1. May 2018 Local elections are now 6 months away

2. Private security patrolling Sheffield's streets.

This therefore suggests following two possible outcomes:

1. That the Labour controlled city council votes to suspend the felling of healthy street tree's where future felling's would only take place under consultation with the Sheffield Tree Actions Group (STAG).

2. That the police intervenes to stop the use of a private security on the streets of Sheffield.

As for the impact of the felling to date, apart from the impact on the health of Sheffielders by the removable of thousands of trees that had been soaking up vehicle pollution, one unintended consequence is being felt in Sheffield's housing market in the wake of leafy suburban streets being stripped of many of their street trees house prices have also been felled. Sheffield's tree lined leafy suburbs that the estate agents so welcoming advertise are increasingly becoming no more. Trees that have taken more than a 100 years to reach their adult splendour have been felled in there thousands leaving behind either voids or saplings that can fail to survive or are prone to vandalism, all in exchange for large trees with capital values of between £50k and £150k now permanently gone!

And as I a warned right at the start of 2017 (03 Jan 2017 - Sheffield Tree Felling's - Labour City Council Outsourcing Local Democracy to Amey)(and for much of 2016 in many youtube videos) that such ongoing capital destruction would have consequences not just for the streets that were being stripped bare by a council that has OUTSOURCED DEMOCRACY TO A MULTINATIONAL but that the rampant out of control tree felling's were DEVALUING THE WHOLE CITY! Where Amey in effect was felling Sheffield house prices, a forecast that is coming to pass as the year has seen Sheffield's house prices turning negative on the year.

At the end of the day the tree debacle looks likely to cost the Sheffield Labour party at least a dozen seats at the May 2018 local elections, which could result in Labour losing overall control of the council, leaving the Greens holding the balance of power in a Green Lib Dem pact.

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-2017 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 30 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis focuses on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and housing market. He is the author of five ebook's in the The Inflation Mega-Trend and Stocks Stealth Bull Market series that can be downloaded for Free.

Housing Markets Forecast 2014-2018The Stocks Stealth Bull Market 2013 and Beyond EbookThe Stocks Stealth Bull Market Update 2011 EbookThe Interest Rate Mega-Trend EbookThe Inflation Mega-trend Ebook

Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication that presents in-depth analysis from over 1000 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets, thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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© 2005-2018 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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