Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Green Party councillor arrested in Sheffield tree protest

The scene on Chippinghouse Road
Image caption This is the latest in a series of stand-offs between contractors and protesters

A Green Party councillor was among seven people arrested at a tree-felling protest in South Yorkshire.

Sheffield councillor Alison Teal was taken into custody earlier following a stand-off between police and campaigners in the city.

Police were called as Sheffield City Council contractor Amey tried to remove trees in Chippinghouse Road.

The work was part of a £2bn Streets Ahead scheme which includes the removal of trees across the city.

Ms Teal, councillor for Nether Edge and Sharrow, was one of four women and three men arrested.

Live updates and more stories from Yorkshire

Natalie Bennett, former Green Party Leader, and prospective parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Central, tweeted: "My thoughts are with @alisonclareteal arrested this morning trying to #SaveSheffTrees"

Image copyright NatalieBennett/Twitter

The Streets Ahead scheme is a city-wide maintenance project to upgrade roads, pavements, street lights and bridges.

It includes the removal of diseased, damaged or dangerous trees, but campaigners claim healthy trees are also being unnecessarily destroyed.

Sheffield City Council said it was "very disappointed that this disruption of lawful highway work is continuing".

In a council statement, councillor Bryan Lodge added: "A number of arrests were made when protestors positioned themselves within the safety barriers, posing a danger to on-site workers and themselves.

"As a result, all works were stopped immediately.

"The majority of residents on Chippinghouse Road did not disagree with our proposals for tree works."

Robert Murphy, Green Party councillor for City ward, said: "The council is not listening to people, there have been huge petitions to the council and it has often ignored the independent tree panel.

"Some people are pushed to the end."

Image caption The Streets Ahead project is a 25-year agreement between the council and contractor Amey

Charges against two women arrested after a previous tree-felling protest in Sheffield's Rustlings Road were dropped in January.

The council apologised for dawn felling tactics that led to the arrests and vowed not to repeat them.

More on this story