Council set for Sheffield tree campaigner talks
Anti-tree felling campaigners have agreed to hold talks with Sheffield City Council and its contractors about the future of the city's street trees.
Thousands of trees have been cut down under the council's tree-felling and replacement programme.
Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG) said the talks were due to be chaired by the Bishop of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox.
Councillor Lewis Dagnall said he hoped to reach a resolution to "benefit the city for generations to come".
The council's programme has been on hold since March.
Activists say some of the trees felled were healthy and could have been saved.
News of the talks were announced by STAG following correspondence with Coun Dagnall, the cabinet member for environment, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.
'Work on solution'
In his letter, Coun Dagnall wrote: "We need to find a way forward regarding street tree replacement which both enables necessary work to take place, whilst responding to the concerns which have been raised by many people about the previous proposals."
He said the council was "close" to having a revised set of proposals and options for carrying out the proposed work, adding that the hiatus on tree replacement works would continue until the talks were completed.
However, STAG spokesman Chris Rust said the council has not yet shared its new ideas with activists.
He said: "Naturally, we welcome the invitation for talks but this is just an initial meeting and we won't get to know about their new plans.
"We hope that the council is sincere in wanting to work with us on a solution rather than just to consult us on a plan that they've already decided on."
The tree-felling is part of the £2bn 25-year Streets Ahead project and has seen about 5,500 trees cut down since 2012.
Work is being done under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract the council has with Amey.