STAG, Sheffield Tree Action Groups represents the local action groups across the city seeking to protect healthy street trees from unnecessary felling. The STAG Legal Fund exists to support legal actions by campaign supporters, to help with legal costs for campaign supporters who are prosecuted or subject to other legal actions.
This current appeal is a response to the new court cases brought recently by Sheffield City Council, which may lead to heavy court costs being imposed on individual campaigners, and also threats of an extension to the SCC injunction against street tree campaigners.
We are also reviewing ways that we might take legal action against the tree felling programme, for example we recently commissioned a barrister's 'opinion' on the scope for a judicial review following disclosures that contractor, Amey, had misled the council about health and safety failures. We have also supported individuals needing legal advice when threatened with prosecution for campaign activities.
The legal fund is administered by Chris Rust & Rebecca Hammond, members of STAG Steering Group, who will consult with the STAG Steering Group about any expenditure.
The funds are held by the Nether Edge Tree Fund, a separate organisation set up to manage a bank account and hold funds on behalf of Tree Campaign Groups and ensure that funds are spent according to their aims.
Any surplus funds not needed for legal costs will be used for tree planting, preferably for planting street trees in Sheffield.