September 28th, 2016

Council dangles a cruel carrot

Council dangles a cruel carrot Council dangles a cruel carrot

A LOCAL resident asking for Studley parish council’s help was left cruelly dangling by councillors before they announced it was impossible to assist her.

Tracey Cater, landlady at the Royal Oak pub on Alcester Road, is having to return the pub to Punch Taverns on June 16, and the Watts Road resident is anxious to find some land to keep her animals on – two horses, two donkeys, a Shetland pony and some goats.

She wrote to the council a month ago without reply and addressing councillors at the start of Tuesday evening’s meeting she asked if an overgrown field by the Redditch Road allotments – untouched for four years – was available.

“I’m aware how to use grazing land and an added benefit would be the availability of manure for the allotment holders,” she told the meeting.

Councillors wanted to know what sort of tenancy she was looking for, how long did she want the land, would the field be fenced and if so what sort of fence. Mrs Cater felt encouraged by their interest as councillors moved on to other items on the agenda, until, 90 minutes later, arriving at item 11, Correspondence, where they dealt with her letter. Then, council chairman Coun Paul Beaman revealed the parish didn’t actually own the land in question, but rented it from the district council, before describing the overgrown field as a village asset.

Although councillors eventually agreed the field should be inspected and returned to the district council if they saw no potential in it, the decision comes too late for Mrs Cater.

“They could have told me they didn’t own the land a month ago when I wrote to them,” she said, speaking afterwards.

“Even at the meeting they could have told me right at the start, but they kept me hanging on and now I have no time left to find a home for my animals.”

Anyone who can help Mrs Cater can contact her via email at traceycater14@gmail.com.

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