The latest news from Atherstone & Mancetter

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Church and Political leaders in Mancetter and Hartshill and vowed to continue the fight against plans to build a chicken broiler housing over 40,000 birds in their patch.

County Councillor Chris Clark said;

“The owner of the site is appealing the decision of the Borough Council to refuse their application. The appeal will be heard in February at the Borough Council where an inspector will be asked to make a decision on this issue.

“We should all be in no doubt that if this was to be passed by the Government’s inspector, the local area would suffer greatly. I’ve opposed this plan from the very start, attending meetings and protests about this issue for many years. My opposition to this terrible scheme continues.

Local Vicar and Chair of the Mancetter Action Group, Tony Tooby said;

“I was delighted when the Borough Council rejected the application back in March and I’m really grateful for the support our community has received from councillors like Chris Clark.

“It is vital that the Government Inspector now rejects this application. It would be so damaging for our villages to have this development. The traffic, the smell and the noise would be horrendous for locals and it would bring down the character of this beautiful part of the country.

“I hope residents will back Chris Clark in continuing the fight against these plans and will urge their representatives, particular our MP to get the Government Inspector to reject this application.”

Borough Councillor Brian Henney said;

"I welcome this public meeting and the opportunity for the full and frank concerns of NWBC.

"The public will be blighted by this totally unnecessary and unwanted business premises.

"There are times in life when you have to stand up and say enough is enough and this is one of those times.

"Not only are there environmental health issues regarding this application, we have a duty to maintain the important historical and archaeological value to this site and the area as a whole.

Local Community Leaders vow to continue fight against Chicken Broiler

Church and Political leaders in Mancetter and Hartshill and vowed to continue the fight against plans to build a chicken broiler housing over 40,000 birds in their patch. County Councillor...

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Residents in North Warwickshire have won their campaign to block the planned chicken broiler development.

An application had been received to develop land off Nuneaton Road in Mancetter. The application was for a huge broiler unit that would have housed over 40,000 birds. 

The application has been with the Borough Council for over a year but now a decision has finally been made with members of the Council’s Planning and Development Board rejecting the application.

Cllr Ray Sweet, Labour’s Planning Spokesperson said:

“This is great news for local residents. This was an inappropriate application; it would have caused great distress to local people. I’m delighted that the Board rejected the application.”

The County Councillor for the area, Chris Clark said: 

“Residents have been fighting against this campaign for over a year. It’s been a long hard slog but local people power has won on this occasion. The development was inappropriate not only because of its proximity to residential areas but also because the site itself had questionable attributes. It’s recently flooded, would involve putting extra traffic on nearby country roads and there has been very little reassurance that the smells, dust and pollution it causes could be effectively controlled.” 

Labour Group Leader, Cllr Adam Farrell said;

“This was the right decision for local residents but just as importantly, it was the right decision in terms of planning policy. This application failed to meet the criteria set out in the North Warwickshire Core Strategy and that means it failed to meet the needs of local people. This was an application with many risks but with no benefits for our community. I’m delighted the application was refused.”

Chicken Broiler application thrown out by Council

Residents in North Warwickshire have won their campaign to block the planned chicken broiler development. An application had been received to develop land off Nuneaton Road in Mancetter. The application...

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Atherstone Labour Councillors have won a reduction in the Atherstone Town Council Tax following a two year campaign. The Town Council agreed last Wednesday night to recommend the reduction of 17% in the council tax precept.

For two years Labour have demanded that the Conservative controlled Council rectify a mistake it made in 2013 by refunding council tax money which never have been taken.

Town Cllr Derek Pickard said,

“Two years ago the Conservatives unnecessarily increased the council tax by 21%. It was one of the highest council tax rises in Britain. On Wednesday everyone acknowledged it was a mistake. Atherstone people were overcharged.

“Last year the Conservatives accepted they had to reduce the council tax but refused Labour’s call to also refund the money which had been over charged in 2013-14.  Instead they kept the money in council coffers. I am delighted that the main committee has now recommended that the money be refunded and I hope the main council will agree to it next Wednesday. The Council should give people their money back.”

 The proposal will mean that the Town Council Tax for 2015-16 will fall from £61 to £50.11.

 The background is that in 2013-14 when the national government reduced its annual grant to Town and Parish Councils.  Conservatives on Atherstone Town Council assumed the cut would be passed on and therefore increased their town council tax precept. The Town Council Tax rose to £89 for the average band D household.  However the grant had been paid via the Borough Council and Labour Borough Councillors decided it would restore the government cut so the 21% increase was unnecessary.  No other parish or town council in North Warwickshire made the same mistake as Atherstone.

 Labour Councillors began a campaign to repay the 21% overcharge to local Atherstone residents. For 2014-15 the Town Council tax was reduced by 21% to £61. But the controlling group of Conservative councillors refused Labour demands to refund people for the overcharge, preferring to keep the money in the council coffers.

 This erupted into a public row in early 2014 when the Conservative MP, Dan Byles, issued a press release praising the 21% council tax reduction. Labour’s Mike O’Brien responded by pointing out that

  • the reduction was due to an unnecessary overcharge in the previous year and 
  • residents had not been refunded their over payment from 2013-14.  

 He demanded the refund be paid. The issue became an important issue of principle for many Atherstone residents, leading to one resident regularly attending council meetings to ask for his money back.

 Conservative Councillors at first denied that any refund was owed, however when Borough Finance Officers confirmed that it had never been refunded, the Conservatives backed down. 

 Cllr Derek Pickard, and Cllr Chris Clark who have led a campaign for the refund, with the backing of councillors from other parties including Cllrs Richard and Lorraine Freer. 

 Cllr Clark said,

“We have won the refund for Atherstone people after a two year battle. Once the Town Council confirms it the refund will be taken out of the council coffers and refunded in a council tax reduction. This will ends a humiliating tale of incompetent financial management by local Conservatives, which left local people without a refund for two years.”

Atherstone Residents get council tax refund

Taken from 12th Feb 2015: Atherstone Labour Councillors have won a reduction in the Atherstone Town Council Tax following a two year campaign. The Town Council agreed last Wednesday night...

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