Cockerels for the chop as council cements ban

2 August 2012......      Stan Wilson with his cockerel Bert on allotments in Hemsworth where eviction notices on the birds have been served on some plot holders.

2 August 2012...... Stan Wilson with his cockerel Bert on allotments in Hemsworth where eviction notices on the birds have been served on some plot holders.

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A FIGHT to save cockerels on an allotment has been lost – despite a passionate fight against the plan.

Around 80 people attended a special Hemsworth Town Council meeting – even a man in a chicken costume - to discuss a decision made earlier this year to evict cockerels from Grove Lane allotments after a resident complained about noise.

2 August 2012......   Independant councillor Jim Kenyon with petition after eviction notices on cockerels have been served on some allotment plot holders in Hemsworth by the local council but the local community are campaigning to keep them.

2 August 2012...... Independant councillor Jim Kenyon with petition after eviction notices on cockerels have been served on some allotment plot holders in Hemsworth by the local council but the local community are campaigning to keep them.

A rift had developed with several councillors disagreeing with the decision.

At last Wednesday’s meeting seven councillors voted to keep the ban, despite four votes against the decision.

Coun Jim Kenyon addressed his fellow councillors and asked for a public consultation on the matter.

He wanted allotment holders to work with the council to resolve the problem. Then if there were any cockerels still making excessive noise, then they would be removed.

He said it was unfair to penalise a lot of people for just one noisy cockerel.

Coun Kenyon told the meeting: “Cockerels have been on these allotments for 150 years and you can’t decide now that it’s time to get them off.

“You want to be judge, juror and executioner and it’s not on.”

Chairman Tony Upson, said it was the law to not allow such animals on allotments.

He said: “The law allows hens and rabbits as a right and any further livestock is a discretion of the local authority, and that is Hemsworth Town Council.

“We have never allowed cockerels on the site and the tenancy agreement says that. And we have legal authority to act if that tenancy is broken, which is what we have done.”

Public opinion was made very clear, with vocal support for the fight to keep the cockerels.

One woman, who lived next to the allotments, said she did not have a problem with them.

The Express first reported in March that Hemsworth Town Council had ordered allotment holders to get rid of their cockerels or face losing the plots.

Seven of the nine allotment holders with cockerels have removed them.

The two remaining cockerels must be removed or will lose their allotments.

One of those is Coun Stan Wilson – who has raised cockerel Bert since he was a chick.

Coun Kenyon said he would be taking legal advice to allow the cockerels to remain.

Around 1,000 people have signed the Save Our Cockerels petition, including five independent town councillors.