29th Jan


TFA Media Release No. 08 – Herefordshire Council Plans to Evict 5 Farm Families

The Tenant Farmers Association has called on Herefordshire Council to shelve plans to serve Notices to Quit on five farm families on Monday 01 February.

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet decided at its meeting in December to have a planned disposal of its farms estate but assurances were given to tenants that they would be looked after.

TFA Chief Executive George Dunn said “The Council is steamrolling ahead with no regard for the impact of its actions on farm tenants and with no clear plan. The TFA has been trying to engage with Cllr Harry Bramer, the member responsible for County Farms, but so far he has been unwilling to meet us. I last wrote to Cllr Bramer on 10 January asking for, at least, an indicative timetable for the planned disposal which has yet to be approved by the Cabinet. He has not had the courtesy of responding and left the County Council’s land agents to deliver the news about the Notices to Quit both to us and the tenant farmers affected. We need to know more about the timetable to which the Council is working, what the draft disposal plan looks like and when the council will be ready to have a meeting.”

The TFA also accuses Councillors of misleading statements and acting beyond their remit.

“At the meeting of the Council’s Cabinet in December, various assurances were given which are not being followed through”, said Mr Dunn.

The Cabinet meeting minutes say that the Council Leader ‘emphasised that rumours that people would be turned out of homes was [sic] not accurate and whilst there would be some changes, it was arguably to the advantage of tenants”.

“How can the service of notices to quit on these five families be advantageous to them? The Council is turning people out of their homes without any recourse and is reneging on the assurance that this would not happen,” said Mr Dunn.

“The Cabinet also said that affected tenants ‘would be supported through the process’. If kicking tenants out of their homes is being supportive, I would hate to see the Council taking a hardline!” said Mr Dunn.

The Leader of the Council said ‘it was not the case that the tenants were to lose their livelihood or suffer in some way, they were protected through new ownership’.

“It is now clear that the Cabinet had no intention of allowing these tenants the option of having a new landlord, it simply wants to evict them,” said Mr Dunn.

Finally the leader said that tenants would have ‘the opportunity to make offers for their properties and the council would sell to them’.

“There is no evidence of the council engaging with tenants on purchases. If the Council continues with the decision to serve notices to quit it will have reneged on every promise given in reaching the Cabinet’s decision. This seems to the TFA as ultra vires” said Mr Dunn.

Ref: MR08 Date: 29 January 2016

Notes for Editors:
For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or the TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Jenna Kirkpatrick on 0118 930 6130.

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