Defiant nursery leaders in Shropshire have vowed to continue using an allotment after councillors refused to review a decision banning them.
Officials from Stables Day Care Nursery in Wem challenged the council decision last night armed with a petition and said they will continue to visit the allotments, arguing: “What are they going to do? Turn up with the police and escort us off the premises?”
They regularly take children to the allotments in Love Lane, run by the town council, in an effort to help them grow their own produce and learn about food.
But following complaints from other allotment users and councillors’ concerns about health and safety, the town council decided to call time on the children’s visits.
Nursery nurses Sam Roberts and Gary Evans went to a meeting of Wem Town Council last night with a petition featuring 143 signatures, a risk assessment and a copy of the Allotment Act of 1922.
But Wem mayor Councillor Peter Broomhall, said the decision made at the council meeting in July stood and could not be reviewed for at least six months.
Mr Evans said: “I was expecting a formal discussion but I asked the question and it was like they shut up shop.
“We aren’t giving up. We’ve continued to go down there and have had nothing but support from people.
“What are they going to do, turn up with the police and escort us off the premises? We are trying to do something positive.”
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request the meeting heard that councillors had taken no legal advice in making the decision as it was ‘considered reasonable in relation to the Allotments Act’.
After being banned from using the allotments nursery bosses branded the move ‘disgraceful’ and launched an online campaign in a bid to get the government to overturn the decision.
By Dani Wozencroft