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THURSDAY, 29th SEPTEMBER, 2011.
Amputee turns to charity
More phone masts planned Readers'ViewsPages25-29 Page 32
Hungry stoat lands council in doghouse
What’s on... What’s gone...
By Chris Young Six birds removed in a dawn raid from Leo Deen’s Timbersbrook nature reserve have been killed while in the care of Cheshire East Council.
The rest of the stock was returned to him on Tuesday but missing were a Polish cockerel, five chicks and a pheasant. Mr Deen was told they were killed by an animal that had got into the pen.
Mr Deen said: “They should have been kept safe when the council were looking after them.
“It is like someone going to prison and being under 24-hour watch and having their throat slit while they are in there.”
The council seized goats, pigs, peacocks, chickens and other animals from the Timbersbrook Project on 9th August and buildings and animal pens were razed.
The action was taken because Mr Deen had never gained planning permission to build on the site, designated agricultural, off Pedley Way.
A council spokesman said: “It is a matter of regret that a Polish cockerel and five chicks removed from the Timbersbrook project were killed by a wild animal, prob
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“We apologise to the owner for the loss and have offered to replace the poultry. The owner has said that he is happy to meet with council staff and choose replacement stock.”
The animals, now in Mr Deen’s care, are being kept at a farm. To discourage sightseers, the owner does not want to publicise the location as the animals are only going to be housed there temporarily.
Mr Deen said he hoped his menagerie, including kune kune pigs and exotic species of hare, could soon go back on his land — but this time he wants to do things by the book.
He will have the help of Congleton’s Bearteam, the group responsible for this year’s Bearmania project.
Mr Deen told the “Chronicle”: “Having the animals back is absolutely fantastic. The animals were the only things we really wanted back from the site.
“We are putting the fencing up at the site now. We are going to do everything to the dot of the law. Everything there is going to be strictly agricultural use. All the pens and aviaries are going to be on wheels or skids so you will be able to move everything. We want to do everything properly, everything by the book.”
He will also bring in more animals to breed and sell, further ensuring the agricultural land use. He said he would like to have a classroom on the land again, but would submit a planning application first.
He said the weeks since the raid had been difficult but he had been “overwhelmed” by the amount of support from the public. He added: “Without all the support we wouldn’t have survived.”
Visitors to the Daneside Theatre will have a bucket full - sorry - bouquet full of fun, next wee when Congleton Players performs a stage version of the classic sitcom “Keeping Up Apperances”. Margaret Taylor plays the social climbing Hyacinth Bucket. For pictures of the cast, turn to page 63. (“Chronicle” photo. 3920a/11).
Grassing threat for displays Congleton’s floral displays, described as the “jewel in our crown”, may be saved after Cheshire East Council proposed to grass them over.
The authority’s Health And Wellbeing Committee was considering covering over flowerbeds and roundabouts and closing some flower gardens across the area to cut staffing costs.
— many volunteers work tirelessly to maintain them.”
She added: “Apparently, volunteers should be persuaded to take on responsibility for the entire upkeep of our floral spaces all year round – do the folks already working long, hard hours for Congleton in Bloom not have enough to do already?”
Friends of Congleton Park and
Congleton in Bloom membe Margaret Williamson said: “I would be very unhappy if these cuts were made. I have had a long connection with Congleton in Bloom, we’ve put a good 12 years into developing Congleton as a floral town and we did all the watering ourselves.
• —Turn to back page.
But Congleton Town Council is hoping to take over the responsibility when it officially takes over services from Cheshire East.
The displays on Mountbatten Way and tubs placed around the town that are sponsored by schools are already looked after by the town council.
Town clerk Brian Hogan said: “From our perspective, we would be extremely disappointed if Cheshire East’s proposals went ahead.
“All of the floral displays in the park, on roundabouts and those by the town council do an awful lot to enhance the town and set it apart from other market towns.
“Saying that, in the next couple of months, we are hoping to conclude the devolution of services and then it would be down to us to maintain them. We don’t have all the information from Cheshire East but hoping to soon present and business case to the town council for it to examine.”
Cheshire East Council suggested that communities and friends of park groups could help with maintaining floral displays.
In a letter to the “Chronicle”, UKIP Congleton member Louise Bours said: “The floral displays in our town are the jewel in our crown
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