There is uproar in East Budleigh after permission to build a fence round a football pitch was granted by the Parish Council.I get the feeling East Budleigh isn't a place that seems much uproar...
East Budleigh FC, who play in Division Two of the Devon & Exeter League - the 12th level of English football - have endured years of having games halted in order to clear up dog's mess from their pitch, which is on a section of public green space. The club have continually requested a barrier to be put up round the pitch in order to combat the issue, and the Parish Council have now agreed to it - much to the relief of groundsman Richard Slade.Doesn't seem like the sort of issue that would be controversial, does it?
But the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground have claimed the decision has divided the community and say they have been left outraged and bewildered by the decision.'Divided the community'..? You mean, there are people who want footballers to be sliding around in dog poo?
They claim that hundreds of letters to the parish council have been sent by members of the group but they have been met with a wall of silence.Welcome to councils everywhere.
But the Parish Council have decided as a collective group that they will not engage with the group as they consider them a hate group.WTF?
Some of the councillors have been targeted with such abuse about the decision that they are no longer able to step foot in the local village pub.Ah, bucolic village life!
Ray Marrs, from the Friends of East Budleigh Recreation Ground, said: “On behalf of residents of East Budleigh, we have become disillusioned by The Parish Council's actions that have directly resulted in setting one part of the community against the other.
“Frustrated by the Council's unwillingness to provide answers or even in some cases acknowledge numerous questions, letters, emails, phone calls an unprecedented number of residents, estimated at over 80 in total, gathered to seek clarification at the recent Parish Council meeting.
“We wanted to know how was it possible for councillors to have reached a decision to fence off our recreation ground based upon somebody's notion of dog fouling without any consultation or knowledge of the village?'Somebody's notion'..? Are these loons claiming that there's not a problem? Reader, it appears the answer is 'Yes':
“The sensible and democratic approach, used by most other Councils, would have been to post a simple Notice of consultation. Views would have been expressed and a decision based upon consensus taken.
“The results may not have pleased everyone, but that's how democracy is supposed to work and I guarantee that the community would have readily accepted this.
“But the way it has been conducted has left the villagers outraged and totally bewildered about what is going on
“Lots of people use the field to walk their dogs on and none of us have ever noticed a problem with dog poo on the pitch at all.”Hmmmm.....
It would appear the dogs of East Budleigh don't excrete. Or the footballers of East Budleigh mistake mud for dog poo.
Any other possible explanations?