Once again our Conservative Cabinet of seven Cllrs; Tony Johnson, Patricia Morgan, Philip Price, Jonathon Lester, Harry Bramer, Paul Rone and (to a lesser extent, David Harwood) make hugely important decisions with far reaching consequences without proper advice and consultation. Cllr Roger Phillips started the sell off process in the early 2000s, boasting of the revenue it would bring in and how that revenue would be invested wisely to swell the Council’s coffers. We are now over £200 million in debt and this Cabinet has approved the sale of the remaining farms, primarily we believe, to allow large scale housing development on the outskirts of Hereford City.
This cabinet deliberately withheld an estate report, commissioned by the Council and carried out by Fisher German, when the report recommended keeping the majority of the Council farms. It took the resources and determination of the NFU for the Information Commissioner’s Office to force the Cabinet to release the findings of the report last month.
Other authorities, like Devon and Staffordshire, have kept their council farms for new entrant farmers, made them more efficient and enjoyed their increase in land value, which has bolstered their credit ratings.
We, Herefordshire Council under these Conservatives (alleged businessmen, retired businessmen, farmer’s wives and failed farmers) are a laughing stock. And we would laugh too if it wasn’t so tragic. The treatment of our tenant farmers by millionaire Cllr Harry Bramer has been an absolute disgrace.