I WRITE following last week’s report in The Shuttle about the court case concerning Hartlebury Common.

The majority of people in Stourport had no idea what was actually going on until recently and it’s only thanks to the direct action of Steve McCarron who ended up in court, that we are finally learning the truth.

This so-called conservation project is based on a seriously flawed idea of what the common needs, using some formulaic plan drawn up by Natural England. A plan that involves enclosing the common, cutting down trees and introducing a type of cattle never before seen there. All in an attempt to produce some themed idea of what our commons and countryside should look like but never have. There is anger all over the country about similar schemes drawn up by the quango Natural England.

I was aghast to learn that the county council think this plan has the approval of local people and will improve the common. Neither is true.

There was no serious attempt to originally consult local people and from what I now know, the ‘public inquiry’ was poorly attended and people had no real opportunity to have a proper say. There was a sham ballot on which the council bases its assertion we want this project, and now it seems the council has managed to continue this charade by convincing the court that they do actually have legal title over the common and can do more or less what they like with it.

This is common land, so they have no title over it, and its both a travesty of truth and justice. If the council officials actually bothered to talk to local people, like I have on the common, they will find most are opposed to this madness and over 600 have already signed a petition against it.

This project will spoil people’s enjoyment of the common, it will do nothing to improve conservation and with cattle stomping all over the place, it will actually harm bio-diversity.

So what is really going on here? I would like some proper answers from the council, as would the people of Stourport. My suspicions are that a pot of money lies at the heart of it and truth and money rarely mix.

STEPHEN BROWN Wyre Forest Green Party Stourport