On Monday several of the Parish Council and our County Councillor, Robin Legg, met with the owner of Gollup’s Ground who is now fully aware of the depth of feeling in the village about the erection of the fence and the importance we place on the amenity of the field and especially access to the river.
The Parish Council is not, on its own, in a position to instantly “make things better” but did put forward a remedy for working together with the landowner and address his concerns so as to reinstate the village’s access to the river and these were positively discussed. The landowner is now considering his response to our discussion so it’s really too soon to report the details of our proposal which we will do in the Pennant and on the Parish Council website but, at the moment, I do see a way to a positive outcome.
I no longer have a Facebook account, but the landowner has been quite upset by what he’s seen on Facebook and other unpleasant actions against him. Whilst the motivation for these is understandable, they are hurtful and they are not helping the Parish Council resolve the issue. The Parish Council does not have a Facebook account nor does it see it has a rôle as an auntie trying to “tame the keyboard warriors”.
As I see it, erecting of the barrier separating people from the historic amenities of Gollup’s Ground is the last straw in the “perfect storm” of local enclosures: East Farm footpath, Mill Farm footpath, Ilchester Estates, Sherborne Castle Estates. So the Grange gets the concentrated vitriol from peoples’ accumulated sense of loss. But we in the Parish Council are doing what we can to improve things.