Councillor’s attempt to ban trail-hunting on five acres of land fails

  • An attempt to ban trail-hunting on council-owned land was halted when it was confirmed that the council only owns five acres of licensed land, none of which is accessed by any hunts.

    Councillor Nick Clarke had put forward a motion to ban legal trail-hunting on any land owned by Bolsover District Council in Derbyshire. But during a full council meeting yesterday (3 February) it was revealed that the authority had no land hunts could use, even if they had wanted to.

    After councillors had spoken on both sides of the debate, council leader Steve Fritchley said there were some parts of the proposal that the district council could not legally enforce, such as banning activities on roads, as this comes under the other authorities’ remit.

    He added that the council only owns five and a half acres of licensed land, and an official later confirmed none of the land is accessed by hunts. Cllr Clarke had said the aim of his motion was to prevent illegal hunting.

    Cllr Fritchley proposed adjourning the motion, with the intention of writing instead on the council’s behalf to district and county councillors on the topic.

    The Countryside Alliance described the debate as “one of the most pointless motions in the council’s history”.

    A spokesman said: “If it was not such a waste of the council’s time, the attempt to ‘ban’ trail hunting on Bolsover council land would be an amusing farce. Despite a lot of commotion, the council has acknowledged that it owns just five and a half acres of land — mainly consisting of car parks and allotments — which no hunt has ever been anywhere near.

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    “Bolsover councillors should stick to pursuing matters that are relevant to their residents, rather than grandstand at this incredibly difficult time for the country. All this sorry affair has done is reinforce the view that Labour has a seriously long road ahead, if it is to reconnect with rural people.”

    In December, Cherwell District Council had also debated a motion to ban trail-hunting on its land, even though it was not clear any of its land was used for hunting. Peterborough City Council had at that time recently voted for a ban on hunting on its land, despite the fact none of its land was used by hunts.

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