Wellesbourne petition pulled after rush of signatures

Cock-up, not conspiracy, is the reason that a petition on the website of Stratford District Council asking them to protect all the businesses at the airfield – including Take Flight Aviation which is about to be excluded – was suddenly removed.

The timing of the removal couldn’t have been worse – as it hit 400 signatures just a few hours after having been set up. If it had reached 1,000 signatures, as fully expected, it would have required the council to debate the topic.

The petition was set up by Mike Roberts, boss of Take Flight Aviation, who said, “Seems pretty undemocratic to me pulling a published petition!” Take Flight is the only business not to be offered a renewal of its lease at the airfield following a last-minute change of mind by the landowner, Littler Investments.

Stratford District Council, when asked by FLYER about the removal of the petition, issued this statement through its official spokesperson:

“The petition has been suspended whilst legal advice is sought as to whether it can be accepted as a valid petition or not.  The clause that needs clarifying is – Point 4.5 of the Scheme of Petition, which states that petitions cannot be considered where there is already an existing mechanism in place, in this instance, ‘legal proceedings or matters involving confidential legal or commercial advice’.

“As I understand it no other department or Councillor requested the suspension, neither was it removed following objection.

“Unfortunately when the petition was put on our system as ‘Pending’, for some reason it seems to have activated the petition enabling signatures to be added, so this is being queried with our software provider to see why this happened.

“Take Flight have been informed of this and should expect a response next week once legal advice has been received.”

It still leaves Take Flight Aviation facing eviction from the airfield at the end of September.

Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Comments

  1. Just when you might have thought that it couldn’t get any more complicated……
    You couldn’t make it up!
    Or maybe you could?

  2. If Stratford District Council’s objective in considering a Compulsory Purchase Order is seriously to preserve Wellesbourne Aerodrome as a viable GA facility, it should surely be seeking to acquire the airfield with its existing infrastructure intact.
    The airfield’s largest fixed-wing operation is a key element of that infrastructure, and of the airfield’s continuing viability as a GA facility; remove that, and Compulsory Purchase becomes more difficult for the Council to justify from a financial perspective. Perhaps that is the owners’ intention.

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