A STRATFORD-on-Avon district councillor has claimed that his children are afraid to walk alone through their home village because of a campaign of bullying and harassment against him and his family.
The disturbing claim was made by Cllr Robert Vaudry (Cons, Bardon), who has aroused fierce opposition from local people over his plans to convert his home—the historic Moat House in Dorsington—into a wedding venue.
Cllr Vaudry’s accusations against his fellow villagers came on the eve of a hearing into his appeal against Stratford District Council’s refusal of his wedding venue proposals.
In a statement to the Herald Cllr Vaudry declared: “For over a year my family and I have had to endure a nasty, spiteful and very personalised campaign of bullying and harassment.”
He added: “We’ve had to endure one neighbour regularly shouting abuse at us and I caught another searching through my rubbish. My children will no longer walk alone through the village.”
Cllr Vaudry said the hostility towards him and his family was all about the hosting of up to 24 weddings a year in a beautiful barn, which would create significant employment opportunities for local people and provide a social meeting place for the village, which currently had no village hall.
To the villagers and parish council of Dorsington, however, it is not they who are the villains of the piece but Cllr Vaudry himself. Indeed, they are so angry with him that they have lodged an official complaint against him to Stratford District Council.
Meanwhile Cllr Vaudry has become embroiled in a row with the parish council over its neighbourhood plan proposals.
In a lengthy objection to the parish council’s neighbourhood plan submission Cllr Vaudry argues that the council is “currently not fit for purpose.”
Of the parish councillors, he declared: “Far from building a neighbourhood their actions have created a vile atmosphere in Dorsington.”
The parish council’s neighbourhood plan submission was subsequently rejected by Stratford District Council’s ruling cabinet—on 2nd December 2013.
When asked by the Herald if the cabinet felt the submission did not meet the necessary criteria solely because of the objections by Cllr Vaudry, a district council spokeswoman said: “The cabinet concluded that, on the basis of the information available, it was not clear that the area application had been properly authorised by resolution of the parish council.”
The Herald also asked the district council to confirm that the official complaint against Cllr Vaudry was being investigated by a Birmingham-based solicitor hired by the council and how much this was costing the council tax payer.
But the spokeswoman said that because of the appeal hearing the council was not prepared to make any comment. She said the council would make a comment “when it is appropriate” to do so.
In a letter last month to the district council Cllr Lesley Perry, the chairman of Dorsington Parish Council, stated: “The most unacceptable criticism levelled by Cllr Vaudry is that there is a ‘vile atmosphere in the village’.
“The parish council has the full support of 100 per cent of the households with the obvious exception of Mr Vaudry. They are all hard-working councillors that give their time and energy to meet the aspirations of their parishioners.”
Cllr Vaudry’s appeal hearing took place on Thursday at 10am at Elizabeth House in Church Street, Stratford – the headquarters of Stratford District Council. The Planning Inspector visited Dorsington for an on-site inspection on Friday.
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