Credit stealing row breaks out as trees are planted in Yarm community orchard

From left, Mark Chatburn, Carole Jones and Bob Wegg at work on Snaiths Field in Yarm. They say that local Conservatives are wrongly claiming the community orchard as their initiative.

From left, Mark Chatburn, Carole Jones and Bob Wegg at work on Snaiths Field in Yarm. They say that local Conservatives are wrongly claiming the community orchard as their initiative.

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

A ROW has broken out over who can claim the credit for creating a community orchard in a south Tees community.

Allotment holders, residents and councillors have been clearing trees and vegetation at Snaith’s Field, a community parkland area in Yarm.

However, some of them were unhappy when a Conservative Party newsletter, Intouch, mentioned the plan.

The leaflet said: “The orchard itself is being paid for out of local Conservative councillors’ ward budgets. This is just another example of local Conservatives delivering for residents in our area.”

The newsletter did also make clear that local businesses and residents were involved in the project.

But in fact Stockton Borough Council’s only Ukip councillor, Mark Chatburn, also had to approve the allocation of money from the Yarm area’s community budget.

The idea for the 20-tree orchard itself came from resident Carole Jones who has campaigned against the area’s Conservative MP.

Yarm Town Council member, Bob Wegg, an Independent, has also been heavily involved. Much of the heavy clearance work has been done by allotment holders of no political allegiance.

Coun Chatburn said: “Obviously those residents who have done all the work to date are furious that local Conservatives are trying to take the credit for all their hard work.”

Coun Andrew Sherris, who is a Conservative borough councillor for Yarm and also approved the budget allocation, has also personally worked on clearing the area. He agreed politics should not be part of the project.

The area’s only other Stockton borough councillor, Ben Houchen, a Conservative, agreed there was a lot of hard work from residents, but said they wouldn’t have funding without the councillors’ ward budget.

About £200 has been set aside from the councillors’ community budget, but all of that may not be needed due to various donations from within the Yarm community.

Comments (1)

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9:17pm Thu 27 Feb 14

ad lucem says...

If the sun shines the Tories would try to take the credit. James Wharton in particular is guilty of this. I can see some very interesting local election results in Yarm next year if the Tories, UKIP, Independents, Lib Dums and Labour all put up candidates. The Tories could be in for a nasty surprise in one of their political heartlands.
If the sun shines the Tories would try to take the credit. James Wharton in particular is guilty of this. I can see some very interesting local election results in Yarm next year if the Tories, UKIP, Independents, Lib Dums and Labour all put up candidates. The Tories could be in for a nasty surprise in one of their political heartlands. ad lucem
  • Score: 1

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