Wem Stables Day Care Nursery allotment ban 'unfair'

Officials at a Shropshire nursery have urged councillors to reverse a ban stopping nursery children from using a council-owned allotment.

Beccy Ahmad, owner of Stables Day Care Nursery in Wem, has rented an allotment from the council for two years.

The nursery said using the allotment helped show the children where food came from.

Wem Mayor Peter Broomhall said taking the children to the site for "business purposes" was not allowed.

A ban was put in place following a council meeting in July.

Gary Evans, 41, a nursery nurse at Stables, said the council's ban was "farcical".

'Healthy lifestyle'

He added: "We've been going, weeding and planting a few seeds on a regular basis, on-and-off for two years.

"What we are trying to do is encourage a healthy lifestyle. We're not selling produce, it's for educational purposes.

"It's a few lettuces and sweetcorn. It's to get kids out and about and show them where food comes from."

Mr Broomhall said: "The Allotment Act of 1922 states that an allotment may be used to grow produce for the tenant and his family... and because Stables Nursery charge to take on children they are a business and use of the allotment violates that act."

He added that other nurseries did "similar things" but "on their own premises" and said that if the owner continued to use the allotment for business use, it would be taken away from her.

The council said it reached a unanimous decision to ban nursery children following complaints from other allotment owners.

The nursery has now started a petition calling for the council to reconsider the decision.

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