MAYLAND’S peacocks were debated on national television, when panellists criticised a council’s decision to impose a ban on them roaming the village.
The plight of the peacocks was discussed on the BBC’s Daily Politics where guests Josephine Appleton, of the Manifesto Club, and Royston Smith, Conservative MP for Southampton & Itchen, showed support for them
more than 20 peacocks, owned by Frances White, of Nipsells Farm Lodge, Mayland, have been allowed to roam free around the villages.
However, Maldon District Council received 13 complaints that the birds were causing a nuisance, and issued a Community Protection Warning Notice ordering the peacocks to be removed. Villagers have supported the peacocks, launching a petition and a Facebook group campaigning for them to be allowed to remain.
Jospehine Appleton, of the Manifesto Club, a group campaigning against the use of public space protection orders such as this one, used the case an example.
She said: “You have cases such as one in an Essex village. There are free roaming peacocks. The owner has been issued with an order to remove those peacocks within the next two weeks or receive a criminal record.
“All the villagers have set up a petition and a Facebook group defending her because they love the peacocks.
“So, I think that really this isn’t about empowering communities, it is about empowering certain council officers to write on a form what you have to do and what the penalty will be and that becomes the law.”
Mr Smith defended the use of protection orders, but agreed that in this instance it was not suitable to impose one. He said: “I think this piece of work is very helpful to government. I think government should look at it and take notice because if the process needs to be reformed going forward then this is very helpful.
“If you are going to start telling people they need to get rid of peacocks, of course that is now what it was set up for. If, however, people are arguing at 4am night after night it is exactly what it is for.”
Nadine Daines, of Maldon District Council, said the notice did not mean peacocks had to be removed within a fortnight. She said: “The CPN served allows a three month notice period in conjunction with the owners to stop the peacocks roaming off the owners land and onto neighbouring private properties.”