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Sara Jane Trebar
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Farm Terrace Allotments on Sky News today!
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Our letter to the Watford Observer regarding Watford Borough Council's treatment of media covering our story -

Dear editor,
We have had to fight  Watford council to save our allotments from being swallowed up for property developers. Our local council, but especially the 'elected Mayor of Watford', have attacked us for doing this since the whole episode began back in the summer of 2012. Despite being a small group of local residents we have stayed the course in the face of an aggressive approach from the very people elected to support and care for the residents of Watford. Our case has moved to a national concern for the UK and it would appear the council feels it can apply the same tactics to the national press as it appears to do in the local area.
It has been brought to our attention that Watford Borough Council appear to be regularly submitting formal complaints to the majority of the local and national paper and television companies who are covering our case!  We have even been told that council spokespersons have gone as far as to warn journalists before going to press that they have submitted previous complaints about our story!
I believe that most of these claims are completely unfounded. It very much appears that the council is employing this tactic as a way of shutting down the fantastic media coverage we are receiving.
It is in my opinion an attempt to avoid negative publicity deliberately and restrict the free press!
This all started in 2012 when the council told us the allotments were needed to expand the hospital but we uncovered the truth that there was no money or plans for the hospital expansion. Ever since then we have stood up to the council and pushed to discover the real reason the allotments are such a sought after part of a housing development.  We have experienced what feels like bullying and coercion following the council’s plans to obtain the allotment land.
The council continue to try and make the residents of Watford believe that it is a ‘hospital or the allotments!’ argument despite the fact that this has been shown not to be true. In fact at a council meeting of 3/12/2012 the Managing Director was asked about Farm Terrace allotments and stated clearly that the proposed development was viable without the use of the allotments. In the council’s third submission they have added a school, which has never been mentioned before, as the hospital argument was not working.
Threatening the National press takes the councils techniques to a whole new level. 
We have had two high profile media opportunities that have backed off as a direct result of contacting Watford Borough Council. Luckily the Council’s approach has not put everyone off and we have found strong support once we get the chance to explain our side of events. The council’s behaviour has encouraged some journalists to persevere with the story but at the end of the day the press don't want complaints or having to answer to editors. I believe Watford Borough Councils complaints are unfounded and they are causing a negative environment that is not representative of the British system of governance.
Sometimes it feels that instead of living in a democratic Watford we are being pushed around by those in power.  Whatever happened to our right to free speech?

Sara Jane Trebar 
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Sara Jane Trebar commented on a post on Blogger.
Lovely blog hunny. You are so inspirational! XXX
New Beginnings and Old Routines
New Beginnings and Old Routines
flourishing-warriors.blogspot.com
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