THE mayor of a Herefordshire town has said he's not getting involved in a debate on whether Boxing Day hunts should be held.

Radnor and West Herefordshire Hunt had asked Herefordshire Council whether it could close certain roads in Kington on December 27 for its annual meet.

In an unusual turn, because the hunt is not being held on Boxing Day, clerk Liz Kelso said Kington Town Council had to be consulted.

But she said she was only approached about it on Monday, and given a response was needed by Wednesday, there was not sufficient time for councillors to discuss.


The Liberal Democrats ward councillor for Kington Terry James warned the town council to stay out of the debate after Ledbury waded in.

"I think we keep out of it, it's causing enough trouble in Ledbury," Coun James said.

And Mayor Bob Widdowson followed up by saying: "Let's not go there, it's nothing to do with us."

Ledbury Town Council narrowly voted not to oppose a controversial Boxing Day hunt after a motion to block the road closures requested by the Ledbury Hunt.

There, Liberal Democrats councillor Matthew Eakin put forward a motion that the council take no action to facilitate the hunt, due to evidence cited by the Malvern Hills Trust of systematic violations of the rules around trail hunting, and lack of consultation by the hunt.



Coun Liz Harvey, who represents Ledbury North, told Tom Leeke of the Ledbury Hunt: “You have some ground to make up in regaining the public’s confidence.

“You are stretching the tacit permission of this county if you carry on as you have, especially if you are flouting the law.”

Mr Leeke conceded the hunt had made “honest mistakes” in the past, but that the Boxing Day event was a historic and much-loved piece of pageantry.

Kington town clerk Liz Kelso said Ledbury's council had been bombarded with emails since the debate.

"I think some of it, I understand, was being stirred up by somebody in Ledbury, but we won't go into details about names," she said.

"The point where I had a conversation with the clerk at Ledbury about something completely separate, she and I had a five-minute telephone conversation.

"She said while I'd be talking to her, 105 emails had come in."