AN urgent call for help has been made by a council opposition group hoping to launch a judicial review against a decision to sell off the county's tenant farms.

It’s Our County (IOC) is making a final push to secure funding pledges from the public to take its legal challenge forward to the permission stage for possible judicial review, based on the lawfulness of the council’s disposal of its smallholdings estate.

Cabinet agreed the sell-off affecting 42 tenants in the face of widespread opposition in December 2015, with the sale expected to raise around £40million for the council.

Earlier this year, the Hereford Times reported how the council had been accused of a 'lack of transparency' after hiding parts of a public report which recommended that the authority should retain some of the county's smallholding estates.

It's Our County announced in May that the group would act to challenge the lawfulness of the decision and lawyers sent a ‘Letter before Action’ to Herefordshire Council, with the council’s response having been received on Monday, July 10.

IOC now needs urgently to raise up to £40,000 before Friday July 21 to cover all potential legal costs.

Group leader, Councillor Anthony Powers, said: "As a local independent party we do not have anything like this amount ourselves but will be hoping to raise funds by all available means.

“This is an urgent call for help. The county smallholdings belong to the people of Herefordshire. We are doing this for, and on behalf of, everyone in the county in the firm belief and on legal advice that we have a strong and just case."

Deputy leader, Councillor Liz Harvey, added: "We thank all those who have already donated to our crowd funding webpage.

“These are your farms: please now help us keep them in public ownership for tenants to farm. Your county needs you now.”

Visit to find a link to the crowd funding page.