A little local trouble

A weekly round-up of rural rumpuses
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The Independent Online
Villagers near Bridgend, south Wales this week turned down pounds 1m in order to save their common. Ogwr Borough Council wanted part of the Coity Wallia common, near the M4, to be used for industrial development, but the commoners voted five to one to reject the offer from Lord Dunraven of Ireland, the Coal Authority, and Taylor Woodrow. "We felt this would be the beginning of the end of the common," said Eifion Jones, who grazes sheep there. The threat is not over, however, as the Land Authority for Wales, could use its compulsory purchase powers to buy the land.

Parents in Fife called for a full investigation into a cluster of eye defects among children in the area, which they blame on agricultural chemicals. A health board study proved inconclusive, but the parents want further tests. The study was launched earlier this year after six children were born in the Ladybank area with poorly developed eyes, or no eyes at all. The parents believe the defects are due to exposure to two fungicides; the use of which in East Fife is from five to 60 times the Scottish average.

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