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BROMSGROVE DEFIES OMBUDSMAN WITH RANSOM DEMAND

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Bromsgrove DC is to press ahead with plans to charge villagers for access to their own driveways despite being told...
Bromsgrove DC is to press ahead with plans to charge villagers for access to their own driveways despite being told by the ombudsman to compensate residents for failing to inform them about a strip of council owned land in front of their homes when the area was developed, The Birmingham Post reports (p3).

Council chief executive Robert Bradshaw, reporting to a committee last night, claimed the ombudsman had acted outside his jurisdiction. He said the authority had acted in the interests of all local taxpayers by trying to get the best value for the strip of land - now known as 'ransom strip'.

The council told residents that their driveways would be fenced off if they did not buy the land. Mr Bradshaw last night said he believed the problem could be solved by granting licenses allowing access over the land and connection to a sewer for £50 a year, the Post reports.
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