Common Purpose Attacks Big Society

The Shropshire Hills Have A Sustainable Lifestyle ”Village” Called Karuna.  It Is Creating Jobs And Showing An Alternative Way Of Living.  It Is Being Attacked By Common Purpose Operating Out Of The Shropshire County Council.  Why?  What’s Their Problem?

Sue from the project  writes –

People like ourselves are harassed and treated like criminals when we have actually sacrificed and given our whole life to truly sustainable development and the transition society.

A new clearly written policy will  save a lot of time and public money that is wasted by local & higher authorities whose understanding and commitment towards sustainability is not yet in evidence.
You all know this is a matter of fact as you understand that for almost 4 years now Karuna permaculture project , ticks all the box’s for stated government aims, yet it is repeatedly attacked by the local authority(Shropshire county council LPA).

This is ongoing for Karuna.

Self sufficiency makes a nice change from subsidised sheep farming.  Tourism is important to the area.  The Karuna Project offers visitors a fascinating opportunity to learn how time-honoured growing techniques are just as valid today as they always were.
Please send your most intelligent comments that will support us, irrespective of whether you yourself feel the need to live this way yourself.  We should all support each other, because the wider community benefits.

Now come on, David Cameron, Prince Charles and all you people with power up there.  Let’s hear it for ‘sustainability’ and The Big Society, and for Sue and the Karuna Project near Church Stretton in Shropshire.

Or is it time that they all admitted the real truth – that they don’t actually care about The Big Society or Sustainability at all, only Big Business, Big Power and Big Money?

Well, here’s their chance to prove whether all their rhetoric is a sham or not.  OK.  

Call the dogs off, Cameron.  Give these people some support – NOW!  Here you have everything that your Big Society wants to bring about, a reconnection with old-fashioned values, and a new-found dedication to quality of life, and what happens?  You attack it.

PICTURE AT TOP –  Aerial view of ‘Sanctuary’ field at Karuna (Sept 2010). Showing design of new diverse woodlands/nature reserve & arboretum ,Forest gardens, fruit tree nurseries, horticultural area, water holding & Low impact dwelling…Established over  five years.


Karuna is a Sanskrit word meaning compassion. 

In “Island” a novel by Aldous Huxley (his last novel) Karuna was a place where people are kind and happy, they have equality without mediocrity, compassion as well as intellect and science side by side with art.

Karuna is located within an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) near Picklescott, on the upper fringes of the Long Mynd, it faces out towards stupendous far reaching open views of the Stretton Hills and surrounding countryside.

The soil at Karuna is quite fertile, the area was once covered in trees, it is now naked compared to what it once was. Being lovers of trees and the land we have a desire to restore a small part of it and restore its fertility through the permaculture  approach. 

Go For It, Sue!!   Many people salute your efforts, and offer their support.  The Council needs to bloody well grow up.  What use are they anyway for all the amount they cost us in rates and council tax?  Shropshire’s Council is as corrupt as any other in England.  It’s time it was given a good working over.  Maybe the new Council Leader, Keith Barrow, Conservative, can sort out something.  Or the Conservative MP for Ludlow can – Philip Dunne, who lists farming and small business as his key interests in his biographical details.

Philip Dunne, Conservative MP Ludlow

Keith Barrow, leader of Shropshire County Council, is a successful local businessman and would no doubt be sympathetic to the aim of sustainability.  Why not visit him, and Philip Dunne.  They very likely have no idea as to what is going on.  The Shropshire Star would be too feeble to run a  story.

Keith and Philip will of course find themselves coming up against ”dark actors playing games”, the people who are able and willing to orchestrate policy from behind the scenes.  Big Money always finds a way to distort and pervert the efforts of those who want to see good outcomes from their time working in government.  The enemies of our health and wellbeing are well dug in.

Francis Maude and Julia Middleton orchestrating Britain’s real hidden government. 

 David Cameron told the 1922 Committee of his backbench MPs in his address to them six months ago, they will have to get used to The New World Order.
I prefer the terms ”One World Empire” , ”Elite”  or “Exploitation System”, creating a most appropriate acronym – the O.W.E.S.  
Whatever it’s called, our own Prime Minister believes that we are a subject people, living in a totalitarian state, with just the illusion of democracy.  And he is happy to carry on with creating that illusion, pretending he has a programme called ”The Big Society”.

The Illusionists who conned the Conservative Party,  David Cameron and man in the shadows,  Francis Maude.
From ukcolumn link above –

Before the last general election, many informed local Conservative party activists were becoming concerned about the political activities of Common Purpose, particularly where it was able to help implant and sustain a NuLabour socialist doctrine within the staff of Unitary Authorities, Councils, Quangos and the Third Sector by means of its secretive graduate networks. Local Councillors were quick to spot that Common Purpose ‘leaders’ amongst key Council Officers could effectively undermine and neutralise Conservative policy and values, even if the Tories were to be elected.
Across UK, Tory Councillors began to collect and report information on Common Purpose to Conservative Head office. Despite their growing concerns, they were told not to worry – Common Purpose would be rooted out from key organisations once Cameron was in power. In the meantime they were advised to watch, listen and report, but not to make a public noise. This advice can now be seen as a deliberate con trick by the heart of Cameron’s government……
Whist Francis Maude betrays true Conservatives in the dark, David Cameron prefers just to ignore the concerns of ordinary Conservatives – in August this year, he launched a major Common Purpose International event in Bangalore India. Tories shouldn’t be surprised at his betrayal of them. Cameron did tell the 1922 Committee that they would need to “get used to the New World Order”.
OK Maude, Cameron and Middleton have the power to crush whoever they want, in favour of their One World Elite of totalitarian government and big corporations. 

They’d all be nonentities outside of their power and greed-crazed, truth-rigged, health-destroying networks.  Put them inside an appropriate uniform, and they’d look just the part.

No wonder there was a farcical attempt made to badge the New World Order with this logo –

Does it remind you of anything?

At least it was honest, for once.

The question is whether the OWE are going to be permitted to drive people off the land, who want a simple, debt-free and environmentally benevolent lifestyle.  All Sue and her friends have is the possible support of the local community, and local politicians.  They are up against formidable opposition.  It’s a battle between good and evil.  And evil, hiding in the shadows, is winning.

Today in a speech on The Big Society, Cameron will say these words –

The Big Society is how we’ll fix our broken society, how we’ll strengthen families, how we’ll bring communities together.

Not in Shropshire, though, for some reason.  The Big Society here, means yet more giant Tescos, an arrogant County Council and the little people ignored and driven from their livelihoods.  There is no sign of any government taking responsibility for the future, as claimed by David Cameron.  We’re on our own.  People who try to build a way to live beyond the power of big corporations and bureaucracies, are facing up to the challenges that we face as a species.  The government is irrelevant, except as a means of getting in the way, which the government is most expert in doing, or as in the USA, they are making organic small scale food production illegal.  That’s why Sue feels she’s being treated as a criminal.  The Big Corporations own the government, and they know they can’t compete with small scale locally grown food.  So they want it all closed down – by law.


Champagne flowed at the £240-a-head black-tie dinner in a ballroom of the sumptuously restored Savoy hotel in London…The host, Kim Ryley, the £180,000-a-year head of Shropshire council, and president of Solace, the society of chief executives, said in his address that councils were “the most efficient part of the public sector”. Five days later his council said it would shut nine schools, on top of forecasts of 1,300 job losses.” –Sunday Times (£)

More on this story –


This is a formal complaint regarding the inspector’s behaviour and approach during the Karuna Public inquiry APP/B3220/C/O8/2063851, 2nd&3rd Sept & 25th & 26th Nov 2008.

For the reasons outlined below, we believe that the Inspector, Mrs Claire Sherratt, was not properly fulfilling her responsibilities during this case. 
The matters I wish to bring to your attention are as follows.

The Inspector conducted herself with inconsistency and unfair bias.
It does not instil any sense of justice after a lengthy appeal where so much evidence, or rather proof, has been given in support to demonstrate why the appeal should have been granted.  It is not acceptable to ourselves or to those who have supported our case.

In fact, our lawyer said he had never seen a case with so much support!  He’s been a lawyer for many years and is now semi-retired; he is experienced enough to be able to make such a comment with authority.
It is wrong and unacceptable to simply sweep all that evidence under the mat, which is the only way the decision to dismiss the appeal could have been reached.
But this is not a complaint about the decision itself.

The inspector, Mrs Claire Sherratt, made no effort to properly understand my wife’s critical illness.  This has been supported with letters from the Huntington’s Disease association and her Local G.P. Both give clear explanations about her desperate situation.

Quite often, sufferers of the disease commit suicide and there is history of this in my wife’s family. They have clearly indicated the harm that will be caused to Mrs Wheelhouse if she is not allowed to remain in her present home and continue her most beneficial lifestyle.

One support witness, Mrs B. Staples, speaking in our support about Horticultural Therapy, was at first refused permission to speak.    When finally allowed to contribute, she was put under considerable pressure by Mrs Sherratt and was unable say what she had wanted to say…. This bullying atmosphere is completely unacceptable at a public inquiry, where many witnesses do not have experience of such situations and are already nervous.

Another supporter Prof I. Trueman said that he’d been to other inquiries but never experienced one where so much bullying had been allowed.

The fundamentals of the current environmental/economical crisis have not been taken into account.

Karuna’s minimal carbon footprint is years ahead of the government’s aim for 2050, and the fact that we generate our own energy and recycle our own water and waste (researched and supported by the Wasteless society at the appeal) should have been properly considered, but were not.  Rural livelihoods should not be suppressed, but supported and encouraged.

The AONB (Area Of Natural Beauty) have stated to us that the inspector has used the fact that Karuna is within an AONB Designated Area very negatively in relation to wider sustainability concerns.  They have also said that Mrs Sherratt’s decision is at odds with the New AONB management plan. We presented evidence that the Karuna project contributes positively to all the AONB’S priorities. Mrs Sherratt obviously does not fully understand the aims of the AONB which the Karuna project fully supports and positively engages with, even after she has been given evidence that Karuna meets with the AONB’s aims.
We do not feel that this inspector had the skills, knowledge or willingness to allow a fair hearing at this inquiry.

We wish to complain about the disproportionate amount of time allowed to one objector to speak at the inquiry.

Mr Steven Matthews was given 45 minutes to speak, while some of those who were speaking in support of the appeal, for example Barbara Staples and David Finey of the Wasteless Society and myself, were cut short by the inspector. 

Furthermore, Mr Matthews (objector) was not put under oath, with the inspector admitting her inconsistency after the event, stating that she ‘should try and remain consistent in future’.  This is completely unacceptable behaviour on the part of the inspector.   The objector was allowed 45 minutes to make all manner of false allegations without fear of perjuring himself.
This calls into question the legitimacy of the inquiry finding, but for the purposes of this complaint the issue is the effect that the inspector’s failure to conduct the inquiry properly by ensuring all witnesses were put under oath has had on ourselves, on our children at school and on our relationship with our neighbours. 
Crucially, his comments at the inquiry have had the effect of alienating other villagers from ourselves. The negative impact his lies at the inquiry have had on us cannot be overstated. 
This witness spoke of a letter (see enclosed letter written to Mr S. Matthews), which we had sent to him and which he said he had thrown on the fire. The witness was allowed to claim all manner of falsehoods, and to paint a picture of us which is wholly untrue. The first and only response we had to our letter came on the day of the inquiry when he (Matthews) attended to speak as an objector.

After he had finished speaking, Mrs Sherratt openly admitted that she should have put this objecting witness under oath, but had failed to do so, fully admitting that she was in fact ….. ‘inconsistent’.
How can this be acceptable?

This witness’s completely fabricated story about dog and human excrement was designed to discredit us. 

It was tactically placed at the end of a very long, strong case that had demonstrated the wholesomeness of our aims and our personal characters from many genuine, honest and respectable members of society, hundreds of them in contrast to only 12 letters of objection from members of the village & Parish council, many of whom are land owners who were outbid for the land at auction which we now own and care for, known as Karuna.

Whilst answering questions during cross examination on my statement (for hours),the inspector attacked me for answering in my own natural way…

I endeavoured to be thorough, whilst sticking to the point, yet I was repeatedly criticised by the inspector, whereas Mr Matthews was allowed to waffle on without interruption or challenge for 45 minutes, spouting lies and utter nonsense in order to discredit us and blacken our name in public through his personal attack on our character. 

The inspector was guilty of inconsistency, which she has admitted, and manifestly failed to conduct the inquiry fairly and impartially.

The inspector also behaved inconsistently in relation to the site visits. 
The inspector stated she was ‘fully satisfied’ with her site visit on the second day of the appeal, but later she went back on this. 

Dealing with unfamiliar planning inquiry procedures is challenging and stressful enough for inexperienced appellants; having an inspector who keeps moving the goalposts in this way makes the experience extremely distressing. 

Finally, Mrs Sherratt did not allow one of our witnesses to stand and speak.
He is from a governmental business organisation (Business Link). 

When he came forward he was forced to stand down, because the council’s barrister objected to him giving evidence, saying he was an expert witness. This was not true and the inspector was therefore wrong to use these grounds to deny our witness the chance to speak at the inquiry.  

This person was simply there in his capacity as a third party witness to support our business plan in a general way. 

Mrs Sherratt allowed the council’s barrister to pull to pieces and rubbish our business plan for 2 hours, yet refused to allow a witness to speak in our support of it for 15- 20 minutes. 

How can this be right?!!!!!

In her decision, Mrs Sherratt rejects our business plan. Yet she refused to hear our witness speak on the matter in our support. 

If an inquiry is to be conducted fairly and impartially, each of the parties must be given the opportunity to present their side of the story in order that the inspector can weigh up the facts and reach a just decision.  

Mrs Sherratt’s conduct prevented many key facts from being heard.  Her behaviour was unfair and inconsistent, and we do not believe that it was possible for us to have a fair inquiry in these circumstances.

The work we are doing at Karuna is part of a vital movement which practically demonstrates  the way we must work together if we are to combat climate change and live peacefully and productively on this planet. 

The least we expect from the Planning Inspectorate is to be treated respectfully by your inspectors, and for them to conduct themselves fairly and impartially and with an open mind.  Instead, the inspector who conducted our inquiry appeared to be inexperienced and unknowledgeable in this area.  She did not treat us with respect.  She did not conduct the inquiry in a fair and balanced manner.  She behaved inconsistently and in a way which gave a strong impression that she was prejudiced in favour of the objectors.
With all respect, we hope we are able to bring this to your attention in a positive way, that it will receive the attention it deserves and that it serves to better the future of all concerned. 

We look forward to receiving a copy of your complaints policies and procedures and a full response to this complaint within your stated timescales.

Don’t hold your breath.  It sounds like a thorough stitch-up.

Meanwhile let’s hope the 7500 trees planted at Karuna grow strong, the 80 different types of apples, the twenty and more different species of fruits.  The rest of humanity looks on in fear.  How will their money-based world find a way to stop people from feeding themselves, from becoming healthy and strong?  The world of chemicals will not tolerate a return to nature, where packaging is not required, where additives, colourants and preservatives ensure most families endure cancers and slow deterioration of the nervous system, illnesses that were rare a hundred years ago.

The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.

6 Responses to “Common Purpose Attacks Big Society”

  1. Stuart Fairney says:

    People living off the grid can’t be taxed or bossed around and are harder to control so it’s not surprising (but shameful) they are attacked.

  2. Tapestry says:

    Even worse than that, they don’t go to Tescos or Sainsburys, or buy fuel. They don’t bother with GM foods or seeds. Who knows? They probably don’t get vaccinated or die of cancer. This will never do.

  3. Tapestry says:

    Head Of Shropsire County Council Keith Barrow contacted me by phone returning my call, and said he will be visiting the site to see the situation for himself.

    It appears to be a planning issue, where they have a caravan onsite and that is not within the planning rules. There may be alternative possibilities where the Council would look more favourably on the situation.

    If anyone can sort out a tricky situation, Keith Barrow can.

  4. fad action. says:

    Our society does not allow people to be uncontrolled.Those with any experience at all of living ‘Low impact lives’ understand that it is only a challenge to live a more wholsome way which may lessen the suffering to come.There is no imediate escape from suppermarkets/Oil/taxes etc Simply because someone lives off grid.
    ‘Low Impact living’ is most often associated with generating new rural business.But because Karuna is only small business Shropshire council want to squash it,only BIG business is supported.The best way for them to obstruct this is by abusing the planning sytem which they are very skilled at and using it agaist the development of the project.Lets face it Karuna is up there doing it whilst Shropshire council are saying you cant….BUT they are and the public are benefitting from that.
    Perhaps the council are ashamed that others are delivering what they have been unable to create!

  5. Tapestry says:

    There is no doubt much truth in what is being said, but winning a planning battle is usually best done using all the positives. People want to know what’s in it for them – healthier living, educational opportunities for local people, access to fresh healthy food, an opportunity to get things not otherwise available locally.

    A chance to live longer by eating food that is not polluted, or irradiated or filled with chemicals etc.

    If local people love what is being given to them, the planners who want it all to go away find there is a constituency they can’t ignore.

    For many living in cities, this a dream to aspire to one day. Sell the dream.

  6. Tapestry says:

    via email –

    Tap man,
    Janta of Karuna here.
    I just wanted to thank you for featuring Karuna in your blog.
    I’m not a political being,but the corruption that my family and I have been subject to over the past few years has kind of cornered me a little,so many people are interested in the subject so it could be worth my while dipping in a little just as a means to an end.Id rather be growing food and helping people to grow it.
    I have not had a TV in over 20 years,our teenage children are all the better for it,as are we.
    I’m not media connected,i’m just too sensitive for it .
    I was surprised to get an e-mail from Robert Green who is the investigator for the Hollie Greig case.(Of which I have only just learned of 2 Days ago)
    He contacted us cos he’d read your Tap Blog.And Shropshire council have been involved on some level.It’s an outrageous story,quite pervers regards justice ,you are probably well aware of it.
    I spoke with him last night,he believes Shropshire council are amongst the most corrupt in the county and unfortunately from our personal experience I fear he may be right.
    I and others are quite sure that the planning inspector of our four day appeal was corrupted. We had so much evidence and support and speakers yet it was all swept under the mat. My complaint letter (See attached)has never been responded to.

    I’m not going into details here Im just thanking you,it’s great that someone is out there exposing corruption. As for Mr. K.Barrow we have not heard from him and don’t really expect to. He’s not interested ,though in the coming future he may wish he had come to see us at Karuna.
    You see my wife has a very serious chronic condition ,an incurable disease of the central nervous system ,Huntington’s Disease.
    So we cant leave our home we’ve been living here for 3.5 yrs now.
    She cant face leaving Karuna,she is a Kibbutznik ,brought up on a farming community,Karuna is the very best therapy she can have,it helps slow down the degeneration process. We started Karuna as a positive way to help her therapeutically and just for a change earn some money by starting a business that falls in line with our eco-logical beliefs.
    So we cant leave,we want to work things out with the council get an agricultural ‘Low impact’ planning application through , but a couple of our neighbours who we outbid for the land (karuna) belong to the ‘old boy network’ and due to sour grapes they have been pulling the strings in the council. Thats where all our problems started.

    I could say many many things,but wont.
    We had an interesting chat with mr Green. Real eye opening.
    At the end of the day we just want to be left in peace to get on with the project & our already arduous lives.
    I understand you are in the Philippines…I have lived In S.E Asia for 2.5 yrs and India (where I met my wife) for 3 yrs.It is beautiful out there <we learned much about life and we developed a desire to share what we learned with others through a project. I was working on an organic farm In Tamil Nadu 17 yrs ago,before most people here even knew what ‘organic’ was. When you return to YUK K please call over for a cup of Oolong Cha’,I’m a bit of an enthusiast for that delightful tea.
    By the way Karuna is not a village,and its misleading to call it such,no one else has ever referred to it as such.

    Cheers,go safe & be grateful for the sun,

    I’ll call over when I’m next in the UK.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.