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Update: St Ann's Well tenant finally receives an apology
FIRST came the damning report and now the tenant at the centre of the long-running St Ann's Well café dispute has finally received an apology.
John Redman received the declaration of regret when the board of the Malvern Hills Conservators met for a special meeting on Thursday to hear the findings of its internal inquiry into the affair.
The apology comes after the committee’s report revealed a catalogue of failings and how the Conservators pursued their campaign to remove Mr Redman despite receiving legal advice not to and having little genuine intention of running the café themselves.
It was given a heartfelt delivery by board member Roger Cousins, who said: “The board extends a formal apology to John Redman, his family, his staff, members of the general public and all those affected by these events as well as the staff of Malvern Hills Conservators past and present.”
Mr Redman, who has run the café on the slopes of the Malvern Hills for more than 20 years, said: "I am generally very, very pleased and obviously feel vindicated by the apology.
"I want to say thank you to all the people that supported me, clearly I could not have done it without massive support from the people."
He added: “We have got to move on, there’s no point throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
Carl Attwood, chairman of the inquiry committee said the apology was central to the work carried out looking into the row.
“It’s important that people acknowledge things have to be put right by apologising. There’s a genuine feeling of wanting to move forward.”
Rev Attwood added: “For me the whole premise of what we were asked to do was to work out what happened and that has been achieved. Now we will move on and do the second part.”
During the meeting at Lyttelton Well, in Church Street, the board also moved to acknowledge the report and its findings of major failure as well as recognising the need for reform.
The second stage comes with the intention of defining the necessary reforms and planning their implementation.
The recommendations, and the apology, were accepted 17 votes to one, with Chris Cheeseman the only board member to oppose the motions on the wording of the apology.