Fury as Patrick the pony who was made mayor is banned from his local pub by council bosses

Residents have branded their council ‘disgusting’ and ‘selfish’ after therapy pony Patrick has been banned from their local pub.

Patrick the pony, who is also mayor of Cocklington, Devon, has been forbidden from grazing at The Drum Inn by Torbay Council bosses, who say the pub does not have the right planning permission. 

The four-year-old animal helped residents, including terminally-ill Jon, 14, whose mother, Lorraine, was left in tears after the pony was barred from their local.  

Lorraine said: ‘When I saw the news on Facebook I was taking our son in his lift to change him and I cried. 

‘I cried because something so lovely can just be destroyed within a few minutes and it wasn’t doing anybody any harm, it was something lovely in a hard world. 

‘These moments are precious because they engrave happy times on your heart, and it helps the reality that one day Jon is not going to be here.’  

Patrick the pony and his owner, Kirk Petrakis, used to visit their local pub The Drum Inn regularly

Torbay Council told the pub that they did not have the correct planning permission to allow Patrick to graze in the garden

Torbay Council told the pub that they did not have the correct planning permission to allow Patrick to graze in the garden

Jon, who is under the care of Great Ormond Street Hospital, was so happy on seeing Patrick that he wanted to get out of his wheelchair and sit with him on the grass.

His mum has been left raging that the council has now blocked others from having that experience with Patrick.

Lorraine said: ‘I couldn’t believe they’ve made them do that – it just seems so crazy.

‘And now somebody is saying about grazing rights? It’s a pub garden!

‘I feel sad for Patrick and the family – it seems cruel.’

And Lorraine has pledged that the family will follow Patrick – wherever he goes.

She continued: ‘We had the most wonderful therapy session with Jon. We will follow Patrick wherever he goes.’

Residents have already created a petition to make the council allow the pony back on the pub’s lawn.

Patrick Cain, who started the petition, said: ‘We want this decision changed. We want them to allow Patrick to graze in the pub garden where the public can delight in watching him enjoy the grass.

‘Torbay Council need to stop being so petty and allow a little joy into the lives of residents and visitors alike!’  

Caroline Shapter added: ‘Good heavens what is wrong with Torbay Council?

‘No compassion for animals or people that help others.

‘I am more than disgusted.’

 Joannie Dunn, from Torquay, raged: “How much has he bought to Torbay for tourists – disgusting!”

Ingrid Marsh added: “I was absolutely horrified to read what had happened. Cockington is sadly diminished.

“He is a beautiful and gentle soul. Far superior to anybody trying to remove him. Cockington should be demanding he stays – he has a global reach now.”

Julie Anne Swinford, from Wiltshire, added: “There are some selfish, petty people about who need to get a life.

“What possible harm is this doing to anyone? What a world we live in!”

Torbay Conservative MP Kevin Foster, 43, slammed the move by Torbay Council, saying they were a ‘complete joke’.

He said: ‘Like most people living in the area I am surprised by the hardline attitudes councillors have decided to take about a pony.

‘Obviously all the serious issues in Torbay have been resolved so they can focus their time on a pony pen at a pub. It’s just unbelievable!

‘Perhaps the council are a little bit concerned given their own performance that Patrick is going to give them a run for their money and were worried about competition.

‘For me Patrick’s title of Mayor of Cocklington was a light hearted move to promote the village.

‘Even I did not realise that it would provoke Torbay Council into making itself a complete joke.”

He also revealed that he has struggled to work with them on serious planning enforcement issues.

Kirk said the council's decision left him feeling 'upset', and  it was 'emotional' having to take down his pony's pub pen

Kirk said the council’s decision left him feeling ‘upset’, and  it was ’emotional’ having to take down his pony’s pub pen 

Outraged residents have started a petition to allow the pony back into the pub

 Outraged residents have started a petition to allow the pony back into the pub

Patrick the pony also works as a therapy animal, and was elected Mayor of Cocklington, Devon, last week

Patrick the pony also works as a therapy animal, and was elected Mayor of Cocklington, Devon, last week

The council previously banned under 10s rugby teams from using their pitches just behind The Drum Inn due to noise complaints.

Foster, who has been MP for the region since 2015, continued: ‘Words failed me when I heard last night.

‘Things like Patrick going in the pub generate interest in Cocklington from people who are less likely to visit it for a cream tea.’

Patrick’s owners, Kirk and Hannah Petrakis, said the move has left them traumatised, and they have already had to remove the fencing from Patrick’s interaction pen in The Drum Inn garden.

Kirk said: ‘A very emotional afternoon having to take down Patrick’s interaction pen in The Drum Inn garden.

‘The Drum Inn was very upset. Someone made a complaint to the council.

‘It just feels very unfair, and it was a very sad day yesterday, but myself Patrick and Hannah will continue to support our lovely friends and will not be defeated by powers that be.’

Hannah, 37, continued: ‘It’s been really traumatic. We’re just shocked by it.’

‘We don’t want to go through planning because it costs money and it is likely to be refused.

The pony, who also works as a therapy pony visiting recovery groups, hospitals and mental health wards, was made Mayor of Cocklington last week. 

He was given the special title at a ceremony July 23 after hundreds backed an online campaign to elect him to the post after the death of previous mayor Don Mills.

A Torbay Council spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that following a complaint from a member of the public, an enforcement case has been opened into the erection of unauthorised timber fencing within the beer garden of the Drum Inn, Cockington.

‘Officers have now raised concerns over the suitability of these unauthorised works.

‘We have written to the landlord of the public house advising that the works are considered a breach of planning legislation.’

The Drum Inn has been contacted for comment.

Terminally ill Jon (centre), 14, who has a form of childhood dementia, wanted to get out of his wheelchair to be near Patrick the pony

Terminally ill Jon (centre), 14, who has a form of childhood dementia, wanted to get out of his wheelchair to be near Patrick the pony

Conservative MP Kevin Foster called Torbay Council a 'complete joke' and their decision to ban Patrick 'unbelievable'

Conservative MP Kevin Foster called Torbay Council a ‘complete joke’ and their decision to ban Patrick ‘unbelievable’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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