Council branded ‘discraceful’ after Isle of Wight Hunt given £10,000 Covid grant

The Isle of Wight Council has been slammed after it handed a £10,000 government covid grant to a hunting group.

Residents have branded the council disgraceful after it issued the payment to the Isle of Wight Hunt through the Small Business Scheme.

Under government rules the hunt is entitled to a small business rate relief due to to the pandemic.

Resident Jeanie Brown told the Isle of Wight County Press: "I have had various gripes with the actions of the Isle of Wight Council, but their latest stunt really does take the biscuit.

"To grant The Isle of Wight Hunt a £10,000 Covid grant is the most disgusting, outrageous, disgraceful act yet.

"Especially at a time like this, when money is scarce and people are desperately trying to make ends meet, and many just causes could have benefitted much more."

Another resident said the fund should not be used to support 'leisure hobbies' and the hunt was already supported by 'wealthy individuals'.

The cash comes from central government and is administered by local authorities.

It's illegal to hunt foxes with dogs in the UK – but the hunt can use dogs to simulate hunting.

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The council is required by government to issue the Small Business Scheme grant payments to those businesses which are eligible for the scheme.

Guidelines for the scheme, which is not discretionary, are set by government.

According to the Independent, 180 local authorities had not given any funding to hunts.

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Only seven councils including the Isle of Wight Council had given the grants, while some local authorities refused to give the information.

Last month the hunt was cautioned for breaking a noise abatement notice  – after its barking hounds allegedly caused a nuisance to residents.

The case was brought against the hunt by the Isle of Wight Council.

A trial had been scheduled to be heard at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court, but did not go ahead after the hunt signed a caution instead.

In December, huntsman Rupert Inglesant was taken to court after his terrier bit a woman.

The council has been contacted by Daily Star Online for comment

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