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Caerphilly man in row over council housing could be 'forced to cull' homing pigeons

Credit: Matthew Graves

A man in Caerphilly may be forced to have his homing pigeons culled in a row with Caerphilly Council over housing.

Matthew Graves jointly owned the pigeons with his late father which are housed in his council house in Castle View, Pwllypant.

Following the death of his father, Matthew and his wife applied to move from their council home in Churchill Park into his father's but housing officials refused to allow the transfer. They stated that there were other applicants with a greater need.

Local Plaid Cymru councillor Colin Mann claims Welsh Homing Pigeon Union advised him that the pigeons couldn't be moved which would force Matthew to have them culled.

These pigeons are homing pigeons and I have been advised clearly by the Welsh Homing Pigeon Union that they cannot be moved. This leaves the only alternative is for the council to have the pigeons culled which clearly would be appalling.

Members of the Graves family have lived at Castle View since it was built 50 or 60 years ago. They are the only tenants. What Matthew Graves and his wife are requesting is merely a transfer of tenancy from their Churchill Park home, which is more modern.

The council will not lose a property by allowing a transfer and it seems to me that the family are caught up in red tape. Surely, the council housing department should use some common sense and, therefore, avoid these homing pigeons having to be put down. The stance they are taking seems ridiculous to me.

– Cllr Colin Mann, Plaid Cymru

Caerphilly Council say the pigeons will not be destroyed by them and they are happy to work with the family to reach a solution about their future. They also said there is no legal entitlement for Matthew and his wife to move into his father's property.

Caerphilly operates a Common Housing Register for both new and housing transfer applicants to register their interest in being housed. The selection of a property is determined by our policy, with allocations being determined by location and type of housing required and also the priority need of the applicant. Applicants are placed into one of three bands depending on an assessment of their circumstances. Those assessed with the greatest need are afforded the highest priority.

In this specific case there is no legal entitlement of the family to the property and they already have a tenancy for a property that suits their needs. Due to the prioritisation of applicant need and the fact that the property in question is located within an area of high demand, it is unlikely that the family will be shortlisted for the property.

– Caerphilly Council