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Journalist turned mayor hits headlines after banning cat from town hall

ClatworthyA former regional journalist turned town mayor found herself making the news after banning a cat from the town hall on health and safety grounds.

Peggy Clatworthy, left, who used to work for the Gloucestershire Echo, took over as mayor of Tewkesbury on 8 May after four years of service on its town council.

However, just days later she sat on a committee to decide that a cat which is a regular visitor to the town hall should be barred from the building.

The cat, called Missy, had been a regular visitor to the hall since last summer, but last month Peggy’s predecessor as mayor Councillor Karen Brennan commissioned a special complaints panel to sit after other councillors claimed it posed a health and safety risk and could waste workers’ time.

Peggy sat with two other councillors last week to make a decision on the matter.

She told the Echo’s online arm Gloucestershire Live: “[The cat]’s not ours and we don’t know what injections it has had.

“But the main reason for this decision is because we had an official complaint from one of the councillors who had an allergy to cats. We don’t know who else, with an allergy, might come in.”

Peggy added that, officially, Missy was not welcome but noted that it could often be difficult to control where cats went.

Those in favour of Missy being allowed to stay had pointed out that former clerks and mayors had brought their dogs into the offices, insisting Missy was their “morale officer and town cat”.

One unnamed member of staff told Gloucestershire Live: “It’s just silly. They said previous people owned their dogs and we don’t own Missy.”

Of her term as mayor, Peggy said: “My big thing will be trying to help the town prosper by putting more events on that will attract people into the town.”

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