BOURTON-ON-THE-WATER parish council have refused a request from a Birmingham couple to take part in a Pagan wedding ritual on the Village Green.

The council received a request to use the Green privately to carry out a handfasting ceremony, a Pagan festival of marriage which sees people come together in the way they choose.

This includes choosing only to be joined for a year and a day and then deciding whether to renew it at the end of that period, marrying someone of the same sex or a different religion, or group marriages.

Chairman Bryan Sumner said the request did not sound like something the council would agree with.

Cllr Tim Faulkner agreed: “Why should we allow someone who comes from Birmingham to use the Green?”

A motion was made against the request and all council members voted in favour.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Faulkner continued to say that because of the foot traffic on the Green, it needed repairs every time it was used.

“We spend a lot of money annually on sorting out the Green and the wear and tear of it,” he said. “In general all Bourton residents and those who live nearby, such as Moreton or Cold Aston residents, are able to book the Village Green but we don’t advertise any further.

“Also, lots of people when they book want to put vehicles on the Green which we absolutely don’t allow.”