Following public consultation and advice at the village meeting last February (2016), a Community Land Trust (CLT) has been set up by the duly appointed working group. This was to manage the three affordable houses which are to be gifted later this year (2017) to the villages of St Mary and St Michael by Andrew Whitehouse of Lift West (formerly Seavington).
The initial objective: to form a legal structure/company which can manage these three houses on the former Lift West Site for the benefit of the residents of the villages of St Mary and St Michael; has now been met. The benefit the villages see from this gift will be not be only now when the houses are initially built but also into the future and all being well, perpetuity.
The company is a Community Benefit Society and needs the support of villagers if the project is to succeed. This support can be shown by becoming a member of the CLT at the one off price of £1. Members will need to be over the age of 16 to become shareholders. The greater number of villagers who become shareholders the greater residents views will be inculcated into the direction the company takes and the stronger the CLT will be. Who lives in the houses, what rent they should pay, what this income is spent on are just some of the areas members will decide, so please become a shareholder for the greater benefit of the village.
To become a shareholder, residents will pay a nominal fee of £1 which will gain them 1 share. Individuals can hold as many shares as they like but will be entitled to only one vote per member at CLT meetings. If you are interested then please become a member. You can do this either at the Volunteer Inn or the community shop. Fill in the form (name and address etc) at the bar/till and purchase your share for £1.
Shareholders will be able to vote at all CLT general meetings. At the AGM each year shareholders will select a management committee who will act like trustees to oversee the management of the housing. It is envisaged that day to day running of the houses will be the responsibility of a housing association so that trustees are not overloaded with CLT work (after all they will be acting as trustees on a voluntary basis). AGMs will also set the policy for occupation of the houses not just by whom but for how long and at what cost. AGMs will also agree the policy for disbursement of income from the rental of the properties. It is important therefore that if you want a say in how the company is run and how the housing is operated that you become a shareholder.