CLT News – March 2017

On Thursday 2nd March 2017 an Open Village Meeting was held in the Millennium Hall to update residents about the Village Community Land Trust (CLT) project. The interim acting Chair, Nick Loxton welcomed all present and announced that the meeting had been called essentially to update residents of recent events concerning the Seavingtons’ Community Land Trust Limited and to give notice of the first Special General Meeting of Members. (SGM)

Nick advised that the Contract had been signed between Andrew Whitehouse and the developer [Mark Thomas of Acorn Developments] and following successful completion at the end of April, it was likely that the development of the site would begin in early May 2017 and works could be completed within 12 months. A Deed of Covenant would also be signed between Andrew Whitehouse and the Developer to ensure that Andrew’s wishes, with regard to the gifting of 3 houses to The Seavingtons’ CLT, free of encumbrances, would be carried out. So having had little to report since almost this time last year, things are moving apace and the CLT now needs to gather momentum quickly if we are to be in a position to take on this exciting project.

It was emphasised at the Open Meeting that the Seavingtons’ Community Land Trust was completely separate from the Seavington Parish Council, the only apparent connection was because in the first instance Andrew Whitehouse had made his first approach to the village by contacting the Parish Council, and it was reiterated that at the open meeting in April 2016 residents had voted for this separation and the formation of a CLT.

As explained at this open meeting, the CLT had been set up as a Benefit Society bound by a set of rules registered with the FCA [Financial Conduct Authority]. Under those rules, an SGM is required to be held within six months. The steering committee will stand down, and then a new Board of Directors will be voted in by members of the CLT. At the open meeting, it was suggested that a maximum of 9 Directors might be required to be elected by members.

After the meeting the date of the SGM was confirmed as Thursday 30th March – 7.00pm in The Millennium Hall. At this Meeting, open to all village residents, all paid-up members will elect the Board. Opportunity exists for residents to apply for membership at any time before or after the meeting but not during it. Remember that if you’re not a member you cannot vote.

Membership of the CLT is open to any resident of either Seavington St Michael or Seavington St Mary or anyone who works in either of the parishes, on payment of at least £1 for one share. No Member [share- holder] will benefit from the CLT. A Member only has one vote despite the number of shares held. The Chair explained that only Members of the CLT could propose and second a Director. These Directors would be elected at the SGM by Members. At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) which must be held within 15 months of formation of the CLT, at least one-third of the Directors will stand down, but can be re-elected.

At the meeting questions were asked with regard to the day-to-day management of the 3 properties; all were advised that it is currently envisaged that the Board will appoint a housing association in common with many other CLTs, but this and many more points would have to be discussed by the new Board of Directors and their decisions conveyed to the Membership.

The final point made was to urge residents to sign up to become members of the CLT, and help the current membership carry this project forward.

22nd March 2017