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0 votes
Our Rec was given to the PC under a covenant which mandates that the management of the Rec is through a committee comprising of 7 residents and no more than 3 PC councillors. The covenant states that the PC formally appoint the committee and thereafter it becomes self managing and can raise funds and fully manage the Rec. This committee has full voting rights, and runs independent of the PC managing its own bank accounts and members. So it’s not the same as a PC committee which can also be made up of non-councillors, but the non-councillors don’t get a vote. The covenant not does not say the PC choose who the 7 residents are, merely that the PC formally appoint the entire committee in the first instance and thereafter the committee runs itself and manages its own membership
It’s taken nearly 9 months for the PC to even acknowledge the covenant as it’s existence has slipped from memory over the past 7 or 8 years and the PC bizarrely have resisted the formation of the committee.
A group of 12 people have become active and started voluntary exploration work to get the improvements needed for the Rec, and it was agreed at a PC meeting that both the PC and the residents put the word out to the village that volunteers be sought so that others would be aware and raise their hands if they wished.
However, it later transpired that the chairman refused to acknowledge any interest from any resident that responded to the message sent from the volunteer group, and insisted that only interest sent to him would be considered, and anyone who had responded to the volunteer’s message would have to resend to him it it wouldn’t be accepted. This was never discussed or documented. Naturally this has put some people off
Since then we have learned that he will distribute the names of the people who have raised their hands to the PC councillors who will then rank them out of 10 based on their written application as he has called it, and the PC will select 7 people
Our contention is that this is not a typical PC committee and is in fact a village committee, and that nowhere in the covenant are the PC given any authority over how residents organise themselves.  We believe the resident volunteers should be able to decide for themselves who the 7 volunteers are and in fact the PC process is not transparent and given the animosity is also discriminatory
Any thoughts on whether the PC has the right to do this?  Has anyone else seen a committee like this?
by (940 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
Sounds a complete mess
Once set up surely the stand alone committee created its own standing orders as to how it regulates itself ?
What would happen if the committee didn’t appoint three councillors ?
by (11.5k points)
Apologies for the delayed response and thank you for answering my question.  We solved it by advising the PC they had no right to score people in a closed meeting, when no such process was identified at the ourself and given this was in the public interest, a closed meeting would be against guidelines. This was followed up by the withdrawal of all but 7 names leaving the PC no choice but to appoint the 7 and nominate their 3.  Ridiculous it had to come to that
0 votes
Do you have a copy of the covenant? Does it set out the procedures for the administration of the Rec in a clear and unambiguous manner? Has a bank account been opened for this purpose and, if so, in what name? How long ago was the Rec given to the PC and is the donor still alive?
by (52.8k points)
Apologies for the delayed response and thank you for answering my question.  We solved it by advising the PC they had no right to score people in a closed meeting, when no such process was identified at the ourself and given this was in the public interest, a closed meeting would be against guidelines. This was followed up by the withdrawal of all but 7 names leaving the PC no choice but to appoint the 7 and nominate their 3.  Ridiculous it had to come to that

Done is long gone.  Now that the committee has been established it can, under the constitution the PC adopted 10 years ago, open a bank account and so on.
0 votes
Hi

As Dave notes, to answer your question we would need to see the covenant.

We have an indenture.  The land was gifted to the village and the council is the custodian trustee and the committee of management comprised 4 councillor trustees and 6 parishoner trustees.  The gift was under the 1859 Recreation Ground Act in terms of objectives, and the council could accept it under the Local Government Act 1894.  The indenture lays out the objects and powers of the charitable trust (which it is) and how the Committee of Management is initially appointed and how it is re appointed from there on.  The Parish Council committee members are appointed by the council (when they appoint them that is)

It sounds sort of familiar, including the rear guard action from council chairs, driving a coach and horses though the code of conduct and the councils own procedures, along with failure to respond to questions and accusations of vexatious behaviour from those seeking to re establish the correct legal process.  So some more information would be good, either here or by individual contact.  I would ask tho - who owns the land, is it a charity, is it registered with the land registry and who holds the minute books from when it was formed.  Also, has it any buildings on it?
by (2.5k points)
Apologies for the delayed response and thank you for answering my question.  We solved it by advising the PC they had no right to score people in a closed meeting, when no such process was identified at the ourself and given this was in the public interest, a closed meeting would be against guidelines. This was followed up by the withdrawal of all but 7 names leaving the PC no choice but to appoint the 7 and nominate their 3.  Ridiculous it had to come to that

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