Villagers sack community trust board

MORE than 400 angry villagers joined together to boot out the board of a community trust after accusing it of acting undemocratically. More than 400 people packed into Capel St Mary Village Hall last night for the Capel Community Trust's Annual General Meeting, with many turning out to protest about Trust's handling of a planning proposal with Redrow Homes.

MORE than 400 angry villagers joined together to boot out the board of a community trust after accusing it of acting undemocratically.

More than 400 people packed into Capel St Mary Village Hall last night for the Capel Community Trust's Annual General Meeting, with many turning out to protest about Trust's handling of a planning proposal with Redrow Homes.

The Trust, which is responsible for the recreation ground and community centre, recently made public controversial plans to build 85 houses on its playing field in exchange for extra land and community facilities.

However, opponents say there was a lack of transparency with the information and that no legal public consultation was held.


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The highly-charged, and at times personal, feud between the Trust and the Concerned Residents' Action Group came to a head at the AGM.

Both sides had waged a propaganda war in the run-up to the vote, with each claiming a culture of mistrust against the other.

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Four out of five trustees were subsequently voted off and replaced by four members of the action group, who today pledged more openness with the development.

Derek Hurley, of the Concerned Residents' Action Group, said: "I wanted to overthrow them because I felt the process was not democratic.

"I have no confidence in them. The information has been dribbled out.

"When something like this (the development proposal) occurs, there are certain decisions when an organisation should refer it higher up."

Andrew Agent, who was voted off the board, said the meeting had been overtaken by a "sea of emotion" and would not reflect the long-term welfare of the Trust.

He said he had arranged a public exhibition and ballot, but later discovered it was not the correct procedure.

According to the Charities Commission and the Trust's mandate, they must arrange a public meeting with 14 days notice and vote by a show of hands.

This has now been handed over to the parish council, who will run a consultation and vote on whether to apply for planning permission on May 4.

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