Thursday, 6 July 2017

Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultation > the Charity Commission and potential conflicts of interest

The Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue website has done a huge amount of research into the Port Royal area:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultation > a full analysis and a proper alternative scoping study

The latest offering not only gives more background information - but brings to light the possibility of conflicts of interest and the potential involvement of the Charity Commission:

Get involved in saving Sidmouth Drill Hall ..... this is a relaunch!
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Dear Friends,
With reference to the Port Royal Survey.
I have completed the two web pages with as much background as I can manage at the moment, and will now turn my attention to other things.
The web pages are
I can not stress too strongly that we have to act NOW.

The first meeting of Sidmouth Town Council after the Survey closes is on the 14th of August. It is very likely that they will make their decision on the redevelopment at this meeting. Once the decision is made the ‘gateway’ closes and it will be extremely difficult to reconsider, it may even require a legal appeal. The terms for this Scoping Exercise were laid out very clearly and we would be fools not to take them seriously.
The only positive is that if the decision is against the proposal then that will also be binding, or should be!

There seems to me no reason why the area could not be improved without resorting to a huge block containing apartments. There were many alternatives put forward in the Re-imagining Port Royal competition and I have a few myself, so why has the consultation only brought forward one option? And why does that option include use of the Ham whose Charity Trustee is Sidmouth Town Council and its Councillors? There is a clear conflict of interest.

As well as completing the Survey I urge you all to spread the word and encourage others to complete it too. The other very useful step we can all take is to let our Councillors know our opinions. For that purpose I list their email addresses, taken from the Council website, below. If you are not a resident of Sidmouth then please write to the Chairman.

If we do not tell them what we think then they have no way of knowing whether the town cares at all about their decision. They are there to represent us, and to only make decisions on their own if no strong feelings have been conveyed to them. If they do not choose to represent the wishes of their constituents then they can be replaced with people who will. I am sure our Councillors care about the town and don’t want to throw away all the good they can do by ignoring strong opinions in the town.

There is also the legal problem created by the conflict of interest over the Ham land, the Charity Commission will step in to block anything which goes against the Governing Document of the Charity if it is not in the interests of the beneficiaries. In this case the Governing Document is the Conveyance and the beneficiaries are the inhabitants of and visitors to Sidmouth.

If the Town Council should pass this proposal then we need to complain very loudly to the Charity Commission. There will then be no boat park on the Ham and the Sailing Club will be in extreme future difficulties.

Tell your Councillor what you expect for the Ham.

I am trying to arrange for a public meeting and other publicity, of which there will be more details soon.

Kind regards, Mary

Rescue Sidmouth Drill Hall - Sidmouth Drill Hall Rescue
Port Royal proposed redevelopment, update

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