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Speculation?  Rumour?  Misinformation?

On reading the village magazine I note that the chair of the Parish Council has included a section for the Health and Community Centre in his "state of the Village” update.  It is unfortunate that he chooses to use language like speculation, rumour and misinformation as it does not really reflect the standing of a Parish Councillor within the community. 

Additionally, the only people who have commented on this situation are Ken Wood and myself, both of whom have been chairs of the charity.  I suggest that the Chair of the Parish Council provides some examples and evidence.  For information, I come from the North of England, I don’t relate to the word misinformation.  In my language this means lies
It is now time to put an end to speculation, rumour and lies so that whoever is doing it can be provided with all the facts.

I am now preparing three documents for publication on the web site so that everyone in the village can understand exactly what has happened to this once in a lifetime opportunity to redress the balance of housing and health and community facilities in our village which were identified in 1972.  The documents will also be passed to the relevant authorities for investigation.  They are:

1. The timeline covering the period from the start of the project to the submission of a lease which had been reviewed several times and agreed with the Trustees and Parish Councillors.  After it was finally passed to the Parish Council for signing, it was never seen again.  The timeline includes the transfer of the site to the Parish Council together with grants to cover the cost, the submission of a planning application by the Parish Council and the application to set up a Charity by the Parish Council.  The documents included as evidence will show that the intent of the Parish Council was crystal clear.  Declarations were made which have never been fulfilled.

2. The timeline covering the period from the "serving” of a lease on the trustees of the charity by the Parish Council until the present including several interchanges between the two organisations.  A lease is an agreement between two parties and therefore cannot be "served” on an organisation like a summons.  Does this perhaps give an indication of the new intent of the Parish Council?.   This intent is very different to that provided to the Charity Commission during the application and the Charity Commission made it very clear that the approval for the incorporation was based on the information received from the Parish Council. 

It will also show the desire of the Parish Council to control and make money out of the site.  The "served” lease was the exact opposite of the first agreed lease including the requirement for the charity to sign away their tenant rights. Two solicitors and an expert in charity and trust law (a legal advisor to the Supreme Court) advised strongly that the lease should not be signed as it was not in the best interests of the charity and would not be in accordance with charity law.

3. This will examine what happened in between and what caused the change of intention.  I will also be looking closely at the parish council minutes to see at which meeting of the Parish Council this subject was raised, who proposed and seconded the motion which agreed this U-turn of direction against the wishes of the residents who have been consulted on several occasions.

The first of the documents will be available early next week with the others quickly following.

I write this post because I care about the future of our village, particularly the elderly who are in an increasingly difficult situation.  It is NOT an attempt to have a go at the Parish Council which I was part of for 8 years and understand the good work that they do from day to day working as volunteers. 

This situation needs to be reversed immediately and the original intentions and commitments to our village should be carried out as planned.

Please make your views known to the Parish Council if you agree and also leave a comment at the bottom of this page so that everyone can see it..

Kind regards
Ray Ursell
Past Parish Council chair

Comments submitted - 6 Add your comment

On 14 Jul 2018, Dawn Turner wrote:

Seems to me that those who have been left, are trying to do their best. This has dragged on far too long the opportunity for the pharmacy and the doctors to take up the site no longer exists. So the vision for this site has to change. Better the preschool who are prepared to sign the lease you wouldn't take it on then the site go back to MDDC and the nothing be gained for the village. Just a lot of wasted time!
On 12 Jul 2018, Margaret and David Ritchie wrote:

We wish to object in the strongest possible way to what the Parish Council are proposing for what was the Willand Health & Community Centre. Many of us contributed money towards this and want to know where that money is! It is vital that the village benefits from a much needed facility to meet the growing needs of many, especially the elderly who have nowhere to meet. A pre-school nursery was not the original intention, and they already have a building! There has been no consultation about this unacceptable Uturn. In fact 94% of residents voted in support of the original intention, a Health and Community Centre. Has democracy gone out of the window? I call on the Chairman of the Parish Council to resign in shame! He and the other councillors no longer represent us. Listen to the will of the people for a Health & Community Centre before it is too late!!
On 12 Jul 2018, Joan Martin wrote:

I hope everyone in the village reads the above and the information that Ray is going to provide, especially the very kind people who have donated their hard earned money towards the original project. If the Centre is forgotten about it will be a disgrace. As for using the premises for a Nursery which will be part of the Pre-School I can't see how that is anywhere near what the Charity Commission was told it would be. I am also worried about all the extra cars that it would bring. There isn't enough room for the vehicles belonging to parents of the School and Pre-school as it is without extra ones. Also there is already a nursery in Willand on Uffculme Road but there is nothing like the project that the Health and Community Centre promised. What a loss to the village.
On 12 Jul 2018, Peter Vile wrote:

This whole event seems to be very strange. All one has to do is to obey both the law and the Rules of the Charity Commission. The reasons why this has not been done seem to be a secret. I look forward to a full report, including answers from the Parish Council to the questions raised by Ray. If the Parish Council cannot come up with the answers, is it fit for purpose?
On 12 Jul 2018, Kaye Wood wrote:

Interesting & informative article regarding the Parish Council & their lack of responsiveness to the wishes of many of the inhabitants of the Parish. A Community Health Centre in the Gables containing an amenity that best served those villagers, some with the most need, was totally disregarded by the Parish Council. Many parishioners donated hard earned money towards the funds. What has happened to those generous donations? Furthermore, with an ever increasing demand on social & health services will mean that many will not be able to have their needs met.
On 12 Jul 2018, Ken Wood wrote:

What Ray is saying is absolutely correct. Having spent two years failing to get the parish council to realise that what they were demanding. which fell far short of their original intention, would kill the WH&CC project. It will be interesting to see how the next documents reveal that the behaviour of the PC brought all this the hard work to a disastrous finish.