AGM Held 24th November 2016
Minutes of Mark Community Land Trust (MCLT) - Annual General Meeting
Held at Mark Church Hall, Vicarage Lane, Mark, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 4NN 7pm on Thursday 24th November 2016
MCLT Steering Group - Simon Emary (SE) (Chairman), Geoff Francis (GF) (Deputy Chair), Jan Horn (JH) (Company Secretary), John Spencer (JS) (Treasurer), Gareth Woodcock (GW)
Mike Schollar (MS), Steve Watson (SW) – Wessex Community Land Trust Project (WCLTP), Alison Ward (AW) – (WCLTP), Esther Carter – Somerset District Council (SDC), Duncan Harvey (SDC)
Members – Paul & Jean Abbot, Jonathan Howse, Malcom Fisher, Mark and Sue Johnson, Will Human, Peter Horn, Liz Hall, Mark Undrill, Norman Lees, Colin Holdom, Vivienne Dix, Amanda & Lee Bradley, Geoffrey & Lesley Catterall, Fred Cooper, Neil Corkish, Ann & Tom Hanlon, Marion Pudner, Leslie & Susan Smith, Tony Hockin, Alison Short, Joan Thompson, Mike & Jean White, Martin Winter (Total attending members 36 including 5 pre-existing CLT board members as above, and 1 Steering Group member as above (MS))
Results of Ballot – Pronounced by John Spencer
A total of 93 papers were submitted, 2 were spoiled, and 1 was from a non-member, leaving a count total of 90.
"In view of the lack of support for the Northwick Rd development by the District Councillor, Mark Parish Council and the number of objections, I resolve that the MCLT should withdraw their Planning Application in order to focus on a more viable location." – Mark Johnson.
For 25, against 63, 2 abstentions. Resolution not adopted.
The director appointments concluded the planned business and the meeting closed at 8pm, with SE thanking all for their attendance and ongoing support.
APPENDIX I - Directors Report – MCLT AGM November 24th 2016 delivered by Simon Emary, Chairman
As Chair of the Mark Community Land Trust Board of Directors, I would like to welcome you and thank you for coming to this AGM, which may well be a momentous one for the future of Mark CLT and the board.
It is hard to believe just how far the CLT has come in such a short time, and in the face of some unexpected and potentially terminal challenges.
Since its formation in early 2015, the Mark CLT’s membership has steadily grown to an impressive 117 members and shareholders.
Personally, I think this level of support for the CLT is fantastic and fully justifies its formation and the work of the CLT. Helping those in their community, most in housing need, by providing new affordable homes, on land owned by the community, benefits our community now and generations to come.
Mark CLT will retain the freehold of the land on which the proposed new homes would be built in Mark.
For the benefit of new members, there is little dispute that Mark needs new affordable rented homes as demonstrated by the Housing Needs Survey. In Early 2014 and responding to this need, Mark Parish Council decided that a community led approach to building new affordable homes was the right way forward. This decision led to the creation of the Mark Community Land Trust.
The Mark Community Land Trust (MCLT) is a non-profit, community-based organisation run by unpaid local people.
The CLT Board is made up of volunteers and may develop housing, affordable and specifically for the benefit of the local community. It may also undertake to save the local shop, a pub, post office, or any other facility that is a benefit to the community. The CLT has to operate in accordance with rules registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
For the last 18 months the CLT board has been working towards providing a development of 12 affordable rented homes (4x1 bed, 6x2 bed and 2x3 bed) for local people who have a strong connection with the parish, who cannot find a suitable home at a price they can afford.
The decision to focus on the Northwick Road parcel of land was not taken lightly. We looked at a total of 16 possible parcels of land. The Northwick Road land was the only site which is adjacent to the village development boundary and which is available, suitable and achievable.
The Board recognises there is some opposition to the preferred site and understands the concerns of local residents, which mainly revolves around Highways safety and drainage issues. Consequently, during the design process, we recognised these issues and considerable work has been done to address them in the planning application. As a result, the Planning Application has received no objections from the County Council Highways department or the Drainage Board.
On balance, the Board believes that building 12 new affordable rented homes in Northwick Road is the right thing to do, and is in the best interests of the wider Mark community.
So what have we achieved since the previous AGM…lots, despite some severe challenges?
We have secured the support of the current landowner in Northwick Road to sell us the land. We have established a flexible housing project which will offer a range of housing for local people.
We have secured the support of an established housing association partner (South Western Housing Society) who specialise in rural affordable housing, to manage the proposed development.
Despite many other affordable housing projects being abandoned as a direct result of the government’s rent cutting regime and withdrawal of housing grants, we have safeguarded over £1m of development finance required to build these proposed new homes.
This investment includes a £216,000 grant from the government and a further £240,000 grant from Sedgemoor District Council. Without these grants the proposed new homes could not be built. These grants are inextricably linked to the construction of these new homes being completed by March 2018. If the proposed project cannot meet these deadlines, the funding will be lost, as it cannot be transferred to another site in Mark.
The planning application for these homes will be discussed by Sedgemoor District Council’s Development Committee on 6th December.
I now need to bring to your attention to the resolution that has been tabled by a member. Due to the potential impact of this resolution the board felt it necessary to ensure we had input from all our members and so decided to organise a ballot to obtain their vote on this fundamental resolution.
Ballot papers submitted by members both before and at the beginning of this meeting will be counted by board member and Treasurer John Spencer. The ballot paper must include the voters name and signature. In the case of electronic submissions, a supporting email from the members registered email address and full name suffice. A vote made by a cross or a tick will be deemed acceptable. Papers will only be invalid if there are votes both for & against any resolution or show votes for more than 3 directors.
You have been sent a copy of our accounts and will note that expenditure to date has been £26.4333.10 which has been mostly financed by grants received from groundworks UK (an agency that manages government funding) from whom we have just received the final grant of £16364.50.
So to summarise, we now have a proposed scheme of affordable rented homes for local people and which also has the necessary funding in place to bring this much needed project to fruition.