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COLYTON : Links between council and Feoffees sparks request for more information

Thursday, 03 July 2014

CONCERNS over close links between Colyton Parish Council and the Colyton Chamber of Feoffees have continued with a Freedom of Information request being made to the council. Concerns about the personal interests of parish councillors who are also members of the Feoffees were recently raised when a planning application for 25 houses came forward. Councillor Sheila Smith argued that councillors who were also Feoffees should have declared personal interests when discussing the application for houses on land next to the Peace Memorial Playing Field, as Jim McCarthy of James McCarthy and Company Limited, the agent for the application, was also a Feoffee. However, council chairman and Feoffee Andrew Parr argued that his involvement with the charity was already listed on his Register of Interests and it was, therefore, not necessary to state his interest every time a matter relating to the Feoffees was raised, especially in this case as he had no personal or business dealings with Mr McCarthy. Former parish councillor Paul Arnott, who backed Councillor Smith in her argument, has now submitted a Freedom of Information request to Colyton Parish Council, seeking more information on its links with the Feoffees. Mr Arnott’s request states: “Colyton Parish Council has the duty to appoint the five nominated trustees of the Colyton Chamber of Feoffees, the name used by the Parish Lands Charity, registered charity 243224.The governing document of the charity was revised in 1998. “Please supply a schedule of the names of all Feoffee trustees nominated by Colyton Parish Council from 1998-2014, giving the date of their nomination or re-nominaton, and the length of their term of office.” Mr Arnott, who has also argued in the past that it is against legislation on charitable organisations that the Feoffees only has male members, has also asked for the council to indicate whether its nominations were male or female. His request continues: “Please indicate which of the parish councillors who are also Feoffees rent land from the Feoffees or/and the parish council. “Please advise the rent paid by the tenants to the Feoffees and/or the parish council. Please advise when the tenancies of these lands are offered for tender.” Colyton Parish Council is obligated to respond to the request by July 18th.


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