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COLYTON: Questions over membership of Feoffees shut down at meeting

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

FORMER parish councillor Paul Arnott has complained that he was not able to question Colyton Chamber of Feoffees over the group’s lack of female members at the recent annual town meeting. Mr Arnott attempted to ask questions on the Feoffees at the parish meeting held in April following a report by chairman Kevin Budden, but was told by chairman of the parish council, Councillor Andrew Parr, that questions were not being taken on this subject, despite members of the public being able to raise queries after all other reports. Mr Arnott has since put his question forward in a letter to Pulman’s View: “Please may I thank your reporter for boosting the attendance at Colyton's annual parish meeting to 16 souls? This meant that the numbers of locals there very nearly equalled the numbers of councillors and officials present. It wasn't clear who was looking at who. “The paper reported (April 29th) that I was prevented from asking a question by the chairman, Councillor Andrew Parr’s, which was odd, as the agenda states that by law any parish matters may be discussed at this meeting. It was a bit embarrassing to be honest, as this year's Feoffee chairman is very well-respected and I'm sure would have given a level answer to my question. “The question was: a year ago Pulman’s View reported that all councillors had been provided by me with the law regarding charities, and their legal obligation to ensure all communities are represented. Yet since then, Colyton Parish Council has carried on using its constitutional power to appoint Feoffees to nominate three more men - and no women. The Feoffees have themselves appointed another man - 4-0. “The Feoffees are a registered charity, not a members' club or a lodge. So why are there still no women Feoffees? “An answer from anyone would be most welcome. Hopefully better than Councillor Parr's last year that they couldn't think of any, and Councillor Colin Pady's that it was traditional.” Mr Arnott said he also intended to ask about the Feoffees’ ownership of land in the parish. Pulman’s View attempted to contact Colyton Parish Council and Kevin Budden, chairman of the Feoffees, for a comment but they were unavailable due to the Bank Holiday weekend.


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