The Town Council of the small South Wales Town of Caldicot has taken upon itself to make a vote of no confidence towards a local Community Interest Company and Monmouthshire County Council.
Caldicot Town Team a Community Interest Company has been established in the town since 2014 and since 2013 as a community group. Operated by a small group of unpaid directors and volunteers the CTT have established an action plan to regenerate the town and encourage community growth.
The CTT has been building in popularity amongst the residents of Caldicot and Monmouthshire County Council. The CTT has been working closely with landlords in the town centre with regards to a PopUp shop project and to ultimately oversee the creation of a linkage between the existing town and the new Asda supermarket.
However, one organisation has not taken well to the work of the CTT and despite approving applications put forth by the CTT have decided to issue a vote of no confidence towards the Caldicot Town Team. So, what does this mean?
This is an unprecedented chain of events as the entire basis of the vote seems to be non-existent. The Town Council have vaguely claimed that the CTT is not doing enough for the community. The evidence for the contrary is overwhelming.
Interestingly in December 2015 another Community Interest Company was established in Caldicot under the name of The Severnside Development Trust. Its directors are made up of:
Sally Bailey, Alan Davies, David John Evans and Ian Price Wills. Out of these people they are all either members of the Town Council or former members of the Town Council with exception to Ian Wills who is an accountant.
Other than the available information for this new C.I.C there is no other public information available however there is speculation that the organisation intends to takeover the management of several key locations in Caldicot including The Castle & Country Grounds and the local Leisure Centre.
We, The Shonk find this sort of behaviour very nefarious and peculiar, why would an organisation that exists to serve the people of the town act with hostility towards a community organisation? Why would they make the accusation that the CTT doesn’t contribute at all to the community? Why would they deem it rational to take a vote of no confidence?
Additionally the Town Council have called for a public meeting, the intention of which is to allow the CTT and its’ supporters to come along to defend it. The minimum amount of time to announce a public meeting is three days, the council have allowed for four days for this meeting and have only advertised it on a noticeboard in the town centre. To an outsider it might seem like they’re trying to arrange it at last minute to ensure fewer numbers, who can say?
What does this mean? Well, realistically it doesn’t mean anything to CTT. A Community Interest Company has no obligation to justify itself to any organisation unless it was acting against its constitution and special resolution. Regardless of the outcome of the public meeting the Town Council doesn’t actually have any power to enforce any decision in fact there isn’t really a decision that they can arrive at other than ‘oh we were wrong about you’ or ‘we still don’t really like you despite you doing nothing wrong’.
At best this meeting and this vote serves to do nothing than damage the reputation of the CTT.
The vote against MCC is a little more understandable, ultimately Caldicot is a predominately Labour town in a predominately Conservative County, Peter Fox, Leader of the MCC is himself a Conservative. The general opinion from residents in Caldicot is that the town has been somewhat neglected by MCC for a long time with plans rarely coming to light or even being considered for the town. However, MCC and Peter Fox support CTT so maybe it’s part of the same agenda.
Despite all of this the CTT is carrying out projects which should have been managed by either the Town Council or MCC. Including the installation of mixed recycling bins in the town shopping centre and the biggest project of all overseeing S106 funds for the creation of a link between the town centre and the new Asda building.
The Town Council have criticised the CTT and MCC for delays in starting this scheme however the reasons for the delay are not due to either organisation but due to a third party, despite the delays the plan has not been suspended.
Overall this is a very unusual chain of events.
The meeting is taking place on Tuesday 10th May at 6:30 at the Caldicot Town Council office.
The CTT have so far setup and managed a series of markets in the town centre of differing theme including a vintage market and an arts and crafts market. These markets have been met with great success and positivity within the community. Several market traders from other towns have already committed to attend these markets instead.
The CTT is also launching a Popup Shop scheme in the town centre which will allow budding entrepenuaers and community groups to utilise a longtime empty shop to advertise their product or organisation.
These are just a few examples of what the CTT are doing in Caldicot and this is just what we hear about. We would tell you what the town council is doing but we don’t know, we rarely do.
The Council have chosen not to disclose who voted in favour of no confidence nor have they allowed the Minutes to be accessed as of yet.
We urge anyone in and around Caldicot to attend the meeting on Tuesday and show your support for the CTT. Any long time resident of Caldicot will know that organisations have come and gone in the past and very little has been done, however the town now has an innovative organisation that is pushing for results, it also has a Town Council.