Most people in Queensbury are rightly outraged that Bradford Council are considering Littlemoor Park as a site to build a new Crematorium. Littlemoor and one other Private site has been shortlisted. Littlemoor, as a site of Conservation Value, A Bradford Wildlife Area, A Priority Habitat and Network and gifted in perpetuity to the people of Queensbury should not be considered as building land. Here’s the story in a nutshell:
In order to build on Littlemoor, the Council have to ask the Trustees (Cllr’s of the planning committee) to ask for permission to approach the Charity Commission for a ‘Scheme’.
The Charity Commission can either accept that part of the land can be sold or it can deny the request.
The Council are forced to approach the Charity Commission as Littlemoor was gifted to the people and held in Trust as a “Green Lung” for all time.
The Friends of Littlemoor Park objected to an approach to the Charity Commission and the Trust agreed asking the Council to perform a public consultation before moving forward.
At present (October 2018), the Council are conducting a feasibility study before reporting this in January. IF Littlemoor is still a feasible site, then a public consultation will take place. The Friends of Littlemoor Park will insist on this following the guidelines set out by the Charity commission. They State:
“It is for the trustees to decide what form the consultation should take and this will vary depending on the changes being proposed. As there is no legal requirement to carry out a consultation exercise, we do not prescribe any particular format for the consultation. However, by way of illustration, where the changes are relatively minor, for example an uncontroversial change of name or a straightforward extension of the beneficiary class of an almshouse, the trustees would need to carry out a very basic level of consultation. Where the proposed changes are more significant, for example the change of use of a charity’s property, we would expect the consultation to be more vigorous including some (or all) of the following:
- publication of proposals on appropriate websites and in local media (which should clearly explain what is involved)
- open days and exhibitions
- public meetings (open and accessible to the general public)
- meetings with staff and volunteers and any beneficiaries who would be directly affected by the proposals – such as the residents of almshouses, church members or users of the village hall
- meetings (or focus groups) with user and other interest groups
- meetings (or focus groups) with people who have particular needs, such as people with disabilities and people from minority ethnic groups
- questionnaire based surveys (postal or face to face)
- local parish referenda
- formal written consultation exercises
However the consultation is carried out, it should be clear that this is being carried out on behalf of the charity. For instance, where a Local Authority is trustee of a recreation ground, it would not be sufficient for the Local Authority to present the results of a consultation it carried out in its role of Local Authority rather than as trustee of the charity.
If any responses to the trustees’ consultation are sent to us we should forward these to the charity’s trustees. We will only deal directly with representations where these are sent to us following our giving public notice.”
By the end of January, IF the Council have submitted their feasibility study as expected and do what the people of Queensbury expect, we will be hopefully have some good news to relay!