Cotley Hill

Parish of Heytesbury, Imber, Knook and Tytherington




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Heytesbury, Knook & Tytherington Villages

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At the Parish Council meeting on 25 April, questions were put to the Chair regarding the Raymond Trust Fund and the availability of funds for village projects, including a village hall. The Council, being the trustee, stated that it had identified some issues that might prove problematic.  The Council has taken specialist legal advice and is in contact with the Charity Commission who regulate trust matters.  These issues are, it believes, now close to being concluded.

Whilst it was stated at the meeting that the Raymond trustee would report fully on these matters at the Annual meeting in September, a request was made that the trustee should make an interim report.  The trustee is happy to give the following summary:

"Records for Raymond Trust meetings and actions over a lengthy period of time have been found to be in extremely short supply and many documents that should have been in place may well never have existed.  This appears to have been caused by several changes in trustees (including at one stage the Public Trustee and a solicitor) before being passed to the Parish Council. However, the funds have been well invested with M & G Charibond and the original investment of some 8,000, following the eventual sale of Raymond Hall, is currently worth around 170,000.  Despite the Trust assets having been invested in non-income generating funds under advice from solicitors, this was clearly inappropriate for the objectives of the original Trust Deed created in 1935 and recent amendments. This has in no way detrimentally affected the potential value of trust investments.

The Raymond Trust deed permits the trustee to apply the whole value of the trust funds (capital and accumulated income) for the purchase of land and building of a village hall.  It also permits use of funds for other charitable purposes but in almost every case likely to arise, applications will need to be made to the Charity Commissioner for consent to a change in trust objective.

The trustees are working as quickly as possible to put the trust in a position where it can deal with the likely demands on its assets.  It is hoped to have this completed in the next few weeks and will be announced in detail in September when, under the specific terms of the Trust Deed, an annual meeting of villagers will be called."