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Commonalty Charity Lands (Reg No 235385)

Many people in the village don’t know how the Commonalty Charity Lands, as it is called, works, and how you can apply for Housing.

The Charity was started in the 14th Century and is one of the longest lasting charities in the Village, and even in the County of Somerset. The Charity in its early days, had many parcels of land in the village that were given by people in their wills; this was to look after the poor of the Parish who received no parochial relief. In the 1800’s, the Charity swapped nearly all their land with the Medlycott Family for Houses, this is most of the housing stock that it owns today. The Charity owns 23 Houses and 2 Flats and also many business premises in the Village: the Butchers, Fish Shop, Computer Shop and Hairdressers above. We also own a couple of fields. Also. we bought the Public Loos, when SSDC put them up for sale, and, along with the Parish Council’s help, we have kept them open.

In the late 1990’s, we were re-organized by the Charity Commissioners. We then had to turn some of our houses into Almshouses to help people with different needs. We also had to have a separate Charity Account to be able to help people with many social needs. This we do, and have helped many in the village over the years! Anybody can access The Commonalty Charity Lands yearly report and that is on the Charity Commissions Website. The detail of our accounts, regarding individuals,  is kept private by the Commonalty Charity and rightly so.

We are made up of 13 Trustees and a Paid Secretary and Treasurer who have no voting rights at all. The present Trustees are Mr R. Duckworth, Mr R. Biss, Mr E. Davis, Mr S. Davis, Mr J. Henshaw, Mr T. Mitchell, Mrs P. Alexander, Mrs K. Starks, Mrs M. Edmonds, Mrs S. Pinkawa, Mrs B. Garrett and Mrs S. Brook.  Decisions made are by the named Trustees only.

 

To apply for one our properties, whether Almshouses or General Housing, firstly write a letter to the Sec of Commonalty Charity C/o 26 Wheathill Way, Milborne Port, DT9 5HA, who will send you an application form. We do not conduct any of our business on the internet or Facebook.

When a property is available the Trustees will draw up a short list and select 3 candidates for interviews.  These people will then have to bring along character references and one reference from their bank. The Trustees will then decide who they think will be most suitable tenant(s) for the Trust. The Alms House rules are slightly different, and we are allowed to look into the person(s) finances. Hope this helps people understand a bit more.  

                                                                      Richard Duckworth (Chair)

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