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Our latest news
Our share offer is live!
Our community share issue for the Fielden Acre project in Todmorden is up and running (and has already brought in £29,000, we notice). You can invest anything from £250 to £20,000 via the Ethex ethical investment platform. Go to www.ethex.org.uk/caldervalleyclt.
Our share launch
A big thank you if you were one of the 68 people with us for the share issue launch last Saturday. We appreciated very much that so many people were prepared to give up their weekend time to be with us. We hope, if you were there, that you found it useful.
New summary leaflet available
And yet more information
Our share offer document and business plan have now had the attentions of a graphic designer at one of the local print companies. We like what he’s done. Both documents are available at the Ethex webpage or at www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/fieldenacre/
Do you tweet?
If so, you can really help the share issue get offer to a great start. Our handle is @cvclt1. We are using the hashtags #fieldenacre, #communityshares and #communityledhousing.
Would rather not invest online?
We can send you a paper Application Form, at the back of the share offer document. Let us know (email@example.com)
Committed to invest?
22 people told us before the launch that they were going to invest, which meant that we had £42,000 already committed when we launched. Thank you if you were one of these.
Not able to invest?
Not a problem. Remember that you can become a member of the CLT for a single £1 share. If you’re not already a member, we’d love to have you signed up. Our application form is on https://caldervalleyclt.org.uk/get-involved/
More about Ethex
We have chosen to ask the ethical investment platform Ethex to handle the logistics of our community share issue, something they are doing for a growing number of community share issues like ours. The Ethex story (how, after much planning, a sort-of ethical ‘stock exchange’ was established) is an interesting one, and you can read about it on the Ethex site. Jamie Hartzell who was the inspiration behind the idea came to the Calder Valley in 2018 to speak at one of our ‘Housing – It’s an Issue’ public meetings, so you may remember him from then.
And more about community shares
Community share issues like ours have helped fund cooperative village shops and village pubs, community-owned wind turbines and renewable energy projects, organic farming ventures and of course other community-led housing initiatives.
Because community share investments are not protected in the way that, for example, bank deposits and building society savings are protected, Ethex is quite rightly concerned that investors know what they are doing. This is why you will be asked when you invest on Ethex to answer questions to demonstrate your understanding of the share issue. Please accept this necessary procedural safeguard.
It’s very important for the future development of the community share movement that community shares are only issued for robust initiatives. That was why we wanted to ensure that the Fielden Acre business plan was independently examined and approved for the quality Community Shares Standard Mark.
Banners are up
Our trustee Maggie Smallwood and her partner Shaun were busy on Friday evening, putting up banners at the Todmorden roundabout and at the Fielden Hall itself. We think they look pretty good…
Some thank yous
We are enormously grateful to the actor Kevin Doyle (Downton Abbey, Happy Valley etc) for endorsing our share issue, and for making videos for our website. His commitment to the upper Calder valley (where he lives) shines through.
We also need to thank Steve, Lucy and Peg from Leeds Community Homes, who have been helping us with the share issue marketing (they also ensured that the technical side of the launch went smoothly). We were able to attract some grant funding to be able to pay for their time and expertise. Leeds Community Homes ran a successful community share launch a few years ago, so we are hoping to emulate their success.
Can you support our work by joining our Advisory Panel?
We are now ready to establish an Advisory Panel for the CLT, of people with skills, experience and professional expertise which we can call on as and when we need it.
This is a significant step forward for us. Please consider carefully whether you’ve got skills (or know someone with skills) that we might find useful.
Can you, for example, tick any of the following?
- Housing: Housing for special needs; Housing for older people; Housing for those with disabilities; Housing management; Tenant relations; Housing consultancy; Co-housing; Community-led housing; Other
- Construction/Technical: Housing design; Groundworks; Engineering; Cost estimating/control; Modern methods of construction; Straw bale construction; Traditional build construction; Electrical; Water; Build project management; Planning process; Refurbishment/empty properties; Other
- Environmental: Energy generation; Energy usage; Insulation; Heat pumps; Solar; Passivhaus construction; Landscaping; Tree management/planting; Other
- Financial: Accountancy; Other
- Governance: Governance issues; Social impact assessment; Other
- Fundraising: Fundraising from local sources; Fundraising from national sources; Community shares; Other
- Legal: Housing law; Commercial contracts; Charity law; GDPR and privacy; Employment law; Other
- HR: Recruitment; HR issues; Other
- Diversity and Community engagement: Equality & diversity policy; LGBTQ communities; S Asian community in Todmorden; Disability issues; Other
- Marketing: PR; Social media; Other
We don’t expect to call on Advisory Panel members necessarily all the time, but we will be organising regular get-togethers for Panel members, at least on a yearly basis. We had planned to launch the Panel with an informal reception, but instead we’ll arrange sometime online, in later October or November.
We have a very simple application form for Advisory Panel members. Request it from Andrew our Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org
Strengthening our board
Following our recent recruitment process, we are delighted to welcome three new members to the CLT board. Thank you to Anne Sutcliffe, Sally Hinton and Abigail Gregory for agreeing to join us. All will be coopted/appointed until the 2021 AGM, when they will submit to the usual election process by CLT members.
Details of the new trustees are up on our website www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/who-we-are/.
Our social impact survey
Thank you if you responded to our request to take part in our ‘social impact’ survey last month. We closed the survey at the end of August when 101 people had responded. The results are, we think, very interesting and will help us plan the way forward for the CLT.
The full social impact report is available on the website. Just click http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/socialvalue.pdf.
· 101 completed surveys received: 25% response rate
· 80% regularly read the CVCLT monthly Newsletter
· 60% mention CVCLT to friends and colleagues
· 10 had recruited other people to be members
· 42% had attended the public meetings on ‘Housing – an Issue’ in 2018
· 87% understood the CVCLT aims quite well or very well
· Respondents have greater knowledge about local issues and the CVCLT than about national issues.
· Respondents have greater knowledge about housing need than about broader topics such as the community-led housing movement and the role of social housing providers
· 76-79% respondents believed that the contribution of CVCLT to housing issues had been significant.
· 61% felt that the contribution to equity and inequality had been significant.
· Of the 86 respondents who answered what should CVCLT priorities be over next 2 years, 73% said ‘creating affordable homes’; 19% ‘raising awareness of housing issues’; and 12% acquiring heritage or disused buildings on behalf of the community
· 85% of respondents lived in the Upper Calder Valley, 58% were women, 75% were aged 60+ years and 97% were white British.
CVCLT is getting known
We’re one of the few Community Land Trusts in the country to have chosen to become a Registered Provider of Social Housing, and to submit to the regime overseen by the Regulator of Social Housing. The Confederation of Co-operative Housing (CCH) thinks this makes us potentially of interest to other CLTs, and have commissioned Phillippa Hughes of Sheffield University to research and write a short case study. You can read it here: https://www.cch.coop/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/cch_casestudy_Calder-Valley-WEB-SINGLES.pdf
National publicity for Walsden development too
Our Walsden development has attracted national attention. We must admit that we’re pretty pleased that a photo of Birks Court is on the home page of the National CLT Network’s website (http://www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk/).
The Housing Learning Improvement Network include an account of our partnership with local almshouse John Eastwood in a recent briefing note: http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/HLINViewpoint.pdf. We’re also featured in the latest issue of Almshouse Gazette: http://www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/images/AAGazette.jpeg
HB Signal box update
We now have detailed plans from our architect Jacquie Milham and costings from our quantity surveyor Andrew Webster, to enable us to progress the project and seek grant funding. The Railway Heritage Trust has in principle agreed to part-fund the work, but the National Lottery Heritage Fund (with whom we have discussed a possible funding bid) are not currently accepting new applications, because of covid-19. There is therefore an inevitable hiatus.
Once we have been able to submit a bid to the Heritage Fund we will also be able to go back to Network Rail, to negotiate the details of the proposed leasehold transfer.
In the meantime, we’ve just been told that an interesting video showing the signal box in use has been made produced by the Signalling Record Society and can be viewed on their website here.
Walsden development is case study for flood alleviation
We are impressed by the work which the Slow the Flow Calderdale group has been undertaking in recent years to try to help alleviate some of the flooding problems the valley has been suffering in recent years, so we’re delighted that our Birks Court development in Walsden is now featured on the Slow the Flow website as a case study in good practice.
You’ll find the case study here: http://slowtheflow.net/category/case-studies/
Our Annual Review
We’ve an illustrated 2020-2021 Annual Review. Contact us if you’d like a hard copy. Ot just look at the PDF online. You’ll find it at www.caldervalleyclt.org.uk/docs/2020review.pdf.
The national picture
Several of our trustees have been participating in Zoom discussions organised by the National CLT Network. It’s always interesting to know what CLTs are doing elsewhere, and there is now a great deal of collective experience in the movement. We’ve been approached recently for advice by two CLTs considering going through the procedure to become ‘Registered Providers’ of social housing. Since we are one of the few CLTs with RP status we’ve been pleased to offer what advice we can.
We have also been hearing about how other CLTs try to measure their social impact and community engagement, something we’d like to do better. So, watch this space for more on this.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, we have received feasibility funding from the Community Housing Fund to do some more work on the proposed development at High St, Hebden Bridge, to see if we can satisfy the planning concerns raised in 2019. Our thinking now is, if we are able to progress a development on this site, we will probably do it in partnership with another not-for-profit organisation engaged in social housing provision.
Todmorden town centre development
Calderdale’s Cabinet approved a paper in March setting out exciting proposals for the Bramsche Square/Rose Street area of central Todmorden. (You’ll find it here: https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/nweb/COUNCIL.minutes_pkg.view_doc?p_Type=AR&p_ID=72733). The council has identified the CLT as a potential partner for the proposed residential part of the overall development, and we’re naturally keen to talk further to the council about how this would work. The Rose Street site (where the old health centre was) is flat, and – given its central location – would we feel be very suitable for older people’s accommodation. We’ll share more details about this (potentially very exciting project) as soon as we can.
ARCHIVE OF PRESS RELEASES:
Wanted! Local charities’ independent-living bungalows need their first residents (8 Jan 2020)
Bungalows being built at Walsden through the voluntary efforts of two local charities are now nearing completion and will be ready to receive their first residents in March.
The six two-bedroom bungalows help meet a pressing need for affordable housing for rent in the upper valley. All are designed for older people who need easy-to-maintain homes purpose-built for independent living. The two charities, Calder Valley Community Land Trust and John Eastwood Homes, are now inviting applications from potential residents. All six will be available to people over 65 who have a strong connection to Todmorden.
Simon Brearley, Chair of Calder Valley CLT, said: “This development has successfully demonstrated that community-led initiatives can create much-needed new homes through direct bottom-up voluntary efforts. We’re absolutely thrilled that our bungalows will soon be being lived in.”
Chris Barker of John Eastwood Homes almshouse trust said: “We know already from our existing twelve bungalows in Walsden how much demand there is for accommodation of this kind. We’ve been delighted to work with Calder Valley CLT in this pioneering community partnership.”
The bungalows have been designed with two bedrooms, to allow for residents to receive guests or to have overnight carers. They are on land in Birks Lane, Walsden, close to the main bus route and to the station.
Calder Valley CLT, who will retain four bungalows, is choosing to use the KeyChoice on-line system (also used by local housing associations) for their allocation process and applications can be made this week (January 8) and next. Potential applicants who have not already registered on KeyChoice ares asked to do so as soon as possible. There will also be a short supplementary questionnaire for shortlisted applicants. The bungalows will be allocated only to people over 65 with at least ten years’ residency in the Todmorden Town Council area, or exceptionally to those who have very strong reasons for needing to be housed in Todmorden.
Applications will be assessed on housing need. The CLT has asked two independent housing experts (one from a local housing association and one from the council) to join them on the Allocations Panel to ensure that procedures are followed fairly.
John Eastwood Homes, the local almshouse trust which already has twelve homes in Walsden, will operate a slightly different application process. Details of how to join the John Eastwood waiting list can be obtained through their administrator David Storah at 46 Halifax Rd, Todmorden (01706 813214). Their criteria are also a little different, and they require applicants to have at least twenty years’ residency in Todmorden.
Simon Brearley and Chris Barker both warn that they are expecting very strong demand for the new homes and that unfortunately not everyone who applies will be able to be selected.
The development has been overseen by the volunteer trustees of Calder Valley CLT, a member organisation with 150 local supporters as members. The total cost is over £800,000, and the funds have been found in part through a grant from the government’s agency Homes England of £240,000. Local people have contributed over £60,000 in community share investments and John Eastwood Homes has also invested in the project, as well as meeting two-sixths of the total build costs. Further support has come from the Quaker Housing Trust and Calderdale council, which gifted the land to the CLT. A bank loan of £170,000 completes the funding package.
Simon Brearley added: “It’s taken four years of hard work to get the finance assembled and to progress the detailed plans for the development. Our builders have also had to cope with particularly wet Autumnal weather. But, once completed, we’re sure that these six new bungalows will very quickly become a much-loved addition to local Walsden life.”
The two charities will be holding an open day to celebrate the completion of the bungalows in late February.
Building work starts on six new bungalows for local older people
(Press release, Mon March
The bungalows, which will be let on affordable rents to local older people, are the result of a successful partnership between the Calder Valley Community Land Trust, the Todmorden-based almshouse charity John Eastwood Homes and Calderdale Council.
Under the scheme, four of the bungalows will be owned and run by the Community Land Trust, while the remaining two will be owned by John Eastwood Homes. The almshouse trust, set up under the terms of Todmorden resident John Eastwood in his will, already operate twelve similar bungalows in Walsden. The land for the bungalows has been gifted to the CLT by Calderdale Council, which has worked closely with the
Andrew Bibby, Secretary of Calder Valley Community Land Trust, said: “We’re delighted to have arrived at the point where we can demonstrate that community-led housing actually delivers results. The new bungalows will be energy-efficient, cheap to heat, and designed to meet the needs of older local people. They will be homes which we know will be much loved by their residents.”
Chris Barker, Trustee of John Eastwood Homes, said: “We know already how much demand there is for bungalows like this in Walsden and Todmorden. We are thrilled that very soon another six bungalows will be taking their first new residents.”
Cllr Dan Sutherland, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing and Environment, said: “We are really pleased to support this scheme as part our commitment to providing much-needed, quality, affordable homes in communities across Calderdale. This has been a real partnership approach and a great example of community-led development, showing the steps that local people can take to tackle housing needs together.”
The development, which will cost about £800,000, is being funded in part from the reserves built up through prudent financial administration by John Eastwood Homes, in part through government grants made available through the Homes England agency, and also through other grants and loans. The Quaker Housing Trust is contributing £45,000 in loan and grant finance, and around £60,000 is being lent by local people investing in the CLT through a community share issue. Calderdale Council is also making a grant, in exchange for nomination rights.
The help and support of Homes England during the planning of the project has been another crucial aspect of the success of the venture. The
Richard Panter, from Homes England, said: “We’ve worked with the Land Trust from its inception and are pleased to have been able to fund these new homes for older people in the Calder Valley. The
Statement from Calder Valley CLT trustees, Feb
Calder Valley Community Land Trust is enormously disappointed at the decision by Calderdale’s planning committee today (Feb 5) to reject proposals for new affordable homes to rent in Hebden Bridge.
The not-for-profit proposal would have seen twenty new homes built on the site of the former High Street, a densely packed terraced area of the town bulldozed in the 1960s. The council’s decision comes after more than three years of detailed planning for the new homes by the local member-based charity. The plans, as presented to planning, had been designed and refined following four well-attended public consultations in the town, as well as a drop-in exhibition session in Hebden Bridge Library.
Twenty-three members and supporters of the CLT were in the planning committee room, to listen to the
Simon Brearley, Chair, said: “We will consider carefully the decision of the planning committee. The trustees of the CLT will meet next Monday. As a member-run
He stressed however that this setback will not prevent the CLT from continuing in its mission of creating low-cost quality affordable homes to rent in the upper Calder Valley. The builders of the CLT’s first development, of six independent living bungalows at Walsden, are scheduled to be on site very shortly. The CLT also owns the Fielden Hall community
“Although this has been a highly disappointing afternoon, and the decision went against us by the narrowest of majorities, we want to thank all those friends who gave up their time to come along and join us for the committee meeting,” Simon Brearley added.