In an astounding development the Town Council, which invited the Beehive charity to attend a meeting to resolve the ongoing dispute regarding the funds owed under the terms of the lease, have pulled out of the meeting due to be held on Thursday 10th October.
Chairman Barry Simmonds commented “We were due to meet with Honiton Town Council but two days before the meeting we received a communication from the council’s lawyers saying that their client (HTC) “requests that the meeting is with lawyers and between Mark Tredwin from HTC and Rob Sexton from HTC”. Rob Sexton is a relatively new Trustee and is currently in Australia.
In other words, Honiton Town Council wanted to choose who they talked to. This in effect would cut out the Charity Chairman and Finance Director from the discussion on a topic which concerns the finances and viability of the Charity.
The charity responded by informing HTC that its representatives would be the Chairman, Finance Director and the Trustee who assists with HCC/HTC reviews. The charity made no comment as to who HTC should select to represent the Council.
The response from HTC, late on Wednesday 9th October, was that the Council were not prepared to meet if the HCC Finance Director was present, noting it was a red line for HTC.
Given this demand, the charity has declined to attend the meeting but asked HTC to reconsider or put any proposals/ideas in writing so that the Board could consider them.
Barry Simmonds added “this is extremely regrettable – this issue is not about personalities but about having the right people around the table. I offer no comment as to what this indicates vis a vis Honiton Town Council’s ongoing attitude towards the Charity, its Trustees and the current situation. We will, of course, continue to try to move forward and endeavour to present our ideas.”