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Mayor's response to Don Cudmore below

dated 10th September 2017

Dear Potboilers,
In light of the letter last month which hailed criticism on the Hatherleigh Moor Management Committee (HMMC) I would like to state my support and appreciation for the HMMC and wish it to be known with a few facts that have been missed amongst the flurry of pound signs.

1. The Constitution does not mention at all that if potboilers don’t graze animals or collect their gorse for fuel that they should be entitled to remuneration of any kind. 
2. The introduction of money came about through government schemes to support farmers. If you’re not a registered farmer you’re not entitled to claim diddly squat.
3. Only ‘active’ farmers can submit claims for government money for grazing animals on common land. Information is easily available on the internet.
4. Whatever medieval rights were once held for potboilers the legislation in the 21st century means that only 'active' registered farmers are qualified to claim on common land.
5. If any potboiler wishes to qualify for this entitlement they are perfectly within their rights to register as a farmer, buy stock and graze a herd on the moor - Defra rules withstanding.
6. I understand that the moor farmers could claim far more for themselves if they claimed individually, but they choose not to, instead choosing to pool the money to maximise the claim and bring benefit for the upkeeping of the moor into the future.

With government cutbacks and reduction in services who knows what the future holds and with a healthy pot of money Hatherleigh's organisations can feel assured that if the HMMC continues to operate as it has done in the past then we should count ourselves fortunate.
Without these handful of 'active farmers' entitled to claim money and who then pass on some of their entitlement to support local causes, Hatherleigh's many many groups and organisations would not have received such helpful donations which in turn the community as a whole has benefited from. A fact that the person/s involved (in what seems to be a campaign of trying to discredit the HMMC) is repeatedly missing.

Thank you Moor Management Committee.
Clare Tyson
Non Potboiling, non farming Mayor of Hatherleigh


Good News for Hatherleigh Potboilers by Don Cudmore
Following a refusal by Hatherleigh Moor Management Committee (HMMC) in February 2016 to supply a list of Qualifying Potboilers addresses because of the Data Protection Act, it was decided to seek advice.

We soon discovered that the 98 page document was in fact a "Public Document" and a copy was obtained from Devon County Council. This can now be viewed here, also here is a 1 page copy of the Constitution of HMMC.

Residents should check to see if their house is listed because if it is they are entitled to receive a "Token Payment" each December which currently stands at £60 per year. The requirements of HMMC necessitate that the resident must have occupied the property for at least a year commencing in November. If in doubt please contact the HMMC, You will also note the number of Sheep or Cattle that you can graze on the moor, because of the set aside scheme only 600 sheep and less than 100 Cattle were allowed to graze on the moor last year. Potboilers pay a voluntary amount to graze their stock on the moor which last year was 10p per week for a sheep and 2 Lambs and 75p per week for each Cattle.

Only 6 Potboilers grazed their animals there last year, and as a result of a HMMC meeting in October 2016 they voted to entitle these Potboilers, 5 of which are on the HMMC various sums of money dependant on their allocation.  2 received over £4,500, 1 almost £3,500.  1 £1.071, another £736 and the non committee member £254.

The Chairman of HMMC made mention of new rules from DEFRA which only allowed graziers to claim the Single Farm Payment (SFP) at their AGM last year. What he did not mention was the fact that this amounted to £29,026.94p of which half will go to the 6 Potboiler Graziers and that he had the biggest entitlement. Potboiler graziers have in the past received a smaller amounts as "part return" from the  S.F.P. No information about the Workings (including those of a financial nature,) of Hatherleigh Moor have ever been circulated directly to the POTBOILERS for at least 30 years to my knowledge, and certainly they were not informed about this matter or allowed to vote on the proposal.

A number of Potboilers are seeking TRANSPARENCY regarding the administration of HMMC.

The committee have refused several written and one verbal request for a meeting with the Chairman/Secretary/Treasurer and they have failed to respond to the various matters raised.  A full report to include all correspondence to and from the committee is in the process of preparation and will be available in due course. In order that Potboilers be informed of meetings, vacancies on the committee and any important matters, including a detailed financial report, please email your name and address and telephone number to listofhatherleighpotboilers@outlook.com Your information will only be used for Potboiler matters.

It is well recorded that Hatheiegh Moor was given to the "POOR"  i.e. the POTBOILERS who boiled their pots from the hearth. The allocation of RIGHTS TO THE MOOR clearly shows that all Potboilers were not treated equally. And indeed the biggest allocations were given to the WEALTHY, hence if they have grazed animals on the moor they are the biggest beneficiaries because they are also entitled to the £60 per year. Two members of the committee receive an honorarium.

At the end of the last financial year the Total amount in the POTBOILER account was £206, 852.00.  The committee have not yet sought permission/ a mandate from the Potboilers to give away many thousands of pounds to non POTBOILER causes.

On a personal level I have no objections whatsoever to Potboilers money being given to the good causes in Hatherleigh but I nor the HMMC can speak for the rest of the Potboilers without first asking them.

You will see that the present CONSTITUTION does not permit this. The HMMC were then asked to forward a copy of the standing orders. The reply from the HMMC states there are no standing orders, all other changes, and there are few, are recorded in the Minutes.

Don Cudmore



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