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Good News for Potboilers
By Don Cudmore

August 23, 2017: Good News for Hatherleigh Potboilers
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 via Hatherleigh.net 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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