Lawyers called in after residents and carers at community for people with learning disabilities told not to hold protest vigil

Lawyers called in after residents and carers at community for people with learning disabilities told not to hold protest vigil

CANDLELIT VIGIL: Residents and co-workers from Botton Village held a candlelit vigil on Sunday.

BOTTON FEARS: A Botton Village resident at the vigil

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Richmond)

LAWYERS stepped in after residents of a community for people with learning disabilities were told they would not be permitted to take part in a peaceful protest over proposed changes to their way of life.

Camphill Village Trust, which runs Botton Village community, based in Danby Dale on the North York Moors, says a Charity Commission report this year advised the organisation to make changes to the way the volunteer co-workers have been financially supported and managed for 60 years.

It also said it had received tax advice which led to it proposing to make co-workers employees.

Campaigners fear the trust is ending the core principle of “life-sharing” in which workers and residents live together in family-like settings.

Campaign group, Action for Botton, held a candlelit vigil in protest to the plans on Sunday evening – but it almost did not go ahead because Camphill Village Trust (CVT) told residents and their co-workers they did not have permission because residents had not undergone a ‘capacity assessment.’

The service at Danby Church began after North Yorkshire County Council lawyers confirmed that the trust had no right to prevent it taking place.

Kay Clark, press officer for Action for Botton, said co-workers had felt threatened by a letter sent out by CVT Botton general manger David Knowles.

She said: “CVT is saying residents can’t continue with their safe and happy way of life because of tax reasons.”

The letter from Mr Knowles read: “I understand from Action for Botton that some of you are organising a candlelit vigil - permission is not being given for the vigil to take place within Botton Village.

“We are required as the provider to ensure that participation in such future events and activities does not take place without a suitable capacity assessment.

“All those working in Botton should not take any steps to promote such events like this proposed vigil.

“Should anyone we support nonetheless express an interest in the vigil or any other similar events in the future then I should be informed immediately and appropriate arrangements will be made for capacity to be assessed.”

Law firm, Bindmans Solicitors, confirmed to Action for Botton that any resident wanting to attend the vigil should not be prevented from doing so.

A spokesman from North Yorkshire County Council said: “The county council is aware that the management changes proposed by the Camphill Village Trust have aroused some controversy.

“The council takes an impartial view of the matter. Our position is wholly determined by the performance of our statutory duty to ensure that the residents of Botton receive care which is both appropriate, and of a high standard.”

The Northern Echo contacted CVT, but was told it would not be able to make a comment at this time.

Comments (6)

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7:39pm Mon 18 Aug 14

LUSTARD says...

the council takes an impartial view, id call it robotic.
the council takes an impartial view, id call it robotic. LUSTARD
  • Score: 6

10:09am Tue 19 Aug 14

Only The Mother says...

So, the trust thinks it can control the residents by abusing the mental capacity act? Clearly they haven't even read the relevant legislation. They are required to assume capacity unless proved otherwise and can not use the act to restrict anybody from doing something they want to do - unless of course they wish to issue deprivation of liberty orders and have that challenged in a court. I suspect the board should be dissolved and replaced if they do not have the capacity themselves to understand legislation that is intended to protect their residents!
So, the trust thinks it can control the residents by abusing the mental capacity act? Clearly they haven't even read the relevant legislation. They are required to assume capacity unless proved otherwise and can not use the act to restrict anybody from doing something they want to do - unless of course they wish to issue deprivation of liberty orders and have that challenged in a court. I suspect the board should be dissolved and replaced if they do not have the capacity themselves to understand legislation that is intended to protect their residents! Only The Mother
  • Score: 22

7:52pm Tue 19 Aug 14

jacklantern says...

The CVT have been caught trying to use the Mental Capacity Act to limit freedom of choice.

This is not an isolated incident. CVT are unrolling wholesale changes to Botton Village Community without giving those who live there any say in them. Their futures are, in effect, being moulded for them. Again CVT are hiding behind the assumption that the residents do not have the capacity to make their own choices, and as such show a blatant disregard for their human rights.

Here's hoping more instances of CVT's scandalous behaviour is brought to light, since I suspect it cannot withstand the glare of publicity for long.
The CVT have been caught trying to use the Mental Capacity Act to limit freedom of choice. This is not an isolated incident. CVT are unrolling wholesale changes to Botton Village Community without giving those who live there any say in them. Their futures are, in effect, being moulded for them. Again CVT are hiding behind the assumption that the residents do not have the capacity to make their own choices, and as such show a blatant disregard for their human rights. Here's hoping more instances of CVT's scandalous behaviour is brought to light, since I suspect it cannot withstand the glare of publicity for long. jacklantern
  • Score: 22

8:07pm Tue 19 Aug 14

insidetrack says...

At last! An indication that NYCC are prepared to take a stand on behalf of Botton's residents and uphold the law rather than blindly assume that the charity must be right.
Surely this is what scrutiny is all about - to ensure that a care provider is not pursuing its own agenda, but safeguarding the rights of its beneficiaries. Insidetrack challenges NYCC to adopt and sustain an impartial view of this dispute by opening direct lines of communication with Botton's residents and co-workers as well as with the charity.
At last! An indication that NYCC are prepared to take a stand on behalf of Botton's residents and uphold the law rather than blindly assume that the charity must be right. Surely this is what scrutiny is all about - to ensure that a care provider is not pursuing its own agenda, but safeguarding the rights of its beneficiaries. Insidetrack challenges NYCC to adopt and sustain an impartial view of this dispute by opening direct lines of communication with Botton's residents and co-workers as well as with the charity. insidetrack
  • Score: 16

4:45pm Wed 20 Aug 14

stevemacca says...

This vigil was a peaceful and spiritual event attended by many of Botton's supporters. What have CVT managers to fear from engaging in meaningful dialog?
One can only suspect that other agendas are being pursued, totally at odds with the Charitys' original aims and objectives.
This vigil was a peaceful and spiritual event attended by many of Botton's supporters. What have CVT managers to fear from engaging in meaningful dialog? One can only suspect that other agendas are being pursued, totally at odds with the Charitys' original aims and objectives. stevemacca
  • Score: 10

10:28am Sun 24 Aug 14

LindeMeeuw says...

Thank you for the beautiful vigil. This is the way we should stand up for Botton. By peace praying and love. We should stay positive and keep believing in this place!
Thank you for the beautiful vigil. This is the way we should stand up for Botton. By peace praying and love. We should stay positive and keep believing in this place! LindeMeeuw
  • Score: 5

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