Extraordinary meeting: £20k could end Honiton Town Council’s dispute with The Beehive

A proposal to end the ongoing dispute between the charity that runs The Beehive and Honiton Town Council will be on the agenda when the council council holds an extraordinary meeting next week.

Taking place at The Beehive on Monday (October 28) evening, the meeting will also consider the council’s half-year financial report.

At the meeting, councillors will be asked to consider a recommendation to end the ongoing dispute with Honiton Community Complex.

The recommendation is: “To confirm the payment of £20,000 to Honiton Community Complex (HCC) in order to settle outstanding Lease Payments up until the 30 September 2019.”

A report, which sets out the reasons for the recommendation as well as background on recent talks between the two parties, states: “The Beehive will face a number of economic challenges in the future. These are challenges that many businesses have to face, rising costs and a reduction in volunteers being just two. It also faces changes in legislation that will require it to make changes to the building.

“In addition to this, with the imminent departure of their Finance Director, HCC would be looking at handling its finances in a different way and this would require some expenditure to take place.”

Referring to recent talks, the report continues: “It was also agreed that full financial disclosure would be a part of any new way forward in which HCC’s accounts were being dealt with. This would then allow for HCC to apply for grants from the Town Council in the same way that other organisations do in Honiton.

Both sides to ‘work together’

“As a result of this it was agreed that there was a real need for HCC and the Town Council to work together to try to secure the future of the Beehive. Part of this will require additional partners being brought on board. This may take the form of possibly the District and County Council as well as commercial partners.

“It was agreed that there needed to be fresh short-term, medium term and long-term plans and that representatives from both the Council and from HCC staff would be brought in to assist with those actions. A further meeting to look at those plans has been agreed for the 18th November 2019 and it was agreed that
members of the board would then address the Council in the December Full Council Meeting.

“As part of the new plans HCC will be looking to identify just how much assistance they will need in the coming year. This will then allow the Town Council to examine ways in which it can assist with this, taking into account support from other organisations.

“This will then lead to both sides working to agree an annual figure that will be paid instead of the percentage specified in the lease. The Town Clerk has spoken with Dan Cuthbert from Foot Anstey and he has agreed that this is the most effective way forward.”

There will be a public question time at the start of the 7pm meeting.

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