Action 4 Botton

Mediation settlement agreement in High court case

4 July 2015

In the battle for the soul of the Camphill communities there is now a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not an oncoming train! For those of you who have followed this saga and have supported us, our teams ended two days of legally binding mediation with the Camphill Village Trust (CVT) at 3:00 am (!) on Friday morning with an agreement which, while not perfect, made significant steps in the right direction. There is now real hope that we can recover some of what has been lost. 

Here are the headlines:

  • It is agreed that shared living is desirable as part of the mix of provision, that there is benefit in real Co-worker/beneficiary relationships, and that CVT have a commitment to both of these. Also it is agreed that Co-workers want to be independent from charity management.
  • At Botton, both sides will explore how shared living can continue / be re-established within a specific timetable.  
  • The return of proper life-sharing at the Delrow community.
  • Some discussion over exactly what our lovely short-term young volunteers can and cannot do but we’re confident of making real progress here.  
  • A local consultative body of parents, management and workers - to be defined - first at Delrow as a pilot then to be rolled out at other communities. 
  • Two family members from the claimants will join the Board of Trustees initially as observers, then (after the AGM in November) as Trustees. One from 31 January 2016 and the other when the next vacancy for a family member arises.
  • Agreement on the principle of one beneficiary (relative or nominee) one vote. What this means is that every resident in every community will now have a voice in how the charity is run. Big result.  
  • The agreement to be reviewed by January 2016 after which if all is going according to plan we will drop our High Court legal case against CVT. 
  • Regular 3-monthly reviews to see how things are going with legal mediator beginning in October 2015 and going on beyond January to thrash out any problems and these to be referred to independent dispute resolution if issues cannot be resolved.
  • Costs to be carried by each party

All in all: a good result. It's not over yet, there is still much work to be done. But we have hope of peace after 18 months of a bitter and soul-destroying dispute.

Action for Botton will continue supporting the Botton community during this process.

You can the read the Settlement Agreement between the two parties by clicking this link.

See also:

Whitby Gazette, 6.7.15, "Botton row reaches mediation resolve"  Link  

Darlington & Stockton Times, 6.7.15, "Warring charity and campaign group move towards agreement over Botton community"  Link