Reason for the town trustees

The perfectly correct report of the Darley Dale Town Council meeting last week raises the question about the relationship between the town council and the board of directors of the Whitworth company.

Even some of the new councillors do not fully understand this and it causes confusion for members of the public.

May I explain: the town council took over as the sole Trustee of the Whitworth Trust some years ago, when there was no more land left to sell to meet the ever increasing costs of maintaining the main building and the park.

The town council as trustee later turned over the running of the Trust and the fundraising required to keep it going to the Whitworth Centre Limited Company.

The Board of Directors of the company comprises seven town councillors and five members of the public, so representatives of the council are in a majority.

All the members of both the town council and the board of directors are volunteers.

Some devote a great deal of time and energy to keep the building and park going for the people of Darley Dale.

The town councillors all receive the minutes of the meetings of the Board of Directors and as a result, can raise any matters they are not happy with at the town council meetings.

It is unfortunate when board members do this over the head of the board when they fail to understand proposals and their views are not accepted by the board.

As the Chairman of the Board explained, there is no question of spending money which we have not got.

The discussion was about raising the money to make possible a further major development to make the Whitworth Centre into a viable business, which is the main objective of the Board.

The Centre costs £380 a day to run and even full time lettings to the local community would not cover this, so viable business has to be undertaken if Darley Dale is to keep this wonderful gift.

Ingrid Pasteur

Mayor and Whitworth Centre Board Member