Botton row reaches mediation resolve

A bitter row that has brewing for over a year between a community of adults with learning difficulties and the Trust that manages where they live looks set to reach a conclusion.

Camphill Village Trust announced last year it wanted to make changes to the way Botton village was managed in terms of the legalities of how the co-workers who cared for the residents were paid.

However, the co-workers and their supporters, Action for Botton, were opposed to the changes which they said went against the Steiner School principles and would upset the residents.

The fierce battle was all set to end up in the High Court action after a series of protests and accusations but the Gazette understands an agreement has been reached between both parties after two days of intense mediation in London.

Legal proceedings are on hold after reaching the agreement which covers governance of the charity at local and national level through to areas of dispute such as the core principle of life-sharing in CVT communities.

A review with the mediator will take place in three months with the aim of reaching a final agreement by the end of January. Action for Botton will drop the legal action if sustainable and practical solutions can be reached and the trust between the parties restored.

In a joint statement by Camphill Village Trust said: “The agreement comes after a long and difficult period for the charity and all concerned and provides a positive framework around which to rebuild trust and confidence through collaboration and genuine consultation.

“Underlying these efforts is a shared desire to build a better and more stable future for the beneficiaries and their communities.”

On behalf of Action for Botton, Neil Davidson added: “I warmly welcome the positive steps which have been taken during the mediation process. Now all parties need to build on what has been achieved so far, continue to work together in good faith and carry the whole process through to a successful conclusion.”