Botton campaigners stage second petition protest

Action for Botton campaigners protest outside the offices of Camphill Village Trust. Picture: Scott Wicking
Action for Botton campaigners protest outside the offices of Camphill Village Trust. Picture: Scott Wicking

Campaigners from Botton staged their second protest in a matter of weeks when they demonstrated outside the Malton headquarters of the Camphill Village Trust.

Residents and co-workers from the village marched on The Kingfisher Cafe, Saville Street, to demand a “proper response” to petitions they put forward to the trust’s management and North Yorkshire County Council a month ago.

The petitions were put together amid plans from the trust to end the long-running arrangement in Botton where learning disabled residents share homes with volunteer co-workers and their families.

However, Action for Botton argue that the trust has “ignored their petition entirely,” adding that the council would not accept the petition submitted to them because it “wasn’t in the correct format.”

“The trust are not acting in the best interests of the learning disabled and their choice, like their petition, is being completely ignored by the authorities who are supposed to protect their interests,” said a spokesman for Action for Botton.

“The county council deliberately snubbing the petition of the villagers because it did not comply with some trivial small print is a typical example of not allowing the voices of the learning disabled to be heard.”

In response to Tuesday’s protest, a spokesman for Camphill Village Trust told the Whitby Gazette that efforts had been made to reassure the campaigners that their views have been heard.

“The charity’s staff team listens to, and where possible acts upon, the views of those we support and will continue to do so,” he continued.

“We must also do what HM Revenue and Customs and the Charity Commission have asked us to do.

“Their requirements mean that things can’t stay exactly the same as they are. It is, however, clear from the petition that we could do more to explain how shared living will remain possible for employees.

The trust also revealed that the receipt of the petition had “encouraged” them to agree a process of independent reviews for those that they support with North Yorkshire County Council.