Campaigners dispute co-worker cost claims

Campaigner Neil Davidson at the Action For Botton meeting held recently
Campaigner Neil Davidson at the Action For Botton meeting held recently

Campaigners fighting to “protect” Botton village have reacted with anger to claims about how much the village costs the tax payer.

Last week the Whitby Gazette revealed figures it had obtained, which were then verified by the Camphill Village Trust, relating to the amount of money each co-worker costs the charity, which ranged from £15,000 to over £60,000.

The Action For Botton pressure group reacted with horror at the figures, which also stated that the village costs the tax payer £2 million each year.

In response, a chartered accountant who is working with the campaigners took his own look at the figures.

The local authority employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We believe the figures published in the Whitby Gazette on August 6 are wrong.

“The published CVT accounts for 2013 clearly show the average co-worker benefits and expenses equate to just over £14,000.”

The accountant highlighted that co-workers are on site 24 hours a day, as opposed to an 8 hour shift, and said that costs associated with employees have rise from £3.2 million to £5.5 million per year, while co-worker costs have fallen from £2.4m to £1.6m.

The accountant added: “The Steiner model of co-workers rather than paid employees appears from the accounts to be much more cost effective.

“Given it is all about the villagers, the people who need our care, costs are rising while the number of villagers is falling. At a time when government funding is under great stress, it seems perverse that CVT staff costs should have increased by 69%.

“We have to ask – is there another game in play?”

Supporters of Action For Botton are gathering for a candlelit vigil on Sunday August 17, meeting at 6.30pm.

The event is to promote awareness of the group’s campaign and A4B chairman Neil Davidson said: “This will be an opportunity to demonstrate our strong support for Botton.”