New committee to oversee future of Watlington High Street property

A new council committee is to be set up to oversee arrangements relating to the future of properties in Watlington that are important to the local community.

Since 1949, the Council has managed land and money donated by Laura Charlotte Coxe “for the benefit of the inhabitants of Watlington”. The assets are held in Trust operated by the council as trustee and these are kept separate from the council’s own assets.

The Charlotte Coxe Trust is a registered charity and its assets include land at 33/35 High Street, Watlington. Number 33 High Street is a vacant two storey house, which has been empty for some years and 35 High Street has Watlington Library on its ground floor.

The county council’s Director of Law and Governance Anita Bradley, in her trust management role has been working closely with members of the community and Watlington Parish Council to bring 33 High Street back into use for the community.

She has taken external advice and concluded that the best way of managing the trust in the future is by way of a committee of council members, who are accountable to the public.  

Following her recommendation, it was agreed at a meeting of full council on 5 April that a new committee should be established to take operational decisions on behalf of the trust (in particular over the management of 33 High Street and the Watlington Library lease). It will have five county councillors as members.