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Tany’s Dell Primary (and their sister schools) decide not to work with Carly Burd on her new allotment project

News / Mon 18th Mar 2024 at 07:17am

A PRIMARY school in Harlow has told YH that they will not be working with local resident Carly Burd on her schools allotment project.

At the start of the month, Ms Burd, whose was the centre of national media attention in 2023 after the allotment she was developing in Cannons Gate in the town was the subject of an alleged “salt attack”, announced that she was set to work with schools.

She told her thousands of followers: “Exciting news. Just finished organising Tanys Dell school for their garden project with Clay Garden Services which starts in May.

“Dropped off supplies for the kiddies to get planting before the allotment space is ready. I’ll be delivering even more pots and soil so they can start growing their own veggies, which they can even sell later”.

But in a short statement on Sunday night, a spokesperson for the school said: “Tany’s Dell School and the other two schools in Templefields Multi Academy Trust (TMAT) decided last week not to proceed with this venture and have informed Carly Burd of this decision”.

The other two schools in the Trust are Fawbert and Barnard in Old Harlow and Harlowbury Primary (also in Old Harlow).

TMAT did not give a reason why they are not working with Ms Burd. It may simply be that schools have so many day to day challenges that they decided to pass.

Schools have many challenges including: staff shortages, staff sickness, incredible demands on their timetables. In this case, it may have been, in this case for the three schools, that this sounded like quite an intense project.

Some schools may have been little uncomfortable with Ms Burd signposting (on her Facebook page ) a number of radical personalities in the world of health and well-being such as Barbara O’Neill, as well an an interview between Sandi Adams and Rachel Mathews.

Or perhaps, as we have said, as well-intentioned as it sounded, they just don’t have the time.

The decision coincides with the launch (this weekend) of Ms Burd’s new schools project called the A Meal On Me School Project

https://www.amealonmeschoolprojects.uk/?fbclid=IwAR1O-GeTg7NOqcVxrmx_49eHAB3s72CZxu1m5RxRfcXfEy_9IN2U2o5tCpw

Her new website states: “Our vision is to get children back outside learning the craft of gardening

“Once the mini allotments are built, we are going to get the children back outside, learning the craft of gardening. They will be taught all about nature, how to make compost, what food to sow when and how nature shows the way.

“We are going to use the money that was kindly donated to building mini allotments on unused land in schools.

“This will encourage the entrepreneurship in them as they can sell their seedlings at the school gate & raise funds.”

Ms Burd has indicated that she is in talks with other schools. There may well be one of the 27 other primary schools in Harlow that may be interested but it must be a disappointment that in the weekend of her big launch, three schools have immediately turn her down.

Ms Burd’s launched the project with a video on YouTube. Her statement starts with reference to the ongoing talks to lease out the Cannons Gate allotment.

She said: “We’ve been ready since December and we are still waiting…….It’s always been about feeding the community… So, I put my thinking head on, how else could I go about this? If there is a problem, the only way to solve it, is to rip it out by the root and start again. How about taking this to primary schools.

Last week, in a statement from her solicitor (Whiskers) we were told: “A draft lease was received from the Solicitors instructed by Harlow District Council, via email, on 7th March 2024.

“Unfortunately the first draft of the lease is unworkable and contains a number of provisions which will need to be the subject of further negotiations with Harlow Council and its Solicitors. It would not be appropriate to comment any further regarding the draft lease at this stage”.

=============================

Further

On Friday, we sent a number of questions to Ms Burd’s solicitors. We thank Whiskers for their prompt responses.

Questions

Would you be able to tell us how much of the £254,213 of the GoFundMe page is left?

Could we get a breakdown of how some of it (if any) has been spent?

I understand that Ms Burd has referred to it as “all safe” but does all safe mean £254,213 is “all safe”?

Answer

A Meal On Me With Love is a C.I.C. registered with Schedule 2 Articles.  This means that the company is not able to make any payments to shareholders and all its assets are subject to a statutory “asset lock”.  This means that all the assets of the company must either be retained within the C.I.C. or used for the community purposes for which the C.I.C. was formed.  Assets may only be transferred out of the C.I.C. to another asset locked body and with the prior approval of the C.I.C. Regulator.

Schedule 2 Articles do permit the C.I.C. to pay salaries but, as I understand it, Carly’s intention has been that all who work for the company do so as volunteers and that includes also Whiskers on a pro bono basis.  Carly herself takes no salary from the company.

The company is obliged to file annual accounts and also a C.I.C. Report so there is complete transparency as to its activities.

Questions

We understand that there are a number of matters to still be ironed out re the lease of the Cannons Gate allotment.

Would it be inaccurate to write that one of the sticking points is the possible requirement for planning permission should Ms Burd want to put some form of cafe etc on the allotment.

Answer

With regard to the negotiations with Harlow District Council, you will appreciate that I have a duty of confidence to my Client and also out of respect for HDC, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further at this point.

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36 Comments for Tany’s Dell Primary (and their sister schools) decide not to work with Carly Burd on her new allotment project:

Salty Sea Dog
2024-03-18 09:18:05

What has happened to the £250k that was crowdfunded specifically to run the allotment that Ms. Burd no longer has access to? How much of it has been spent and what on? How much is left and in whose bank account is it held? These are basic questions that need answers, and there's no reason why Ms. Burd should not be able to explain.

Answers Please
2024-03-18 09:45:24

That's what we all want to know! Ever Get the Feeling You've Been Cheated? Hopefully, she has been reported to the authorities to look into this more and to just giving. She simply cannot change her MO, funds were donated specifically to run the allotment to feed Harlow's "poor". Nothing about schools.. who can already get grants to fund allotment projects. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a78b075e5274a2acd18908a/2203634.pdf If she goes ahead with changing her cause, how does one go about getting a refund? is it even possible now?

Hmmm
2024-03-18 09:51:40

alleged “salt attack”? Didn't the Police investigate it? Surely they would have run tests at the time, and can say whether or not it happened? https://www.yourharlow.com/2023/04/15/police-launch-investigation-into-damage-to-carlys-allotment/

Ken Horlaw
2024-03-18 09:52:37

"Answers Please" yes you can still get a refund up to one year so you'll have to get on with it. You can also report concerns about the fundraiser to GoFundMe even if you did not donate. I think all anybody wants is some much needed transparency about where the money is now, this is what YH should be repeatedly asking on our behalf and it's what the well known firm of Harlow solicitors would do very well to help answer.

Salt Bae
2024-03-18 10:06:52

Surely the only sensible outcome is for Carly to donate the money to one of the current successful schemes in Harlow such as the Bounty Club if she was really intent on feeding and helping the Harlow people. The school idea was never going to work, and It all seemed to be based on volunteer work which in turn questions where the donated money is going.

Salty Sea Dog
2024-03-18 10:12:28

Not to labour the point, but based on GoFundMe's fee structure of 2.9% plus 25p per donation, out of the £254,213 donated (from 15,000 donations), around £11,122 went on fees. That leaves £243,091. So where is it? Ms. Burd keeps saying that the CIC is "asset locked" but is the money actually in a bank account belonging to the CIC? The CIC didn't exist when the money was raised. Also, time and materials were donated to deal with the alleged "salt attack" so no costs there. Same with much of the food that Ms. Burd was handing out. So again, where's the money and how much is left?

Answered
2024-03-18 10:14:24

Thank you, Ken. Done and reported.

Ashley
2024-03-18 10:49:05

Carly helps loads of people with food parcels!!! Literally and puts out food all the time

Ashley
2024-03-18 10:51:05

If you ask Carly for a food parcel you will realise what she is doing she helps a lot of people I can’t believe some people are just so jelous clearly and pathetic ask her for a food parcel and see what you get!!!!

Salt Bae
2024-03-18 10:58:33

Ashley I have seen multiple people ignored on her page asking for one. I also wouldn’t ask if I really needed one due to the fact there is no privacy. I have used the Bounty Club lots of times where I trust my information is secured properly and not plastered over a public Facebook page

Salty Sea Dog
2024-03-18 11:00:08

Hi Ashley, we just want to know what's happened to the money that the public donated. That's fair, right?

Ken Horlaw
2024-03-18 11:01:19

That's as may be Ashley, doesn't answer the question of "where is the community's £250,000 fund now" that so many are asking for a simple answer to though does it.

Isitfair
2024-03-18 11:35:01

Ashley, may I remind you that on 21st February Carly officially announced that she would no longer be offering the food parcel service, as she felt that the increase in benefits meant that they were no longer needed! I’m not quite sure what you mean by “ask her for a parcel and see what you get!!!!”? The public have genuine questions that deserve an answer.

Narc Says What
2024-03-18 12:15:49

Carly: I'm working with Harlow council after my allotment was salted by vandals. HC: No you're not, and we tested the ground, it's not salted. Carly: I'm working with three primary schools PS: No you're not. So months later, no allotments, no deals, endless announcements that turn out to be rubbish, and of course 'solicitors'. When is someone going to ask where the money has gone? Because if you can't see how suspect this looks then I don't know what else to say...

Rosa
2024-03-18 12:54:54

It seems fairly obvious that this pivot to working with schools is an attempt to obfuscate and obscure the fact that the quarter of a million pounds donated by kind hearted members of the public is not securely safeguarded in a bank account in the name of the CIC. I also note that there was a significant period of time where the CIC didn't exist, and A Meal on me with love was a limited company with Carly as the sole director and shareholder. If the entirety of the donated funds are safely in a bank account in the name of the CIC, this would be extremely easy to prove, and I am surprised this hasn't happened. Instead, Carly has resorted to hiding behind legal threats from her solicitors.

Kizzy
2024-03-18 13:11:44

I am grateful to YourHarlow for allowing the public to input their views and I am sure we will all be mindful of recent events. It is clear that community members are keen to ensure that the public donations are directed towards the intended purpose and that there is accountability in the use of funds. To this end, it would be helpful to know how the public donations have been managed and used by Ms Burd prior to the transfer into A Meal on Me with Love CIC, along with the specific amount transferred to the CIC and where these funds are now held. Would Ms Burd please provide detailed information on how the donations were managed and used before being transferred to the CIC; interim reports and statements detailing the allocation of funds and expenses incurred during this initial phase would be helpful. Would she also provide evidence of the amount transferred to the CIC and its current balance. It is concerning that Ms Burd has decided to redirect funds donated for the specific cause of establishing a community allotment and feeding those in need in Harlow, to an entirely different project of establishing kitchen gardens in schools. It is essential that we understand the rationale behind such a significant shift in focus and how it aligns with the original intentions of the donors. It would be helpful to learn about the research undertaken and considerations given to determining that establishing kitchen gardens in schools takes precedence over addressing the immediate needs of the vulnerable population in Harlow. Community members deserve to have a voice in decisions such as this and I am sure that I am not alone in wishing to understand how Ms Burd has engaged with the community to gather feedback and input on this matter. As Ms Burd relies exclusively on social media platforms for all public announcements and services, it is troubling that she has opted to eliminate all channels for public inquiry or interaction by restricting social media posts and engagement exclusively to those who share her views; she effectively compromises transparency and accountability and also undermines the fundamental principle of community engagement required of a CIC. I am sure we all look forward to Ms Burd’s response.

Donna Wallace
2024-03-18 14:59:51

I thought no one was allowed to comment on any articles relating to Carly Burd. That didn’t last long did it?

What Is True?
2024-03-18 15:54:11

Carly now says the spokesperson or journalist is wrong..............

just stop
2024-03-18 15:59:02

Donna, please stop trying to restrict free speech. No one has said anything offensive or derogatory in any way shape or form.. they just want simple answers and a bit of transparency that isn’t too much to ask.

Seedling
2024-03-18 17:25:30

Don't be upset Donna, just dance it out hun.

Ken Horlaw
2024-03-18 17:57:38

The answer from Whiskers which has been added to the article is notable for how evasive it is, compared to the very straightforward questions that were asked. Why, despite repeated requests, can neither they nor Carly give a simple, clear and honest answer confirming how much of the £254k went IN to the CIC and how much is STILL in it. No need for to-the-penny answers, just reassuring confirmation that all is as it should be. This is money that was donated for a good community cause (the allotment) and if everything is above board, there is absolutely no reason to keep avoiding these simple questions, and put everybody's mind at rest. By the way there is also no need for professional advice to be pro bono, nobody will object to reasonable costs for good and proper legal and financial help to ensure that things are done correctly and efficiently. YH in the recent statement from the council that you published, the council said that they hadn't changed the locks on the allotment. This is at odds with Carly's team continually saying that they had been locked out. Can you dig a bit more for the truth on that point at all?

Kizzy
2024-03-18 18:06:04

I am grateful to Carly's solicitors, Whiskers, for their prompt response. While I acknowledge Ms. Burd's decision not to receive a salary from the CIC, I find that their response does not adequately address the primary concerns raised in both my own and others' feedback. I respectfully urge them to thoroughly consider and respond to these concerns, including regarding the utilisation of funds pre-CIC establishment, the amount transferred to the CIC, the divergence of fund allocation from the intended purpose, and the demonstrable lack of community involvement in the decision making process.

Sodium Chloride
2024-03-18 18:14:01

I feel that Whiskers need to answer a to how much of the £250k has made it into the CIC The money was in a Ltd company before that with no accountability as to how it was spent. That is the most important thing that people want to know.

Salty Sea Dog
2024-03-18 18:26:03

My goodness, all Ms. Burd needs to do is publish the latest CIC bank statement and an expenditure summary and this all goes away. This is information that should be readily available. It's also perfectly valid that Ms. Burd and anyone working for the CIC (including Whiskers) get paid fairly for their time rather than trying to do everything free for some reason.

Narc Says What
2024-03-18 19:06:09

This isn't going away. Her solicitors can be evasive as they like, sooner or later answers will be required...

Something Smells Salty
2024-03-18 19:44:10

I'm not sure if this has already been stayed, but you can request a refund of your donation through GoFundMe

For Free
2024-03-18 20:25:05

May I just check, are Whiskers working for free? Perhaps a Whiskers representative could verify this particular query? Thank you

rosa
2024-03-18 20:50:45

if you are going to apply for a refund from GoFundMe, you have to do it quickly - you have twelve months from the time you donated.

Dan
2024-03-18 21:48:21

Why do your harlow have it in for this lady is the main question I'd like answered, an obsession to knock a lady down who is helping the community

Pedro
2024-03-18 21:57:57

Generally in life as the saying goes "there is no smoke without fire" A simple answer as to where and what happened to the money and this goes quiet

My opinion
2024-03-19 00:34:54

Hell! I’ll donate veg seeds and compost to my children’s school. £1- seeds + £5 compost(max). I would never donate cash to a random woman’s allotment. It was a shame if her plot was contaminated. But it’s everyone else’s fault for giving. At the end of the day, you rent a plot from the council, just like renting a garage or a home, so it’s up to the council to repair the damages.

Answers
2024-03-19 09:51:40

Dan, Your Harlow doesn't "have it out for her". Your question should be why isn't this lady being open and transparent with the public who donated the money in the first place. If she is helping the community, why won't she answer them? She is of "public interest" now after her public appeal and national headlines, it is Your Harlow duty to report and follow this up as the public wants to know where their money has gone and why she thinks it is okay now to spend it in schools (or try to) rather than what it was donated for. Along with Harlow council claiming there were no salt levels in their tests in April, something is definitely not adding up, and by her and her lawyer's evasiveness they only add more and more fuel to the fire when they could easily put it out...

What Is True?
2024-03-19 18:50:59

Dan, Your Harlow published the school's statement, I'm not sure why you made the libellous claim that YH has it in for this lady. Is Carly going to clear up the mystery about the school project and why they don't want to work with her after she'd spent so much time saying it was all set up and ready to go?

Ken Horlaw
2024-03-22 13:42:18

Just wondering, in the mad scramble to find someone to give the £100,000 to (but not to the other established community allotment apparently) --- is anybody asking what's happened to the other £145k?

Donna Robinson
2024-03-22 16:54:30

So, to get this straight, Carly Carlz Burd is going to donate some money BUT keep a majority of the money for over a year deciding who or what she may use it for? Come on Carly, it’s not donation Ip Dip Dop, these are needy people for goodness sake. The clue was in your original Go Fund Me Carly - you told us yourself that there are people starving in Harlow but you’re going to just keep that money resting in an account because???????? Just do the right thing, donate ALL the money to the organisations who can do what you can’t, the organisations who can feed people who have hunger today. These organisations know people can’t just reschedule their hunger for another year or more when you’ll be ready to help feed them (or maybe you won’t be ready, after all, you said you’ve not decided yet!) It’s not true that the Regulator has to approve donations from the CIC. Donating the raised money to Harlow food banks also comes under your CIC purpose so there is absolutely no excuse for you to not redistribute all the money today to help feed people (AS IT WAS DONATED FOR). Another option is for YOU to show all your donors YOUR charitable side this time. You can arrange for all Go Fund Me donations to be refunded (you shouldn’t be suggesting donors can seek their own refunds). Their original donations are then back with the original donors who can almost immediately repurpose the money to donate to a Harlow food charity as early as next week (that’s also another option the Regulator cannot prevent you from doing so let’s hope no one makes dishonest claims that there is no option but for the Go Fund Me money to remain in the CIC. Have your solicitors already advised you of your option to refund the Go Fund Me money Carly? If you’ve told them your only aim is helping people and to release money asap it would be surprising if they didn’t advise you to do this (unless maybe you told them even though there are hungry people who could use that money right now, you accepted they’ll have to wait because you need a time out)? You did say you were looking at ways to get money to the n Couple of things I’ve been thinking about CIC’s (in general, not about Carlz’s CIC): 1. If a CIC donates money, those donations would have to be accounted for in the CIC accounts, so a CIC can’t just pretend to have donated but actually not because the lie would be discovered. 2. Can a CIC move money from CIC account to a random bank account and then put it back again in CIC account in time for year end accounts to balance up? If so, does the savings interest belong to the CIC or the person of the account where it was during the time it wasn’t in the CIC account? Would be awful if this could happen because I could imagine some CIC’s might want to keep money rather than donate it so someone can benefit from the savings interest

Fraulein Salty Bowles
2024-04-01 11:25:17

What's happened to the other c. £150k from the £250k that was donated, Carly? Is giving away £100k supposed to stop people asking about the rest? It won't work ... we haven't forgotten and aren't that stupid.

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