T.A.N.T. Newsletter #8

TANT Newsletter – Winter 2023

Welcome to our winter newsletter. We hope you are enjoying the festive season.

Laycock Bakery looking festive, and a baby fox in the snow

TANT 2023 AGM Report

Blue skies and sunshine welcomed NT tenants from near and far to our AGM in West Somerset in October.

A big thank you to all who attended. We hold these meetings in different parts of the country each year. Please let us have your ideas on where we should hold the 2024 event.

The near capacity audience heard presentations from CPRE (The Countryside Charity) and NT senior managers, with Q&A sessions following each speaker.

TANT is supporting the CPRE campaign for Rooftop Revolution seeking solar energy to every new development and for barriers to be removed that prevent solar on existing roofs.

The NT provided more detail on its current nature programme and work across the whole spectrum of NT activities. Concern was expressed by local farmers on Bovine TB with the possibility of widespread infection in the Red Deer of Exmoor.


Tenants’ concerns

Local tenants were concerned about lack of repairs and maintenance to their homes with particular emphasis on damp, mould and heating costs.

The Chair’s address reported that the NT had carried out a Tenant Satisfaction survey last December 2022 many said that they were concerned about energy efficiency, timescales for larger repairs and communication.

The report confirmed that the NT are investing £30million this year in repairs and maintenance but are prioritising legal compliance and emergency repairs. TANT continues to push for this figure to be significantly increased and for improved work quality supervised by NT staff.

The Trust’s annual accounts show income for the year to 28/2/2023 from rents of £49.3million with tenants subject to continuing rent increases.

TANT has dealt with many tenant problems in the past year and answered numerous queries. After a long campaign by TANT, the NT has a new Complaints Procedure, which is easier to follow and has two opportunities for external input.

TANT recommends in the first instance that people to come to TANT for help and guidance (link), where we can usually find a resolution, and keep the NT Complaints Procedure as a last resort.

Colby Woodland Gardens in the snow

Leasehold reform bill

We are part of the Renters Reform Coalition which is campaigning for the Leasehold Reform Bill currently before Parliament. Key elements include the ending of Section 21 no fault evictions, a legal requirement for better housing conditions and the possibility of NT long leases being extended from 99 years to 990 years.

Affordable housing

In Slindon our President, Andrew Turner-Cross, has been working with the local community on an affordable housing project with the NT providing the land at token cost. Our Patron Michael Eavis CBE is a strong advocate for this type of development and has provided land for several projects. TANT thanks Michael for his Patronage and with him will seek to persuade the NT to provide land in this way across the country.


Other business

Andrew Turner-Cross, TANT’s current appointee to the Council of the NT, gave a report on its operation and activities in the last 12 months.

The Treasurer Peter Murphy provided the audited accounts for the financial year to 31/3/23, the current bank balance and confirmed that financial matters were on a sound footing at this time.
A more detailed report on the AGM is available here.

Visit to Holnicote

TANT was pleased to welcome Caroline Kay, a member of the Board of Trustees of the NT, on an informal visit to the Holnicote Estate in late November 2023. She met with some tenants and staff and was taken on a tour of the villages and countryside.

Caroline Kay & Peter Bate, TANT’s Chair, at the Perriwinkle Tea Room, Holnicote

State Benefits

Please do ensure that you are claiming any Government benefits to which you may be entitled. We can advise on this and all aspects of your National Trust tenancy. Please go to the Request for Assistance Form on our website which is the best option or telephone our helpline.

TANT is run entirely by volunteers. Please do let us know if you would like to join our team – we all have different experiences, backgrounds and skills to bring to the tenants’ table.

We send you seasonal greetings with the hope that one or more of your Christmas wishes come true and for peace in the New Year.

Peter Bate, Chair

Special thanks for photos to:

  • Patrick Holliday – Laycock Bakery looking festive
  • Tony Price – Colby Woodland Gardens in the snow
  • Anastasia Holly Frampton – Our little fox