The Dell is legally owned by Brent Council. See Land Registry entries.
As landowner, Brent Council retains responsibility for all health and safety issues and must also fulfill its statutory duties as a local authority in relation to the Dell as a public park.
Legal Agreements between the Trust and Brent
Although the Dell is owned by Brent, Brent cannot just do what it likes with the Dell. Legal agreements mean that the Trust has a real say:
- There is a formal legal covenant in favour of the Trust. This means that the Dell must be kept as a public park for eighty years.
- There is a formal 'partnership' agreement between Brent and the Trust which governs the position.
How the 'partnership' with Brent Works
Ultimately, the Dell is governed by a Steering Committee of six people. Half the Steering Committee is chosen by the Trustees. The other half is chosen by Brent Council.
The Steering Committee has final say on what happens in the Dell except for health and safety, Brent's statutory duties as a local authority and expenditure by Brent.
In the event of a deadlock between Brent and the Trust members of the Steering Committee, the Trust members have the casting vote.
The Trust's Constitution and You as a Member of the Trust
The Trust, in turn, is governed by a formal Constitution. As a member of the Trust, you can elect the Trustees at our Annual General Meeting. The Trustees listen to you and what you want. Through them, you can indirectly choose the Steering Committee and thus have ultimate say-so over the Dell.
The Strings Attached
The Trust's say in the Dell does not come without strings attached:
- Although Brent is responsible for the basic maintenance of the Dell (mowing, locking and unlocking the gates, emptying the bins, etc.) the Trust must provide all the 'added-value' elements to looking after the Dell.
- This means watering when necessary, mulching, pruning, planting and re-planting and always making improvements to the state of the gardens in the Dell.
If the Trust doesn't see to these jobs, it can lose it's legal say and, even worse, the protection that the legal covenants provide to see that the Dell stays as a park.
This is why your role and support as members of the Trust are so important.