What is Totnes Community Development Society (TCDS)?

It is a community-led organisation. Totnes Community Development Society works to bring land and buildings into community use, management and ownership, including working in partnership with other groups and organisations locally to achieve this and in support of local service provision.

Currently Totnes Community Development Society:

  • Facilitates Atmos Totnes a community-led redevelopment of the former Dairy Crest site adjacent to Totnes railway station for truly affordable housing, community and work space.
  • Manages the Mansion on Fore Street in Totnes as a community facility held by the King Edward VI College Site Foundation.
  • Partners with Golden Iris (at the Elmhirst Building) to support young people to develop spaces for creativity, skills development and positive mental health.
  • Is establishing a Community Labour Initiative, enabling training and skills development opportunities through all the activities of TCDS to enable individuals in Totnes to thrive and provide the capacity to support services, enterprise and voluntary activities into the future.


What is the Totnes Community Development Society membership offer?

From September 2018 Residents of Totnes and the surrounding area are invited to apply for membership of Totnes Community Development Society. This will provide an individual or an organisation rights and responsibilities around enabling Totnes Community Development Society to fulfil its objects through its work, including through the projects it works on.

TCDS has worked for years with the participation of thousands of people, facilitated by a small handful. The potential for this community to do more through a larger membership (each one facilitating the involvement of others) is huge.

Directors of TCDS always said that they would open up for membership at a suitable point following the making of the Community Right to Build Order, which happened in 2017. With more coherence around the purchase of the site, the financial plans and the opportunities ahead for Atmos and other community-led projects now is the time.


How can I apply for membership?

If you are over 16 you can apply for membership online or by post. Click here for more information.

You will be asked for your personal information, and a donation if you choose to make one to contribute to the cost of running membership. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fixed home. You can provide alternative details.


Where can I find more information about membership and the Rules of TCDS?

These answers have been written to provide an overview of the membership offer presented by TCDS from September 2018. None of the points here are intended to replace in anyway the Rules or associated resolutions of the Directors of TCDS. If you have questions or queries relating to Membership you are encouraged to contact TCDS or attend a membership event. The Rules of TCDS can be found here.


Can I get involved in the work of the organisation?

We invite you to become a member and participate in the governance of TCDS and support the work of this locally driven organisation.

There will be further opportunities to participate in activities connected with the organisation in the coming months. To keep in touch with the organisation we encourage people and local organisations to become members.

In the coming months there will be further opportunities to participate with and invest in Totnes Community Development Society and its projects. Members and those signed up to the newsletter as above will be informed of these opportunities.


Are there any other criteria that might affect whether my application is accepted?

Grant approval to all applications for membership where;

  • A £1 share is purchased (or can be purchased on behalf of) an applicant for membership
  • The applicant is over 16 (in the case of individuals or as a representative of an institution)
  • Where the person or institution applying for membership has not previous been expelled from the Society
  • Where the person or institution applying for membership has stated they will support the objects of the organisation and uphold the Society Rules.
  • The approval of the membership does not reduce the overall membership of those individuals or institutions from Totnes (the town and surrounds) to less than 70% of the total membership.


Is membership of Totnes Community Development Society limited to those living in the Town 

No, anyone who fulfils the criteria in the rules (summaries above) will be given membership. This includes people who work in Totnes, or those that live elsewhere in the UK or even abroad. However, Directors follow a policy that means that the overall membership of those individuals or institutions from Totnes (the town and surrounds) will not comprise of less than 70% of the total membership. This is to maintain local governance of the organisation.


What is the area that is considered Totnes (the town and surrounds)?

For the basis of assessing local membership and the policy which determines this states that Totnes (the town and surrounds) is represented by a home address or registered address (in the case of an institution) with a TQ postcode.


How can I get involved if I am under 16?

Totnes Community Development Society welcomes participation by young people in its work. Its project activities, including consultation sessions, are not restricted to those over the age of 16 and are often run in partnership with education institutions or others working with young people, or groups of young people themselves.

Totnes Community Development Society also Partners with Golden Iris Productions (run by young people for young people, families and vulnerable people in Totnes) to support young people to develop spaces for creativity, skills development and positive mental health.

The more you are familiar with the work of the organisation, and actively involved in it, once you turn 16 you will be able to extend your participation and apply for membership should you choose to do so.


Who are the people that run Totnes Community Development Society?

Members of Totnes Community Development Society govern the organisation. Day to day Totnes Community Development Society is managed by a Board of Directors, all of whom are local volunteers. There are two members of staff. One full time who works on co-ordinating the systems which underpin all the active projects, another is part time and provides facilities support.

Totnes Community Development Society does not have any political affiliation or association. The organisation does not focus on one area of benefit within the organisation but acts as a facilitator to establish from the people of Totnes what local need is and enable people to work together to meet this need through the spaces the community owns and manages.


As a member of TCDS what do I have to do?

Members will be offered a wide range of ways of being involved in Totnes Community Development Society, including; attending meetings and voting on resolutions and appointing Directors; being consulted on development plans for TCDS sites and projects; contributing time and skills to the work of TCDS.

Members of Totnes Community Development Society have responsibilities related to membership of the Society. Details of these are captured within the Rules of the Society and includes an agreement:

  • To participate in general meetings,
  • To take an active interest in the activities of Totnes Community Development Society,
  • To respect the confidentiality of the Society and the decisions of its members.
  • To keep in touch with the organisation so that the Society can inform you of activities and opportunities to participate


As a member do I have the same rights as every other member?

Yes. Directors of Totnes Community Development Society are committed to truly democratic participation. Totnes Community Development Society operates with one member receiving one vote. This is regardless of any other role in the organisation (e.g., if they are a Director), any perceived influence they may have or any other investment or donation made.


What is the cost of Membership?

A Membership share in Totnes Community Development Society is £1 (one-pound sterling). TCDS will cover this cost so that we can offer membership for free and open to all, and not tie membership to a financial contribution. When applying for membership you will be given the opportunity to make a donation to TCDS to help cover our running costs.

  • The value of the share shall not change.
  • This share capital represents permanent capital in Totnes Community Development Society Ltd, a Charitable Community Benefit society.
  • Membership shares cannot be withdrawn. In the event that you wish to terminate your membership, the £1 share will remain in TCDS.
  • The only circumstances where a share can be transferred are in the case of death or bankruptcy.
  • There are no further obligated annual or renewal membership costs. Although you will be asked at the point of applying for membership if you are willing to contribute to the costs of administering membership for yourself or others


Can I buy more than one share?

No, each member can only have one membership share. There will be opportunities to buy further shares in TCDS in the future.


Do I get interest on my Membership Share if Totnes Community Development Society makes a profit?

No interest or dividend will be paid on Membership shares.


Do I get my £1 share value back if I end my membership?

A Member of Totnes Community Development Society can resign their membership or have their membership terminated by the Society under certain circumstances in accordance with the Rules. In either case, the amount paid up on the share of that member becomes the property of Totnes Community Development Society on termination of the membership.

From time to time the Society may undertake exercises to actively confirm that Members do wish to continue their membership. Should there be no response from a Member following such a communication, the Society may deem that membership be terminated.


We are an organisation in Totnes, can we become a member?

An organisation or unincorporated group can apply for membership and will be required to name a representative of the organisation in the application.


What will you do with my personal details?

Members’ details will be held in a register. The Members register will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulations. You can read more about the Totnes Community Development Society Privacy Policy here.