SIR – Malvern Hills Trust’s proposals for its future governance, posit control of the hills and commons by a small group, in future generations, by drastically cutting its board of trustees, by breaking the direct link between trustee and local electoral ward and by adding non-local nominees to the board.

A substantial number of alert residents responded to the recent consultation, a fraction of whose views are on MHT’s website, beside simple percentage responses.

Residents of many backgrounds, voiced warnings to the trustees of flaws in their plan to replace the five Malvern Hills Acts of Parliament with a one-size-fits-all Charity Commission scheme.

It is naïve to imagine that trusteeship could not be subverted in future years by the “few,” a tiny group of trustees and /or non-elected members, bent on using the valuable assets of the Malvern Hills for their own interests.

Vital checks are missing from the MHT charitable scheme which ignores the facts of Malvern Hills Trust’s historic status which differs from that of other UK charities.

The Facts: 60 per cent of MHT’s trust income currently comes from local taxation. Residents of most Malvern wards have paid the extra precept on top of council tax without murmur, since inception, believing in the Hills as a community resource of free access, of green space amenities, and of commoners rights, granted & protected for future generations to enjoy.

Future trustees unaccountable to precept payers? One giant step towards raising a higher levy based on the “needs” of the charity, or to selling land to offset the precept! What could stop this?

Only public accountability, and scrutiny at this stage, by an informed public. MHT Trustees, please have the courage to re-run the flawed and inadequate public consultation, which failed to ensure that residents’ interests have been adequately served.

Anne Ridley