Who We Are
WHAT IS THE CMO?
The Chilmington Management Organisation (CMO) has been set up, with all households given the opportunity to get involved. Think of the CMO as custodians of your local community, doing all the duties of a management company and so much more. The CMO will look after all public open spaces within areas it adopts such as landscaping and community buildings, as well as having a remit to commission and implement community projects.
Community events, activities, groups, forums and facilities will support the CMO in creating a community where people feel safe, enjoy living and belong; a place that people visit for leisure or work.
The CMO will be an organic, entrepreneurial organisation (a not for profit charitable company) set up purely for the benefit of Chilmington, with the capacity to respond to needs and opportunities, either in partnership with public and voluntary agencies, or on its own initiative.
It is run by a Board of Trustee Directors and will be managed day-to-day by a full time CMO Team, including Residential Management Group (members of The Association of Residential Managing Agents).
The CMO will operate from the First Community Premises (a 2,000sq.ft building located at Chilmington) and will eventually be located in a new state-of-the-art 47,000 sq. ft modern office building, located in the district centre of Chilmington. You can be safe in the knowledge that the CMO will be run professionally and openly to service Chilmington.
Chilmington, a great place to live and a thriving community for all.
Own, manage and maintain excellent community spaces and buildings, creating a community for present and future generations.
THE STORY OF THE CHILMINGTON MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION
To meet the demand for new homes whilst protecting the great history surrounding Chilmington, The Developers along with the Borough Council recognised that any new community here would need to be created with 21st century principles of quality design, strong character and healthy living. Such ambitions had to consider both the immediate and the long-term needs of future residents, being mindful of the many ingredients required to shape a vibrant place to live.
To do this, good governance was needed as well as a commitment to social and environmental sustainability. Whilst considering the initial planning application it was recognised that a traditional approach to governance simply wasn’t going to work given that the development at that time covered two Parish Councils, not to mention the scale of open spaces to be maintained with roughly 50% of Chilmington comprising green space. There was always the likelihood that Chilmington, once substantially developed, would be sufficient in size to create a parish council in its own right.
In light of these challenges, many possible solutions were explored. Overall it was clear that a community development trust, in the form of an independent not for profit organisation would be the way forward. Many examples of such an arrangement already existed both locally and nationally and demonstrated that communities preferred ‘a community led approach’.
And thus, following research into the success of other similar arrangements and widespread community consultation locally the concept of the Chilmington Management Organisation was born. Following many more years of input from the borough, county and parish councils, developers and the volunteer sector the CMO was created to become an organisation that could truly serve the residents of Chilmington.
As we welcome residents to Chilmington, we look forward to having your input into shaping a community that works for you, to be a place of choice to live, work and play.
This isn’t the end of our story, it’s just the beginning.
The setup of the CMO has been a partnership between Hodson Developments (lead developer) and Ashford Borough Council supported by Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes, Kent County Council, Homes England, Jarvis Homes and Chelmden. Hodson Developments and Ashford Borough Council have invested significant resource and finance into ensuring the CMO is setup with strong foundations. Hodson Developments are delivering the CMO and community assets which will help build a strong foundation for an active and vibrant community at Chilmington. Each of the developer partners retain a seat as a Trustee Director of the CMO. This is outlined further under the Governance and Board page.
WHAT THE CHILMINGTON MANAGEMENT ORGANISATION DOES
The principle aims and related activity areas of the CMO are summarised as follows:
- Own, maintain and effectively manage the public open spaces, buildings and facilities
- Initiate, develop, coordinate and deliver community and cultural activities to create and maintain a thriving community
- Promote and support environmental and community sustainability
The CMO will be a flexible and responsive organisation which meets the needs and opportunities, either in partnership with public and voluntary agencies, or on its own.
The CMO is built upon a number of core values and operating principles, as shown in the table below:
|Quality||Quality in all aspects of the CMO’s operation, particularly its services and its relationship with the residents will always be our aim.|
|Community Focus||Everything is about Chilmington, not just the inclusion of all individuals but also the collective benefit of the community as a whole. Residents will be supported and encouraged to have a sense of ownership and to participate in community life in a voluntary capacity.|
|Partnership||The CMO is established as a partnership, initially with the developers, local councils, and the voluntary sector, and in the future with local residents and housing associations.|
|Sustainability||The CMO, its assets and its activities must be sustainable for the long term, with all decisions giving consideration to long-term benefit and impact.|
|Entrepreneurship||The CMO is a social business, and so must always ensure that its income exceeds expenditure which is then reinvested to benefit residents.|
|High Governance Standards||The CMO will be managed and governed to the highest standards, with Members, Board and strategic partners being fully involved, exercising their roles effectively and being accountable.|
The CMO will own, manage and maintain public assets (such as play spaces, landscaping and community buildings) on behalf of the residents living within the new development. It will use and develop these assets to support the creation of a strong and united community. The following diagram illustrates the four pillars of the CMO’s work:
HOW IT BENEFITS RESIDENTS
The CMO has been created with the residents of Chilmington at its heart. As a resident you can rely on the CMO to deliver high quality land management in a transparent and proactive manner. Unlike a private management company, you will have a say in how it operates with opportunities to play a role. And, it’s not just about land management with the CMO, it’s about shaping a healthy community through education, arts, creative economies and a widely felt sense of neighbourliness.
There has always been an aspiration that Chilmington offers a quality environment for residents and visitors. The CMO plays a key part in this by ensuring that all spaces are maintained and managed to a high standard. This is done in accordance with the Chilmington Quality Charter which sets out high quality aims for all aspects of this new community.
All residents pay their share of the costs to maintain open spaces and shared amenities. They can also opt-in to become a voting member of the CMO. As a member you have a say in how open spaces and shared amenities are maintained, what programmes are offered and how the CMO is governed. This is conducted formally through attendance at Annual General Meetings (see membership page) and through informal discussions with the CMO team. As a resident paying toward the rent charge, you are investing in the quality of where you live and therefore adding value. You should feel welcome to participate in the decision making that affects long-term stewardship.
Residents are actively encouraged to take up leadership roles within their community either through direct engagement with the CMO and other organisations, by running projects or activities which they feel passionate about or by simply pitching in to support their neighbours.
Recognising the need to tackle climate change, Chilmington must become a sustainable place to live by minimising its carbon footprint from the outset. This needs to be in keeping with Ashford Borough Council’s pledge to be a carbon neutral borough by the year 2030. The CMO will play an important role in promoting carbon neutral living amongst residents and it will advocate for the necessary infrastructure to minimise the development’s impact upon the environment.