Hard dossier on ‘governmentless’ Veenhuizen Boeit hijacks marketing discussion

The 200th anniversary of ‘prison village’ Veenhuizen should be a party, but the Entrepreneurs’ Circle Veenhuizen puts a bomb under those festivities with an extremely critical dossier. She states that the Veenhuizen Culture & Tourism Foundation (VCT) has been operating ‘invalid’ for years and, moreover, does not enjoy support in the village. Mayor Klaas Smid and the VCT itself believe that there is support.

Moreover, Smid indicated during the council meeting in Roden tonight that whether or not the VCT (also known as Veenhuizen Boeit) operates legally or not is ‘irrelevant’ to the proposed decisions to invest money in the 200th anniversary. For example, the council is asked to make 25,000 euros available for activities in this jubilee year and to reserve 35,000 euros annually for the marketing of Veenhuizen in the coming years.

The funds go to Marketing Drenthe, which means that Smid does not consider it relevant whether the VCT is in a management crisis. That is what the Veenhuizen Entrepreneurship Circle claims in a file of 71 pages. ‘The foundation does not meet the legal description of the legal form ‘Foundation’. There is a membership ban in place,” it reads, among other things.

Also, the current board members who have registered are legally not directors of the foundation. According to the Veenhuizen Entrepreneurs’ Circle, the foundation is ‘boardless’.

The interim board of the VCT Foundation believes that the soup is not eaten as hot as it is now served. Recently, at a meeting of fifty people present, it was decided to transform the VCT into an association, thus ending the foundation. The association must see the light of day on 1 July. Not only entrepreneurs, but also sports associations and residents’ initiatives must be able to join.

In terms of support, the VCT points to the Entrepreneurs’ Circle itself, which, according to the website, can support seven companies. “That while more than two hundred companies are registered with the Chamber of Commerce. How can they then talk about support?”

The file impresses the Noordenveld city council. Gerard Willenborg (CDA) states that his group cannot simply award the money. “This needs to be clarified and sorted out first,” he says. “Although the money does not go directly to the VCT, they are on paper as co-responsible for Veenhuizen’s marketing.”

Mayor Smid finds it difficult to check the statutes of a volunteer organization such as the VCT. “Are we going to do the same with parties such as Volksvermaken? Then we will keep busy. Unless there is fraud or abuse, we should be reluctant to interfere with organizations in such a way.”

Smid thinks it is a pity that the discussion about the marketing plan for Veenhuizen was hijacked by the dossier of the Veenhuizen Entrepreneurs’ Circle. “We really have to do it together in Veenhuizen.”

The interim board of the VCT agrees. “Now it seems as if we are rolling around in Veenhuizen, while only a small group is against the plans in the village.”