About Us

So who are we?
The Thrift Community Land Trust for Soham was formed as a legal entity in 2014. We aim to support local communities to develop affordable housing and other community assets which will help sustain those communities now and into the future.

Thrift for Soham will effectively act as a steward for any assets developed which means that any income from schemes will be reinvested directly back into the community ensuring that the homes and facilities are provided for the long term.

Homes will be offered for an affordable rent or for part buy/part rent and will be prioritised for local people who need them.

Why are we called Thrift?
The dictionary definition of ‘thrift’ is quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully. In Middle English (from Old Norse) it meant prosperity.

The Thrift is a strip of land which connected Hasse Rd to the Weatheralls area of Soham.

Before the introduction of the Welfare State many of the local Soham pubs ran a Thrift Club which working people paid into regularly and received help when they were sick and unable to work and at Christmas any money still available was released.

The Board of Trustees are backed by:
Soham Town Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council
We are also being supported by CLT East – the charitable independent body set up to support CLTs in the East of England.

Current Trustees:

Rosemary Aitchison (Chair)
Has a lifetime’s experience in Government administration including working in DEFRA and the Forestry Commission before retiring.  She has been a town councillor for 20 years and has twice been Chairman of the Town Council.  She was closely involved in the discussions around the Soham Masterplan and is currently the Vice Chairman of the Town Council.

Colin Elsden
Is Deputy Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire. He was a small business employer for 22 years running a bookbinding business in Cambridge. Voluntary work at present includes President of the Royal British Legion for Cambridgeshire and is a trustee of several military charities.

Colin Gipp
Is a Local Government Officer working in London in the Housing and Land Directorate of the Greater London Authority. Colin has worked for a number of local authority housing departments and housing associations for 24 years in a number of senior housing roles including lettings and allocations, estate management, development and marketing.

Charles Warner (Secretary)
Was a professional engineer, inventor, director and managing director of several medium size engineering companies. He was a winner of a Government Smart Award. He acted as a consultant to Malaysian, Russian, Dutch and British companies. Charles is now retired. He stood as a Lib Dem candidate in two District and County Council elections.

Nigel Johnson (Accountant)
Has lived in Soham all his life and worked in accounts since 1982.  During this time he has worked for local and national businesses and in 1998, he set up his own practice in the town. Between 2010 and 2012 he represented the professional accountancy body on the HMRC VAT Advisory Committee.  He has been, and is still involved in local charities and organisations, with a view to helping improve the local community.