We don’t come under Queen’s regs any more.
To the treasurer. CO need to know the state of the funds but that canbe the report in the meeting
Thank you so much for your detailed reply.
In answer to your question about who has been managing the money, the answer is no one. The money has been building up over the years and we are now in a healthy position to provide some things for the Cadets (and this is why I am anxious to get going). The ladies who were authorised to sign the cheques continued to do so to pay bills from the Squadron, I believe, but there has been no meetings and no forward planning.
ACP10 and ACP11 are not the easiest documents to understand, but I do have 11 years of experience in school PTA and fundraising. I also ran a play group for 2 years.
Our wing CO is not the most forth coming of people and TBH not easy to work with and this is why I have found myself here asking so many questions, in the hope of getting it right and running smoothly.
We will read the notes that you have recommended.
You really need to have an AGM / EGM in order to resolve the number of you in the Committee and who the Chair / Treasurer / Secretary is.
The key point is that you need at least 5 members, and the officers are elected, although in most cases their is just about a single nomination for each role…
In terms of the finances, this is the sole jurisdiction of the committee, and the OC will know this and is probably trying to take advantage of you all being new!
The OC, and his team of CFAVs are to deliver the cadet experience, as defined by ACTO 1, where non public finances are required to support this delivery they will approach the committee to approve and facilitate the expenditure.
Some committees like to act like a savings account and increase holdings for the rainy day when the minibus breaks, while others will spend spend spend. In my opinion you need to find yourself in between the extremes.
The average cadets spends 18 Months in the ATC, use this to work out how much subs each cadet is providing, and consider if this is being spent on them… Also consider the cadets won’t go bag packing if they never see the benefit of the funds raised. The committee exists for the cadets of today, with an eye on the cadets of tomorrow.
We had these problems a few years ago when my chair quit, and then again when the treasurer just stopped attending meetings. It is not easy to get around the admin side of it to change over permissions etc without signatures from the outgoing people but it is do-able - we did it. Changing the bank mandate / gift aid was the hardest. Gift aid hadnt been claimed for 4 years so we ended up with a nice boost of £5k! We now do everything exclusively via internet banking where possible and using Barclays charity account it works well for the two person authorisation using the card readers they provide. It means both do not need to be present - so if one sets up at the meeting another can do so from home if absent. The key to that is the staff are no longer out of pocket when they have funded things upfront first.
The priority is to gain control of the Sqns funds and dont just rely on two signatures - have more if you can to cover for absences etc. It definitely cannot be staff and in our case I wont allow it also to be a committee member who is also related to a staff member - each branch of the Sqn management needs to be independent of the other. My committee is 6 people, all parents so does regularly change personnel as cadets join and leave - I have gotten used to this fact after many years.
The OC cannot have access to the funds in anyway shape or form - however I see no reason why you cannot allow them to see the bank statements. I do and help out with admin where I can as we are all in it together as a team. I respect the boundaries laid out by both the RAFAC and the Charities Commission and go into meetings with well laid out arguments for funding - if they say no I respect that (they very rarely do though).
We always keep the average subs bill in the account as a minimum and budget annually for expendables like stationary and first aid kit. This budget can be spent at any time during the year without further authorisation up to the max (currently £250 for each) after that each spend needs to be approved. We rarely spend that much anyway but do have laser printers…
We also transfer any excess funds to a project account at the end of the financial year - this so far has £5k in it and is for the long term replacement of the SOV. It has not stopped us investing in a new flight sim, radios, mta kit, first aid stuff etc. For a small Sqn we punch above our weight in terms of the kit we have, but we have been very unsuccessful in gaining funds from other sources such as the lottery etc. Everything we have we have raised ourselves. However we have now entered the crowdfunding sector and have started to use online donations. It has worked well for a nearby Sqn so thought it was worth a punt. We are using BT My Donate which costs nothing and no commission fees unlike Just Giving or Virgin Money.
spicester … sounds like you have it sussed and are doing a good job.
Independence is the key. You have to respect your committee’s independence and they have to respect your desires and direction.
Working together is always the best parallel … HQAC has to realise that this is a two-way deal (always used to before Auntie Dawn.).
Hold your balance in the interest of your cadets and more power to you … sounds like you are open minded and creative
Sorry I have not been on much but have read all your replies.
Our Chair has now officially resigned, although it was a bit messy…
I have a couple of more questions so please bare with me.
We are finally having our Civ Com/Staff meeting next week, who would be the best person to Chair this? I am going to take over as Chair and a new parent, who is an Accountant, will take up the Treasurers position.
Would the new positions be appointed at a separate meeting and would this meeting need to be an EGM or can we just have another meeting?
At the moment I am taking on the organising of the various things that need doing, and the current members are happy to elect me as their new Chair.
We also wish to have a Parents night for all the new parents (and we have had a few new members) to hopefully gain some new Civ Com members as well but our CO, again, is putting a delay on this as he said he would prefer it to be in about three months time, where we would prefer sooner rather than later. Could I have your thoughts on this too? Thank you
I am sure somebody will step in to correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that it needs to be an AGM (or EGM, though that term doesn’t seem to be used in our ACPs) at which officebearers are elected. Next week may be too soon for this as you would really need to put out a wide invitation to the wider “squadron association” (ie, all parents).
If you can, it may be beneficial to get the Wing Chair along to attend this staff meeting next week. It may also be wise for them to kick off the AGM until you elect the new chair, who can then take over, then get on with the remaining elections and other business.
Next week may be too soon for this as you would really need to put out a wide invitation to the wider “squadron association” (ie, all parents).
The parents night, I would like to do beginning of October.
A commonly accepted notice period for an AGM would be 21 days.
You can of course involve your Wing Chair, however they have no authority or influence. In the creation of a squadron the chairperson are almost self-appointed - at least for the first year i.e. before the next AGM but that is not quite where you are and I imagine it would run a risk of upset.
I n your shoes, I would put out a general notification with requests for candidates by X. Then I would send out a notification of those candidates to all parents. Then I would invite a confident person to introduce the meeting as (if you like) a returning officer with the sole business of the AGM being to appoint officers of the trust. It may be appropriate for the CO to be present as an ex-officio observer. After seeking agreement from the meeting, that person may hold the election from those duly nominated. (Note: there is no requirement for any meeting to be actually chaired by the Chairperson despite the title).
With the officers appointed, the returning officer can formally hand over to the newly appointed officers and close the AGM. The new officers can then re-open a second meeting as a general meeting.
The only statutory business then missing would be the approval of accounts and that seems to need to be deferred until the new treasurer is in a position make a statement. If statement copies are then circulated at a later date and passed by a full vote, it should suffice.
As far as I can see this would chime with you timescale.
I should add that at this stage you are not bound by ACP-11 and one of the first duties of your newly appointed committee would be to review it to see whether you wish to adopt it , modify it, or pursue one of the Charity Commission’s model constitutions (in which case you will need to keep similar charitable objectives (noting that the Charity Commission has been critical of the objectives on ACP-11 as they currently stand).
If your income in the last 12 months has exceeded £5k, then you are bound to seek registration with the Charity Commission anyway.
If I’m interpreting this letter correctly, the Charity Commission has itself said that it holds no jurisdiction over the ATC or Civilian Committees.
“The Charity Commission has no jurisdiction over these regulations (except in relation to advice on charitable matters).”
According to ACP 11:
During the election the meeting will be chaired by either the squadron president, wing chairman or squadron commander.
again from ACP11
Appointments of the officers and members of the committee shall be made
by election by the members of the Association at the AGM.
So you can appoint new members during the same meeting, but might be better to inform members beforehand that positions are vacant and will be looking to fill them at the agm.
going back to the point above, you’re probably better off announcing that there are vacancies and seeing who/how many step forwards, then holding a meeting to vote on who to hold the role for the year. However three months seems a little excessive if just for this purpose.
Have an EGM and get people in place, which will be those wanting to do it. Then look to have another meeting with parents etc. if you call a meeting and there is the slightest suspicion that “you” are looking for chairman, treasurer and secretary you are unlikely to get many, if any, people. If a letter goes out signed by the chairman, there is likely to be some interest, not a lot. I am and have been involved in a number of groups over the years and people shy away from committees etc.
In every group I’ve been involved in, the “Chairman”, Secretary and Treasurer are those who want to do it and everyone else breathes a heavy sigh of relief.
They only stop doing it when they die, move or leave the organisation.
The only place I’ve ever witnessed anything different is the ATC, where even among Civ Comm members I have witnessed and heard of some really, really, really childish behaviours. Which if it was cadets you’d have some serious words. I said this to a committee at one squadron, wasn’t taken well.
Need to be really careful not to misquote this document here.
The reason this statement was written is because the Air Cadet Organisation (ATC) is not charitable and sought to be able to make a confident sounding statement that gave the impression it is in control when it is not. Therefore the Charity Commission is saying it has no jurisdiction over it because it isn’t a charity. It does not say that the Charity Commission has no jurisdiction over Civilian Committees which are each independent excepted charities with a legal responsibility conferred on its trustees.
Being a response to an FOI ,I can see some other errors like registration at £100K when it has been £5k for a number of years.
Likewise, there is no obligation upon you to conform to ACP-11. It is a legally unsound document and only represents one possible constitution. As trustees you only have to be bound by ACP-11 if you adopt it - a number of squadrons deliberately haven’t.
Your Civcomm is an independent charity providing financial support to your squadron and its objectives. Period. There is no basis for your to follow ACP-11 process if you are transparent, considered and clear
Although you may want to do it for relationship purposes, this is an example of hollow fact in ACP-11 - it just isn’t necessary as non of these people hold any authority. Just get someone sensible.
You do not have to have an Association until you have adopted ACP-11 (or not).
The CO can express a view but actually has nothing to do with this … you are an independent charity operating as a support mechanism for the squadron. Get on with it sensibly … what possible reasons can the CO give for avoiding you sorting things out and getting underway?
Thank you, this sounds like a plan.
The only reason not to, in my opinion, is if there is not enough space. Otherwise, I don’t see a problem!
No problem, the situation you are in you need to get up and running and doing your own thing pdq.
I’d be interested to see the working behind this position…