Civ com meetings


#65

There is much … currently in the hands of several MPs.

However the repeated crux is that in Charity Law, nothing supersedes Trustees and there is no legal basis for an external party to interfere with trustees or their charitable business. This is the basis by which the ACO would fail in any court of law and is not supported by the Charity Commission who only state a position which is that the ACO does have a mechanism by which it can control CivCom membership but not trustees.

Think about it. If a deviant Civcomm were to act badly, who would act? The ACO? No they would pass it to the police who would then look to the CPS. Who would then look to statute law.

It might be unsavoury, but until ACP-11 recognises basic legal principles and I might add is not full of contradictions that will unravel in any serious scrutiny, then blind support of this document is not to be recommended for anyone considering taking on the legal responsibilities of trusteeship.


#66

I thought I would compare against the rules for Scout Executive Committee’s.

All Scout Units are independent charities. However, those based in England and Wales may not be required to register with the Charity Commission as they have been ‘excepted’ by a ruling of the Charity Commission who, in their most recent guidance, have confirmed that Scout Units only have to register if:  their income is more than £100,000, or  they have permanent endowment (a rare interest in land/building or other assets which cannot be spent as ‘income’) and their income is £5,000 or over; or  they own land or buildings and their income is £5,000 or over However, it is important to note that even excepted and unregistered charities still remain subject to general charity law and the rules of the Charity Commission which may investigate matters where there is proper cause for concern.

If that same criteria is what we have to adhear to for registration then surely most sqns don’t have to register as our buildings and land are owned by the RFCA’s aren’t they?


#67

Allow me to quote the relevant section of the Charities Act 2011 which applies


30 Charities required to be registered: general

(1) Every charity must be registered in the register unless subsection (2) applies to it.

(2) The following are not required to be registered —
(a) an exempt charity (see section 22 and Schedule 3),
(b) a charity which for the time being —
(i) is permanently or temporarily excepted by order of the Commission, and
(ii) complies with any conditions of the exception, and whose gross income does not exceed £100,000,

© a charity which for the time being —
(i) is, or is of a description, permanently or temporarily excepted by regulations made by the Minister, and
(ii) complies with any conditions of the exception, and whose gross income does not exceed £100,000, and
(d) a charity whose gross income does not exceed £5,000.

(3) A charity within —
(a) subsection (2)(b) or ©, or
(b) subsection (2)(d), must, if it so requests, be registered in the register.

(4) In this section any reference to a charity’s gross income is to be read, in relation to a particular time—
(a) as a reference to the charity’s gross income in its financial year immediately preceding that time, or
(b) if the Commission so determines, as a reference to the amount which the Commission estimates to be the likely amount of the charity’s gross income in such financial year of the charity as is specified in the determination.

So these are the conditions for not requiring to register and I have highlighted 2(b) as this refers to the current position for RAFAC in England and Wales. HOWEVER I recall in 2009 it was stated by the Charity Commission that the ‘Excepted’ status was no longer going to be allowed to be used in new situations. Further, every CivCom in Northern Ireland and Scotland are registered because under their regulators, you are a charity or not. So the RAFAC sits uncomfortably across two positions. In England and Wales, there have been lots of noises that the Charity Commission will follow suit - hence the suspension of any new ‘Excepted’ charities.

The practical knock on of this at squadron level is that to retain control, ATC-HQ must effectively re-use Exception Orders (identified by the exception number each squadron is given and asked to quote) to avoid Civcomms having to register and thereby becoming non-dependent on RAFAC (although they are acknowledged to be fully independent charities. ATC-HQ will undoubtedly regard that as a loss of control and so would rather merge poorer squadrons under an existing Exception Order than face the creation of numerous new independent charities which they cannot give the impression they have control over, having already lost Scotland and NI (and further islands).

I think if you re-read the Scout text, you will see it does correlate to the extract I have given, but that property is not included in the criteria. (BTW not all land is owned by RFCA and their buildings are on alternative land or even in schools through CCFs). That said, lets not forget that squadrons with minibuses and lots of squadron kit all have sizeable charity assets for the squadron to use.

Also, clause 3(b) is important as it means any CivComm wishing to register can do so without obstruction and this may be beneficial in many cases, if only to remove the smoke and mirrors.

Echoing other posts, the ATC itself is not a charity and is also not a legal entity, so it really is relying on perpetuating the smoke to avoid having to deal properly with it.


#68

I agree 100%

And despite what are claimed to be the rules of the ACO, and assorted clap trap which has emanated from some sources, it is totally unbelievable when you find a squadron has been operating for two years without a functioning Civcom, or that the ACO has created situations which directly impact on the ability of the Civcom to function properly, if at all.

Trustees cannot simply walk away from their Statutory duty, and leave Charity business in the hands of individuals who are not even elected Trustees. There is no delegation under Charity Law, as each Trustee is accountable to the Charity Commission, and not the ACO, because as Rumpole has said, as a non legal entity, it cannot assume or exert any statutory power.

The CAC happens to be a Trustee of the GPF, but that is a CIO, whereas the Squadron Charity falls under a different section of Charity Law, thus maintaining the separation and Independence. The Squadron Charity is not reliant on the GPF, but it is the Cadets who are entitled to benefit therefrom in addition to their own Squadron Charity.

The squadron charity is an important cash generator, but equally it is key to providing the range of activities (subject to staff limitations) which attracts the interest of young people.

Deadydi - you seem to have a plan and I hope you can take it forward. I got involved without any understanding of the nature of the charity, found there is a lot to learn, and a need to look at things in the wider context. Do not be deterred

Another thing which has descended into apathy is the fact that Squadron Chairs are automatically members of the Wing Committee; if every Squadron took a more active interest, especially over how the syphoned money is used, there might be less scope for some questionable spending which has become evident in some parts.


#69

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement…I really needed to hear that this morning.