Wing Chairs


So the referral document is this one?


Spot on Rumpole, could not aqree more.

The Government has been keen to support the Charity sector, but out of necessity, has had to introduce other legislation because elements within the sector use it as a screen for other purposes.

It has enhanced fundraising accountability (something not yet recognised by the ACO)

There has always been a necessity to maintain a space between charity management/fundraising and the end user of those funds, which is why you have Trusts, Trustees and related Laws, in order to safeguard the interests of the beneficiaries.

So I cant see how having the Wing chair/Treasurer supposedly parachuted in, solves any problems. It should not be simply a means to ensure the pennies keep rolling. It should be about safeguarding the interests of the beneficiaries.

Typhoon asked what happens to Sqn funds when a Sqn ceases to exist .

Not sure what is meant. But whether it is precisely that or simply the Civcom doing a runner, the position is the same.

The legal entity is the Squadron Association, which elects the Management Committee, and who are the Trustees. As a legal entity the Association, cannot simply disappear and has to make official closure. If it is the Civcom which disappears , the Association membership (still extant) must elect a replacement, even if it is for the purpose of winding up. But essentially it has money in the bank (unless someone has thieved it) and also owns assets (provided to benefit Cadet training) which always remain the property of that specific charity, that is until the Trustees effectively agree to dispose of it.

The ACO cannot do that as it has no legal status and did not set up the charity in the first place and, do note, that it is not a parent charity either.

Technically only the Charity Commission is able to appoint Trustees and usually acts where there is a failure of compliance, and they are hardly likely to break the Law and appoint just one or two individuals to be in a charge of a Charity. Anything below the minimum of three Trustees introduces risks attached to financial propriety .

So we have a document which is as clear as mud to understand. We have a good many individuals who have benefitted from Cranwell induction which does not appraise them of Charity Law, and then Civcoms, who have no training whatsoever but are expected to comply with the law and who volunteer for a position with personal liability.

The following quote somehow seems relevant:

The Commission is therefore urging all charities to foster a culture where staff, trustees and volunteers are reminded of the need to challenge any concerning behaviour and not turn a blind eye when internal processes aren’t followed…

Says it all really, when experience shows the ACO is endemic with not following internal procedures, (Wing Chair nominations?) so it is entirely relevant to the original question posed. What assurances do we have, when no-one seems to be able to answer that question?


perhaps while Warkitten is talking about the Thurston “debacle” and sarcastically yawning she will explain why (if rumours are to be believed) the trustees of the Thurston squadron funds found it necessary to take legal action to force the return misappropriated funds. I am sure she will defend the miscreant as his (like the Nuremberg trials) was only obeying the orders of his uniformed superiors. so much for independent, civilian wing chairman.
contrast this with the fact that no action has been taken against the civilian committee who know, respect and work in accordance with charity law.
A lot of nonsense has been written about the Thurston situation but I will leave it to you to decide who you think has the honour and integrity based on the facts.


That is rather interesting, there is no guidance in ACP11 on those sort of things.

But I have found ample reading on Trustee responsibilities, mostly all produced by the Charity Commission. So it seems if funds are removed (maybe also assets) without the Trustees agreement, that is no different to misappropriation.

No wonder the Commission talks about not turning a blind eye, although I cannot see how that is viable, if a Wing Chair might have been following orders…


Would you be involved in this, by amy chance?


as it was warkitten referred to the ‘debacle’ in the first place, maybe a better response would be to get someone to illuminate how it is relevant to the original question; clearly there is a link, or there would otherwise be no need to mention it.

Always two sides to every story, but a Trustee must act within the Law.


Since most people don’t know the facts and only see what’s in public domain… I would say neither party can claim any sort of high ground from what’s written.

Just because you are working inside the law does not mean you are working in line of what is expected from the Sqn or corps. To me a Civ Comm is akin to a PTA in a school in that it is there to support and assist the school, it is not like a School Board which is there to direct and take responsibility for the daily goings on.
This is where some CivComs fall down with the wrong people believing they are there to direct the OC and staff in what is to happen in the sqn. A simple example would be the Sqn decides it needs some AT equipment so the CivCom would then go and fund this purchase but should a CivCom decide to instead purchase RC planes when there is no requirement or need then the CivCom has overstepped the mark.


But maybe it is down to the Civ Com to ask whether the money requested in your example would be a good investment by asking if the Squadron OC, if he/she had the staff suitably qualified, the amount of use envisaged and an an ability to be transported for AT before purchase.

Edited to add, also if there are competing requests for funds, which is liable to give the best return for cadets for their pleasure and experience, and which can be put on the back burner for a later date.


Bob, absolutely the CivComm need to ensure the money is all accounted and its used wisely.
The point I hope I am making it isn’t there to buy what ever it feels like there needs to be joint consideration on all purchases.
You can just envisage some CivComm chairman who’s child is in the Sqn, the child thinks RC flying sounds great as his friend at another Sqn did it so annoys dad and dad then persuades the CivComm the RC flying is a better option. Next a ton of RC equipment arrives but the Sqn doesn’t have the ability, knowledge, space to hold all this or the staff interested so the money is wasted.

NOTE: I have nothing against RC Flying its only being used as an example :wink:


The Civ Com is there to support the staff but sometimes a second set of eyes is a wise move as they are responsible for charity funds. In your comment using RC equipment any Civ Com who voted that through would be deficient in its function and wrong in its action. To me a wise Civ Com knows its limits but conversely the OC should realise to an extent it’s a partnership to benifit the cadets. Maybe a wise OC can use the Civ Com as a ‘critical friend’ to sound out ideas and future plans, in particular if funding is required.

Whilst the OC is supreme in the implementation of the direction of the unit, they should realise they cannot do everything and the Civ Com is there to help and where required to raise funds and the profile of the Squadron, not to give direction or attempt to command.


I agree Bob,
its a partnership


A PTA raises money and uses it to buy or do things essentially under its volition. Our primary school PTA pays for two trips a year, one of which is to a panto. They also from what I have seen do things that the school can’t or can’t afford to. When our kids were there, the PTA paid for and had installed a load of playground equipment and initiated a “sponsor scheme” for musical instruments. I was chatting to one of the current PTA people a few weeks back (say current they have been on it for years) and they are currently looking into getting things like books, printing etc sponsored.

Imagine the CWC stumping for something that the larger organisation can’t or doesn’t do.

The joy of being a school there is invariably a builder and other tradesmen among the parents who are willing to do the work gratis or at mates rates.


Er… that is more or less the entire point of the CWC.


Isn’t that what the CWC does?


Not really, in recent times especially.
Also the number of things a CWC could do, but can’t because the higher organisation won’t let it.
I’ve had a number of people join the CWC after being on PTAs and felt totally bound in a way that PTAa aren’t


So your CWC does nothing then? Or just fund-raises and sits on the money?


They probably get told “we can’t do that, paperwork qualifications…FTRS”


When I saw that the gliding wasn’t happening anytime soon in late 2014 and they screwed up the move of 5AEF, I had primed them to get the money to pay for gliding and flying. Then HQAC chucked their teddies.


We tied up with a local gliding club and the CCWC funded any cadet signing up. Sadly few completed.


I seem to recall we had an arrangement which did not require the CWC to fund, but Cadets did go flying.

A later suggestion that in view of the total stand down at VGS and AEF, the CWC should consider funding options, and the Wing Chair passing that over without comment but giving the distinct impression that local initiative was not to be encouraged.

And in those days of course, none of us at the sharp end were aware of the existence of the ACMB and what influence that would have.