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A council purporting to be a sole trustee for a charity puts N/A in box 9 of its AGAR report

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A council has said it is a sole trustee of a charity to a third party, but in its AGAR returns it ticks box 9 N/A.

Is that acceptable?
by (1.5k points)

1 Answer

0 votes
No. If the council is a sole trustee, it must report that fact on the AGAR. The governing document of the charity would indicate whether or not this is the case and is the only reliable source of such information.
by (40.6k points)
Dave   Thanks.  The council has informed Fields in Trust that they are a sole trustee and FIT have accepted it as a fact.  One to sort out, given the amount of evidence in place to say they are not.  A letter to the internal and external auditor is due of course as well.
If the land is registered, a Land Registry title search will reveal the title holder and should also indicate in what capacity they hold the title. In other words, "Title absolute - Proprietor: Dibley Parish Council as trustee of the charity known as Dibley Recreation Ground" and this should be accompanied by a restriction on the title preventing disposal without a certificate under the Charities Acts.

The title deed will also indicate when the title was registered which, in your case, might be useful information.
Dave   Thanks  we have the land registry doc.  The title holder is the council, as in the 1920 indenture is was set up as that, holding the land in trust for the 'committee of Management'.  The title does not say that the council is a trustee, nor is there a charitable restriction on it.  There is a Fields in Trust Restriction.  We believe the title was altered by the council in 2013, when the minutes of the annual parish meeting say - we (the council) are trying to close the charity.   The charity commission wrote to the council saying it was not in their remit to do so, and the trustees needed to get in touch!.  I have to find the history of the record, as the present one does not show when it was fiddled with.  So we have an incorrect land registry entry, which enabled a FIT restriction to be placed on it as it was not identified as protected by a charitable restriction.  We have written to the CC on a number of issues, but will be declaring a serious incident.    The block is the council, who are acting as if they are a sole trustee, but without doing that you need to do when you are (such as having a correct registry entry / ticking box 9 yes, appropriate accounts, holding charity meetings separate from council business, raising loans on charity owned assets, leasing charity land to third parties and pocketing the rent as council income - etc etc.  Hopefully the charity commission will rely soon!

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