On 1 July 2022 Effingham Village Recreation Trust underwent a change in the way it was governed. The volunteer managing trustees, at their own request, were replaced by a Sole Trustee, namely Effingham Parish Council (EPC).
In this new arrangement, those persons who were Councillors on EPC, serving on that body to perform the actions of local government, would also – entirely separately – be members of the Sole Trustee, serving on that body to govern the Charity. They would not be individually trustees.
The Sole Trustee model is precisely the way in which the majority of KGV Fields in Trust charities today are governed, as well as being the way in which this (Effingham’s) KGV charity was governed for the entire period 1951-1990. Nationally, it is a normal arrangement. Parish Councils all over the country have been acting as Sole Trustees for various kinds of charity over a very long period.
For the users of the KGV the change in governance has been imperceptible. Existing legal agreements such as Licences remained unaltered as their wording already allowed for changes in trustees.
This revision of the charity’s governing scheme was treated by the Charity Commission as nothing more than an administrative amendment and came into force following its submission to the Commission.
Making the Decision
The intention of changing our governance model had been in force for several years, and successive groups of trustees had put their minds to the best way of doing it. The motivation throughout was to eliminate the personal liabilities that fell upon individual volunteer trustees. There were different ways of achieving this. One way was to incorporate the charity, for example by putting it into the form of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation; in that model, liability would be limited to that body as a whole and not fall upon its individual trustees. Another way was to appoint a single trustee that was in itself an incorporated body, as is EPC. It is this second way that was chosen by the then trustees as the one to apply in the future.
Much of the day-to-day administration continues to be undertaken, as at present, by the KGV Manager. An EPC-appointed committee, called the Executive Board, guides the operations of the KGV and implements projects. It also makes recommendations to the Trustee about the budget, the business plan, and significant licences and contracts.
The Trustee has certain formal duties to undertake itself, such as agreeing budgets, reporting to the Charity Commission and holding Annual General Meetings.
The decision to make the change was made formally by the then trustees and required also that EPC was willing to serve as Sole Trustee. EPC made its own formal decision to take on that role. The processes by which these decisions were made had already been explained in public, step by step, for several months on the two bodies’ respective websites, had been reported at EPC Ordinary Meetings and had been mentioned in the Roundabout magazine.
You can read the decision-making narratives, with links to reports, on the two websites via these buttons:
The Revised Scheme for the Charity’s governance can be accessed via this button:
Some Questions and Answers about the decision can be accessed via this button:
A public presentation was held on Friday 13 May 2022 at 19:30 by the then trustees to provide further details about the governance decision and about how it was reached. In view of the current prevalence of Covid-19 the meeting was conducted online by Zoom. The presenter was trustee Paula Moss. Besides the trustees the meeting was attended by just ten residents, despite having been widely publicized. The Chairman’s welcome address and the presentation slides can be accessed via these buttons:
Opportunity to Comment
Opportunity for residents to comment on the proposed Revised Scheme was made available by completing an online comment form on this website, or by writing directly to the trustees. This opportunity spanned a period of one month and ended on Friday 27 May 2022.
All comments were read and considered by the trustees during the process of finalising and implementing the Revised Scheme.
The personal data associated with submitted comments were retained by the Charity only during the period when the Revised Scheme was being finalised. Under the Trust’s Data Protection policy such data could be held and processed by the Trust in accordance with the policy’s lawful basis of Legitimate Interests.
Hardly any comments were submitted during the month in which the opportunity was made available, and the few that were received have not resulted in further revision to the proposed Revised Scheme.
At a Board meeting on Sunday 29 May 2022 the Trustees resolved that the Revised Scheme would come into effect on Friday 1 July 2022 and that the Charity Commission would be notified accordingly. Effingham Parish Council noted these facts at its Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday 31 May 2022.
On Monday 6 June 2022 the Revised Scheme was submitted to the Charity Commission.
On Friday 1 July 2022 the Revised Scheme came into effect.