Public meeting as Charity Commission says it has 'serious concerns' over FCA

August 03 2018
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A public meeting to discuss the 'financial administration' of Filton Community Association will be held next month as Filtonvoice can reveal the Charity Commission continues to have 'serious regulatory concerns'.

A public meeting to discuss the 'financial administration' of Filton Community Association will be held next month as Filtonvoice can reveal the Charity Commission continues to have 'serious regulatory concerns'.
It was revealed in May the commission was investigating the Elm Park charity after paid employee Oliver Newbery, who has since been suspended, raised concerns over its governance.
The commission also said it did not rule out further regulatory action as it awaited further responses from the trustees.
Now, in correspondence seen by Filtonvoice, we can reveal:
Management
The Charity Commission has concerns over 'serious mismanagement within the charity'. In an email to FCA treasurer David Gillard, the commission's case worker Tony Robinson highlights failures to keep details on the register of charities up to date.
Banking
Mr Robinson gives an example that in the minutes of the AGM dated 20 May 2013, it is recorded that there were two bank statements missing from the bank, a discrepancy in accounts regarding income received for the hire of the hall and that the PAYE system could not be accessed as the password was not
known.
Mr Robinson added that 'it was also claimed that 'he accounts had not been kept properly and that income from the bar had not been recorded in the accounts. All of those issues cause concern'.
He also asked Mr Gillard if his wife Margaret had been removed as a signatory to the bank account.
In a reply seen by Filtonvoice, Mr Gillard said this could not happen while Mr Newbery remained suspended.
He said 'all accounts will come under one umbrella when we receive our accounts back from Filton Town Council'.
The council was handed the accounts by Mr Newbery pending the Charity Commission investigation.
Bookings
Mr Robinson also asked for clarification on claims that response to claims that bookings were not taken on the basis of ethnicity. In reply, Mr Gillard said: "We have Syrian Muslims using the Centre regularly, with African Masowi Church. However I must stress we will not allow wet foods such as
curries on the premises. We have not allowed one group because they wanted to bring in chairs 120, drums, tambourines,
amplifiers, a six foot organ, castanets, plus other equipment ... this was not based on ethnicity."
Trustee membership
Mr Robinson then raised concerns over membership of the trustee body being dominated by one family.
In his reply, Mr Gillard said the trustees were himself, his wife Margaret, Alison Foote, Roz Kendall and Roger Brock.
Mr Gillard said the commission already knew that Ms Foote was his daughter and he said Mrs Kendall was still the president. However Filton Town Council told Filtonvoice they have a letter from Mrs Kendall saying she has stepped down. Mr Brock is not a relation.
Building work
Mr Robinson also referred to the matter of building work being done for Mr Gillard's home, paid for initially by association funds then repaid. Mr Robinson said that with the money having been returned, he did not intend to pursue the matter.
Filtonvoice
In his response to the Charity Commission, Mr Gillard also accused Filtonvoice of 'not telling the truth'.  Filtonvoice has repeatedly pressed Mr Gillard to explain his concerns and has promised to print a retraction of anything which was not correct or misleading. Mr Gillard has refused this offer and has not explained which parts of the coverage was not truthful.
A spokesperson for the Charity Commission said: "We can confirm that the Commission’s regulatory engagement with the trustees of Filton Community Association is ongoing. We do continue to have serious regulatory concerns and await the trustees’ response on a number of matters before deciding if further regulatory action is required.”
The public meeting, run by Filton Town Council, will be held on Tuesday, September 11 at 7.30pm in the badminton hall at Filton Leisure Centre, Elm Park.