Party mum in deposit dispute

July 31 2019
FCA - our AGM publicity was 'above board'

The Charity Commission has said it was 'disappointing' that the controversial Filton Community Association held an AGM without properly informing its membership.

When Mary Ilaganyap was looking for a venue for her daughter's 7th birthday party, she thought she had found the perfect place in Filton Community Association.
But what should have been a happy family celebration turned sour when Filton Community Association claimed her party had caused damage to a skirting board and they withheld her £50 damage deposit.
She was also a further £100 out of pocket after agreeing a £200 booking fee which was changed before the party to £300 by treasurer David Gillard.
Mrs Ilaganyap, from Southmead, said she paid the extra because she was fearful she would lose the whole booking.
Mrs Ilaganyap said she was also angry over the damage deposit because when the party was finished, her family tidied everything up and she was told by an FCA administrator all was in order. It was only several weeks later when she was informed the deposit was being kept.
However the association have rejected Mrs Ilaganyap's claims. They say the skirting board was badly damaged with several 'gouges' which needed repainting. They also said the administrator needed to stay until 1am to 'clean up the mess'.
Chairwoman Margaret Gillard said the extra charge was because Mrs Ilaganyap wanted to book extra hours for the party. They said they had since agreed to return £25 of the deposit.


FCA - our AGM publicity was 'above board'

The Charity Commission has said it was 'disappointing' that the controversial Filton Community Association held an AGM without properly informing its membership.
The association in Elm Park was last year the subject of an investigation by the commission over concerns about the management of the charity.
Despite public pressure over several months failing to lead to an AGM and election of new officers, the current trustees held a meeting in April after publicising it by posting an A4 sheet of paper in the association building.
Association chairwoman Margaret Gillard said the meeting was publicised for over a month and all was 'legal and above board'.
In a statement given to Filtonvoice, the commission said: “We have provided significant advice to these trustees in order that they address issues of local concern.
"That included advice around best practice in publicising a charity’s AGM. It is therefore disappointing to learn that the charity continues to fall short of the community’s expectations.
"We expect the trustees to ensure they take all appropriate steps to remedy the situation, however it is not for the Commission to intervene in disputes involving charities.”
The spokesperson added that "whilst the charity’s constitution requires that they hold an AGM, it does not specify how it should publicise AGMs.
"In the absence of any evidence indicating serious breaches of charity law, we will not be taking further regulatory action."
The association has been at the centre of controversy for several months over issues surrounding its governance.Recently published but late accounts show a loss in 2017/18 of apparently £11,000
The association, which also came under fire for the membership of its trustee body, has also now updated its entry
on the Charity Commission website.
The trustees are now named as David Gillard, Margaret Gillard, Steven England, Anthony Dark and Nigel Williams.
The published accounts for 2017/18, only recently published, show an apparent loss of between  £11,539.97 and £60,978.97.
The accounts show expenditure of £117, 967.90 and income of £56,988.93 - a loss of £60,978.97.
The expenditure includes nearly £60,000 in maintenance between April 2017 and March 2018.
However in what appears to be incomplete accounts, a category called 'business/membership' shows monthly income totalling £49,439.
This would still leave a loss of £11,539.97.
Earlier this year treasurer David Gillard refused to explain what 'business/membership' was but Filtonvoice has been told two large sums of around £30,000 and £10,000 in this category could be lottery grants.
In the past year several incidents have provoked concern from town councillors and residents.
The Charity Commission said it had concerns over 'serious mismanagement within the charity'. In an email to FCA treasurer David Gillard, a Commission case worker highlighted failures to keep details on the register of charities up to date.