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Charitable Trust, independent of Council


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Just read the article and, to be honest, I don't quite know what is "controversial" about their decision to reduce the number of SIC members as, not a single member of the trust (SIC otherwise) has be

The only thing that surprises me is the system of electing Trustees. We now have those, whom none of us voted onto this Trust, selecting the new Trustees, it's just not on and smacks of jobs for the b

I would agree that the very few people questioned is a pitifully small sample and that Mr Hamilton's conclusion from such a small sample is flawed but, you cannot ignore the fact that there is, at lea

Cllr Angus on the radio tonight claimed that everyone knew, when they were voting for their councillor, that they were also voting for a Charitable Trustee.

Ehhh, sorry Gussie, and you may call me an ignoramus if you want but I didn't know that until only very recently - certainly not at the time I voted.

Maybe that's my own fault but surely something of this nature should've been more widely known - or am I the only one?

 

He and Cllr Cluness also claimed that the councillors were doing a good job with the millions.

 

Anybody know where I could find out precisely what they've done with OUR money over the last x years?

 

Furthermore, in order to demonstrate his lack of knowledge of the group trying to open up debate, he claimed to not be aware of it as a group as such - only that Messrs Scott and Hamilton were involved.

Does da man no' read da paper? Even I gleaned that Vaila Wishart and Willie Ross were both publicly involved.

 

Time for debate folks, and if necessary, time for change.

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Anybody know where I could find out precisely what they've done with OUR money over the last x years?

 

The Charitable Trust issues an annual report each year which has a list of grants made. Copies used to be available from the trust office at 22-24 North Road (next to Bolts) at, I think, £2 per copy. The library or the archives should have back copies.

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He [Cllr Angus] and Cllr Cluness also claimed that the councillors were doing a good job with the millions.

 

Well, they would say that, wouldn't they!

 

Who ever admits they do a crap job at work, when their "employers" are doing the asking. Certainly not anyone who had enough arrogance to stand as a councillor before it became a salaried post anyway.

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Found http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/opinion/Why%20reform%20Shetland%20Charitable%20Trust.htm this interesting (albeit lengthy).

 

I can't for the life of me see why the councillors should have control of OUR money in this case.

 

What possible reason could there be for NOT wishing an independent body to provide the checks and balances on its spending?

 

Over to you Gussie and co.

 

I'll no' haad me breath....

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Found http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/opinion/Why%20reform%20Shetland%20Charitable%20Trust.htm this interesting (albeit lengthy).

 

I can't for the life of me see why the councillors should have control of OUR money in this case.

 

What possible reason could there be for NOT wishing an independent body to provide the checks and balances on its spending?

 

Over to you Gussie and co.

 

I'll no' haad me breath....

 

Because councillors would not be able to squander the millions. For there own pet theories or for there families and relations. (fish factories, salmon farms fishing boats, airports) and god knows what else? we never hear about. At least you can't deny a new hospital would have benefited every one in the islands. After all, the oil money was to help the people of Shetland. And not the chosen few.

The fact that the cost of hospitals, are supposed to come out of your National Insurance contributions, is a nice theory. Just as is your car tax disk contributions.? Is ment to cover the costs for the road upkeep. But I have never met anybody who believes that. Except Gordon Brown and his cronies of course

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I would agree that the Charitable Trust would be far better run as an independent and separate organization from the SIC, with an independent Board responsible for approving all activities of the Trust. The biggest challenge would potentially be the means for selecting the board and then to ensure it is capable of undertaking its reponsibilities with due diligence and ensure fair representation for all interests in Shetland.

 

Checking out the SIC website, the Charitable Trust link is dead - maybe the ultimate form of secrecy in today's world? :) The fact that none of their reports are on the Internet is also highly surprising today.

 

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the concept of the Council determining how and where the funds should be spent, they are after all the elected representatives of the people. There is how ever a serious conflict of interest when essentially the same group then approves the expenditure of funds without critical, independent, oversight to ensure that the interests of all Shetlanders are considered, not just the special interests or whatever great deal is in the air at the time, whether it be ferries, windmills, airlines or salmon. Currently it just moves from one approving venue to the next, with an identical cast.

 

There are certainly social service expenditures that do not require the same scrutiny that a business concept or proposal does; but every single proposed expenditure should be examined and tested for adequate budgeting and management. A complete and thorough business plan should be a preliminary, minimum requirement for each and every concept that is submitted to the board for approval. Intelligent and rational thinking should be a fundamental consideration in any expenditure of public funds, especially in the rather unique situation that exists in the scale and freedom that the Charitable Trust apparently enjoys.

 

The comment regarding a vote for a Councillor is a vote for a trustee is indeed news to me (but then again, lots of things are), however I did find this exact reference at this site. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/committees/communities/inquiries/cati/submission%20-%20Shetland%20Charitbale%20Trust.pdf

 

The challenge will be in the means of selecting/electing the Board. There does need to be intelligent input from various sources to ensure that fiscal responsibility is a management keystone, whilst conflicts of interest and special interests are adequately identified and addressed. There is an essential role for professional advice and input at the board level, so the implications of actions or decisions are completely understood by everyone involved. That does not mean that the "professional help" drives the decision making of the board, or the board defers exclusively to this resource for decision making.

 

There are many questions regarding the formulation and selection of this board, all of which would have to be clearly defined before any change could ever be considered. Care would have to be taken to ensure this is a thorough, yet reasonable exercise, and does not drag out on an indefinite basis and have defined goals presented to those responsible for executing the conceptual stage so they do realise some action. Public input is essential for all stages of the proposal.

 

Would you elect the Board? If so, how and by what means - in conjunction with the local elections perhaps?

 

If the board (or part of the board) were to be appointed, who would appoint them and what criteria would be used? How do you avoid appointing the same old faces (professional board members), yet ensure that you do not eliminate the best from the community? Put the slate of potential appointees up for election as well?

 

What would be the terms and compensation?

 

What would be the responsibilities and liabilities of those in these positions?

 

What would be the duties and performance/attendance requirements to maintain an active position on the board?

 

What would be the procedure for removal of board members?

 

What are the goals of the board and the Trust?

 

What are the goals and aims for the investment arm of the Trust - surely one of the most important aspects of all?

 

The aim must be to create an active, effective, board with fiscal budgets and goals to achieve and meet - including, or most especially in the investment arena. It needs to be transparent in its management and activities, and be accountable for failure to meet its goals, or act in a responsible manner should it breach it's own standards.

 

The most important desire of all, must be to ensure the growth and sustainability of the fund, so it can benefit the population of Shetland, which is precisely the concept of its origin.

 

This is a great idea, and it's time is now.

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Found http://www.shetland-news.co.uk/opinion/Why%20reform%20Shetland%20Charitable%20Trust.htm this interesting (albeit lengthy).

 

I can't for the life of me see why the councillors should have control of OUR money in this case.

 

What possible reason could there be for NOT wishing an independent body to provide the checks and balances on its spending?

 

Over to you Gussie and co.

 

I'll no' haad me breath....

 

Because councillors would not be able to squander the millions. For there own pet theories or for there families and relations. (fish factories, salmon farms fishing boats, airports) and god knows what else? we never hear about. At least you can't deny a new hospital would have benefited every one in the islands. After all, the oil money was to help the people of Shetland. And not the chosen few.

The fact that the cost of hospitals, are supposed to come out of your National Insurance contributions, is a nice theory. Just as is your car tax disk contributions.? Is ment to cover the costs for the road upkeep. But I have never met anybody who believes that. Except Gordon Brown and his cronies of course

 

Indeed Para Handy. Perhaps I should've made it clearer by asking.....What possible reason could there be for anybody with the best interests of the people of Shetland at heart NOT wishing an independent body to provide the checks and balances on its spending?

 

Which begs the question...just what DO the current trustees get out of being trustees?

Is there any personal financial gain?[/b]

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Which begs the question...just what DO the current trustees get out of being trustees?

Is there any personal financial gain?[/b]

 

As I recall the trustees get an attendance allowance for coming to meetings of the order of £25 plus travel expenses

 

Any idea if the chair or vice-chair trouser a wedge over and above that?

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