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Charitable Trust, independent of Council


marlin13
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Thank goodness for John Scott:

No Councillor who leaves the Council (for whatever reason) should be able to stand for election to the Charitable Trust for at least 3 years.

I also think the maximum tenure for serving on the Trust as an elected member should be 5 years, and if they so wish to serve further, they then have to stand for re-election..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for change?

 

Let's see if the elected leadership has taken any of the advice of the Accounts Commission, the OSCR, it's own legal advisors and perhaps even the new Chirf Executive? Or are we destined to waste a lot of money in a pointless legal battle?

 

Any SIC councillor who abstains from voting should not be allowed to remain a member of the trust. Don't abstain - resign your position on the council and let the electorate decide.

 

Since the report has been issued, it seems that the good old boys are just doing business as usual.

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OSCR says SCT is in "High Risk" of breaching rules on conflict of interest...

 

The Trusts own legal advisors have stated:

The practical effect of the monitoring arrangements should not be underestimated [unquote]

In lawyer speak, I believe that may also translate into HM Customs & Revenue taxing the Trust (and the people of Shetland) to the tune of 3,500,000 per annum... :x

 

In John Scott's application for change of Trust status, he neglects to include a provision, that prevents SIC Councillors (when their service is over, for whatever reason) leap-frogging from the SIC onto the SCT... :idea:

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In John Scott's application for change of Trust status, he neglects to include a provision, that prevents SIC Councillors (when their service is over, for whatever reason) leap-frogging from the SIC onto the SCT... :idea:

 

Very good point.

 

I must admit I'm less keen on immediately jumping to any conclusion on this than I was before. Like him or not, Sandy had a very good point when he said (according to todays Shetland Times article) "letting independent and appointed people take control of the trust could lead to changes in the organisation that were to suit them, rather than the community."

 

The reason I have changed my mind slightly is that most people genuinely do not care about the SIC, SCT, SLAP or any other acronym being bounced about. The last thing we want is "he who shouts loudest" and "she who has plenty of employees/relations" being in control of such a major asset.

 

Of course, this has to be offset against the impending legal aspects, but I can certainly see the logic in getting a hard and fast ruling before starting to jump through what could be a long and ultimately even more costly series of hoops.

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Any councillor who doesn't back proposals to make the Shetland Charitable Trust more independent doesn't deserve to be a councillor, they aren't serving our interests. I won't be voting for any of the people who shot this down or abstained from voting.

 

How much more of OUR money will be wasted on trying to prove that Saint Cluness's views are correct. He is totally burying his head and the remainder of councillors who have a conscience must be wondering about a vote of NO confidence in his leadership. I would respectfully suggest that he is not representing my views and I have already told him this.

 

Please councillors stop this now and make a connection with reality !

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I don't really understand Sandy's concerns. Why does he think that there is any greater risk of elected Trustees acting inappropriately than there is of elected councillors acting inappropriately?

 

I agree with Vicky that those Councillors who voted today for a further delay do not deserve to be voted back in. They are all taking a huge risk with the CT funds. It is not just an accounting issue, and not just about conflict of interest, but I suspect there is now a very real risk that the CT could lose its charitable status and have to pay huge amounts of tax to the tax man. On top of that, Shetland could lose control of the CT funds altogether as they seem determined to break all of the rules.

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I don't really understand Sandy's concerns. Why does he think that there is any greater risk of elected Trustees acting inappropriately than there is of elected councillors acting inappropriately?

 

I agree with Vicky that those Councillors who voted today for a further delay do not deserve to be voted back in. They are all taking a huge risk with the CT funds. It is not just an accounting issue, and not just about conflict of interest, but I suspect there is now a very real risk that the CT could lose its charitable status and have to pay huge amounts of tax to the tax man. On top of that, Shetland could lose control of the CT funds altogether as they seem determined to break all of the rules.

Well said Skunnered:

Actually, if the CT were to lose its charitable status and therefore its special tax status with HM Customs & Revenue, it will probably cost far in excess of 3.5 million pounds per annum.

Alistair Buchan must be wondering just what has he landed himself with.

No doubt OSCR, Audit Scotland and The Accounts Commission will be paying very close attention to todays debacle... :x

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I don't really understand Sandy's concerns. Why does he think that there is any greater risk of elected Trustees acting inappropriately than there is of elected councillors acting inappropriately?

 

One of the foundations of a reconstituted board, must be a recall mechanism, where the electorate has the ability to petition for removal of board members, or even the entire board, should the necessity arise. With enough signatures for a recall, the proposal would have to be put to the electorate.

 

I can see no reason why the Charitable Trust cannot be managed entirely satisfactorily by willing and qualified candidates, duly elected by the electorate of Shetland. In fact, conversely, some might suggest that the Charitable Trust is being managed entirely unsatisfactorily; by an elected group that is squandering it's value, lacks accountability for it's decisions, and is now running headlong, with it's eyes open, into a trap that has the power to eviscerate any unfortunates who enter that arena!

 

The arrogance of this council occasionally bewilders me. The belief that they, and only they, are clever enough to understand the intricacies and nuances of big money, sound investment and long term strategies are so far wide of the mark, and so gratuitously vain, that they don't bear consideration - especially considering that all the money is managed, and that ever time the market turns down, they fire the money managers! :shock:

 

That the Trust might finally be managed in an orderly, open and beneficial manner by an independent and accountable group offer a refreshing change and a ray of hope for the long term success of the fund. The opportunity to budget and manage this under specific controls and conditions, with the long term interests of Shetland in mind, cannot and should not be missed.

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Guest Anonymous
letting independent and appointed people take control of the trust could lead to changes in the organisation that were to suit them, rather than the community."

 

like it is now then sandy

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