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Charitable Trust, independent of Council


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Hahaha! CT = Conspiracy Theory, dat's a good een :lol:


I sense a bit of heavy handed threatening from OSCR - do what we say, and play by our rules or else....


Most rules, regulations and laws now are heavy handed rubbish brought in because of something that happened somewhere else.


Just because OSCR says the CT has to change doesn't mean it's the best thing for Shetland.


How many other rules and laws do we have to abide by to our utter detrement......


Just because the politically correct liberal left says we have to do x or y doesn't mean it's right....


On this note, I'll bow out of this debate and just have to agree to disagree....

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OSCR have felt the need to write to the local media to explain why they are dealing wih the SCT in the way they are




What is not compatible with their duties as charity trustees however, is the spending of charitable assets asking the people of Shetland to vote on options which the trustees themselves know to be unacceptable in terms of charity law.
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As one who responded to the SCT asking for exactly this a referendum, I am dissappointed in the extreme that OSCR is now to deprive us of this option, or so it would seem.

Perhaps we as the people of Shetland who are directly concerned with how the Trust operates should write to OSCR stating that we wish a referendum to be held.

It might not be their(OSCR's) preferred option but given all that has gone on I believe it is neccessary to "clear the air". Given the potential value of the Trust and the very valuable work it does, I feel the modest expenditure on a referendum is very justified.

That said a referendum is just the start of the process and previous posters have already highlighted the many steps neccessary to complete reforms.

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If you read OSCR’s letter you will see that holding a referendum wasn’t the problem – it was the fact that one of the options offered as a question was, if implemented by the SCT, illegal under Scottish Charity law.

Cluness was in favour of the illegal option both as a question and as an outcome from the referendum and thereby putting the whole chartable status of the Trust at risk.


quote from OSCR letter

"must also stress that we have no objection to charities consulting the people they benefit or any other interested parties on constitutional matters – indeed we have on occasions advised charities to do exactly this. We were pleased to see SCT’s trustees consult earlier this year on their revised governance proposals.


What is not compatible with their duties as charity trustees however, is the spending of charitable assets asking the people of Shetland to vote on options which the trustees themselves know to be unacceptable in terms of charity law."

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I wonder just how expensive a "referendum" is?


I use the quotes as this clearly isn't going to be anything with any legal weight, (trustees reminded us at the start that they didn't have to follow a referendums findings unless they wanted to), but could, done properly, have significant political impact if it shows a strong preference one way or the other.


Whatever is done needs to be require a minimum of effort on the respondee, or many will just throw it away, despite its possible importance.


How about a postage-paid postcard distributed with the Times?


A few boxes to tick, include CT reform options and possibly also a windfarm question, so VE/Sustainable Shetland can foot the bill between them and not use the CT funds. (yes, aware of the irony)


Indeed it could be done completely independently. I'd be happy to help with a bit of fundraising for that!

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I am not in favour of a referendum on this at all (so reference above by Marlin to the 'us' is presumptive), and never have been.

All Trusts are usually created with an array of nominating bodies and the Charitable Trust should be no different. The difficulty right now is the existing Councillor Trustees assuming they can decide on the future governance arrangements, rather than say a selection of 'professionals' being formed to decide on the nominating bodies. How about entrusting the process to our elected MP and MSP? (other options would be perfectly plausible too).

I would be strongly in favour of a Trust with one Councillor nominee for each Council Ward, along with nominated Trustees from a range of organisations/trade bodies/health board/voluntary sector/education/training - whatever, not precious about the exact mix. This is not difficult - every other Trust I know has a founding Deed that has considered the mix of Trustees to be appointed.


A referendum will achieve nothing as it will not resolve the actual creation of an appointment system. THe vast majority of Shetland's public will not turn out to vote and a further chunk will not have a strong opinion and would be very happy to see a plausible set of proposals along the lines of the above.

One thing I am certain off however, is the Shetland community want majority control of the Trust removed from Councillors forthwith, before the frankly ridiculous mismanagment by Cluness and his acolytes embarrases these islands even further. The current crop of inept councillors stand guilty of bringing the CT into serious disrepute and are now playing brinkmanship in the public domain - a ridiculous state of affairs.

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No amount of prancing and posturing by the SIC is going to get the law changed so, why shouldn't we have a fully elected set of Trustees?


I don't like the idea of 'appointees' and feel that, unless they are co-opted mid term to cover for retirals or withdrawals etc, they should be excluded.


Every ward on Shetland should be able to provide elected Trustees and I would assume that there is no genuine reason why our existing councillors could not stand if they wanted to.


If their election is deemed 'democratic', there is very little that anyone could do to question the result.

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I quite like the idea of some trustees being appointed "ex officio" due to their position. Chairperson of the Health Board, Headmaster of the AHS and perhaps the Lord Lieutenant (if this is not too political for that post). Some councillors nominated by the SIC and so on. A way that gives a good spread of people without some sort of costly elections. One danger I do see is that the trust could become Lerwick centred so I think we need a membership that we trust to do their duties for the whole of Shetland.

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