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Charitable Trust, independent of Council

sic charitable trust

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#1 marlin13

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 01:03 PM

After whats been on the radio this morning what are your feelings on the trust being run by councillors. Personally I think we should have it run by independant trusties with perhaps a couple of token councillors. But I widna greet if there were no councillors on it at all.
What think you?



#2 Styles

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 02:18 PM

I would have it open for people being voted on by the public and councillers beening included in the people who could be voted on, so if they stand and the public want them on they will be. Democracy in action!

#3 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 08:30 PM

I would have it open for people being voted on by the public and councillers beening included in the people who could be voted on, so if they stand and the public want them on they will be. Democracy in action!


Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

#4 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 09:44 PM

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.

#5 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 10:33 PM

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.

#6 Ghostrider

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 01:05 AM

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.

#7 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 04:05 PM

Found http://www.shetland-...table Trust.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....

#8 Para Handy

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 07:42 PM

Found http://www.shetland-...table Trust.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

#9 north

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 08:55 PM

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....tbale Trust.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.

#10 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 10:31 PM

Found http://www.shetland-...table Trust.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]

#11 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 10:42 PM

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

#12 Ghostrider

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 10:46 PM

^^^ Surely not more Whiteness to Lerwick and back taxi fares? :evil: Trust expenses won't be included in the list of expenses for councillors, or will they?

#13 Marooned in Maywick

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 10:52 PM

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?

#14 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 25 November 2007 - 04:50 PM

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


I believe they could get £5,000 and £2,500, but only if they did not get any allowance for a similar post in the SIC. As Bill Manson was chair of planning and a spokesman on another subject he did not get the allowance.

#15 clanchief

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:39 AM

Councillor Jim Henry ( Vice Chair of the CTrust) is quoted today as saying that he doesn't hear much discussed on this topic among his circle of acquaintances.

(** MOD EDIT **)

#16 Wheesht

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 10:50 AM

An few personnel digs cropping up here now, is that allowed mods? They do the pro change group no favours at all.

I see no difference in elected councilors sitting on the trust or elected other people doing it. We elect the council every four years and have the ability to change our councilors if we see fit. If I feel a person elected is not doing a decent job in any aspect or running Shetland's affairs I have a vote for change and use it.

No need.

#17 Fjool

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:09 AM

An few personnel digs cropping up here now, is that allowed mods?

Depends, I guess. If he is quoted as saying that, and if he does wear two hearing aids, then it's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect to see commented about on the likes of 'Have I Got News For You'.

Mockery of public figures is a national pastime, and quite right too!

#18 Wheesht

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 11:14 AM

An few personnel digs cropping up here now, is that allowed mods?

Depends, I guess. If he is quoted as saying that, and if he does wear two hearing aids, then it's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect to see commented about on the likes of 'Have I Got News For You'.

Mockery of public figures is a national pastime, and quite right too!


If if if, balls, aunt, uncle.

#19 Njugle

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Posted 06 December 2007 - 12:36 PM

Mild mockery, based on fact is fairly harmless. We draw the line at defamation, attacks and offense.

It seems to me that the logical fact that councillors are elected representatives complies with the requirement of CT membership, though perhaps they should be further elected to this role.

Mr Bill Manson's stance in recent VE related events causes me concerns as to the structure of CT decisions, but i would hope he is not a majority of one, so to speak.

Perhaps there should simply be more Trustees, to allow greater democracy to prevail.

#20 clanchief

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Posted 07 December 2007 - 10:40 AM

An few personnel digs cropping up here now, is that allowed mods? They do the pro change group no favours at all..


Eh, What, sorry could you please repeat that?

Not a bad comment from someone who posted - "Cue duelling banjos" in a forum that was discussing the depopulation of Foula !





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