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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 21 January, 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development

 

Community Centre Representatives

Purpose of the Report

1.         The purpose of this report is to seek approval to nominate up to 2 Members to be on the Management Committee of each of the 22 Community Centres owned by the Council.

Recommendations

1.         That the Elected Members listed in paragraph 18 be endorsed as the Vale Council representatives for the named Community Centres.

2.         That the Cabinet nominate the Elected Members listed at paragraph 18 of the report as Managing Charity Trustees of the respective Community Centres until the Annual Meeting in May 2017 and thereafter, nominations will be considered at the Inaugural meeting of the Full Council or as soon as practical after every election having regard to the responses received to invitations.

3.         That delegated authority be granted to the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Parks, Culture and Sports Development and the Leader to authorise future nominations in respect of any vacancies.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that elected Members are now nominated to represent Community Centres

2.         To ensure that the elected Members continue to represent all Community Centre Committees until the next local elections.

3.         To ensure that any vacancies can be filled at the earliest opportunity.

Background

2.         All of the Vale Council owned Community Centres (22 in total) are managed by a Community Association. The majority of the Community Associations have a standard Constitution based on the national model from ‘Community Matters’.  In most cases this allows for two representatives from the Vale of Glamorgan Council to be members of the Management Committee as a Managing Charity Trustee except St Francis where there is only 1 representative.  Twelve Community Associations are registered charities but all 22 have charitable objectives.

3.         There are 2 different types of Community Association Trustees, namely Holding Trustees and Managing Charity Trustees.  Holding Trustees are the legal owners of the Association's property.  The function of the Holding Trustees is merely to hold the property and to act on the lawful instructions of the Committee of the Association in transactions affecting the title.  Holding Trustees are required solely because property and land cannot be held by an unincorporated Association in its own right.  Holding Trustees are NOT normally responsible for an Association's debts or obligations - the Managing Charity Trustees are responsible.

(Source: Community Matters Information Sheet –Trustees Roles and Responsibilities)

4.         Those who manage the Community Association's affairs - the General Committee (or other Main Committee) - are the Managing (or Charity) Trustees.  The members ('members' means members of the Community Association Management Committee) for the time being of the Management Committee / General Committee / Main Committee, being the persons having general control and management of the administration of the Association, will be technically the "Charity Trustees" within the meaning of Section 97 of the Charities Act 1993 and as such will be subject to the requirements of the law relating to trustees generally.

(Source: Community Matters Information Sheet – Trustees Roles and Responsibilities)

5.         The Vale Council has a Charity Trustee Assurance Policy in place with Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance plc.  The policy will indemnify trustees for any liability that should fall on them, provided such instructions are not against the law or contrary to the Trust charity.  Community Associations that are not registered charities still have charitable objectives and are covered by the insurance policy.

6.         The matter was reported to Cabinet on the 15th October 2012 but consideration was deferred.  The Cabinet Minute C1857 (15th October 2012) stated:

Cabinet noted that there were still several vacancies and was concerned that there may not have been adequate time for all members to have responded.  It was felt that further time should be given for responses in order to have a complete list of potential nominees. 

As a result Cabinet resolved that: This matter be deferred due to the high number of vacancies within the 22 Community Centres.  Group Leaders will be contacted to nominate members in order that the matter could be considered at the Cabinet meeting scheduled on 19th November 2012.

The reason for this decision was that Members had not been formally nominated to represent the Vale Council since the elections held on 3rd May 2012.

7.         Subsequently Group Leaders were contacted in accordance with this resolution on the 26th October and further nominations were received.  These have been included in the table in paragraph 18.

Relevant Issues and Options

8.         Members should be aware that by becoming a Managing Trustee, they will be accepting ultimate responsibility for assisting in the management of the Community Centres by the Community Associations, and for ensuring that they are well-run and deliver the charitable outcomes as set out in their respective Constitutions.

9.         Members are also advised that should they be nominated as a Managing Trustee on a Community Association, they must also:

(i)           Ensure that the respective Community Associations comply with relevant charity law, and with the requirements of the Charity Commission.  In particular they will be required to ensure that the Community Association prepare reports on what they have achieved, together with their Annual Returns and accounts;

(ii)          Ensure that the Community Associations do not breach any of the requirements or rules set out in their governing documents and that they remain true to the charitable purpose and objects set out therein;

(iii)         Comply with the requirements of other legislation and other regulators which may govern the activities of the Community Associations;

(iv)         Act with integrity and avoid any personal conflicts of interest or misuse of charity funds or assets;

(v)          Use reasonable care and skill in their work as trustees, using their personal skills and experience as needed, to ensure that the Community Associations are well-run and efficient;

(vi)         Consider seeking external professional advice on all matters where there may be material risk to the charity, or where the trustees may be in breach of their duties.

10.      Members are also referred to the Charity Commission website for further information on the roles and responsibilities of trustees:  The Essential Trustee: what you need to know http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/publications/cc3.aspx

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

11.      There are no resource implications associated with this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

12.      Community Centres are striving to be more environmentally friendly.  Recent examples of improvements made to Community Centres include solar panels being installed at the Celtic Way Community Centre in Rhoose.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.      As contained in main body of the report.  The Council is a statutory representative on the Community Associations.  Also any fundamental change to the registered charity needs the agreement of the Charity Commission.

Crime and Disorder Implications

14.      There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.      Membership of Community Associations is open to all residing in the area of benefit.

Corporate/Service Objectives

16.      To ensure proper management of Community Centres.

Policy Framework and Budget

17.      This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet. The Council Constitution (Part 4, paragraph 1.2) indicates that the Council will appoint to Committees and outside bodies except when delegated by the Council or is exercisable to the Executive.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

18.      Members of those Wards containing Council owned Community Centres have been consulted.  As a result of the consultation and the written request for nominations of the 26th October, the following Community Centres now have the benefit of Elected Member nominees.

 

Community Centre

Nominee

Alexandra Gardens

Councillor S Egan and Councillor I Johnson

Barry Island

 

Buttrills

Councillor C Curtis

Cadoxton Moors

 

Castleland

Councillor C Elmore

Colcot

Councillor A Powell

Colwinston

Councillor R Thomas

Cwm Talwg

Councillor H Hamilton

Cwrt y Vil

 

Gibbonsdown

Councillor B Brooks

Glyndwr

 

Highlight Park

Councillor J Drysdale

Llancarfan

Councillor J James

Lower Penarth

 

Murchfield

Councillor K Hatton and Councillor C Williams

Rhoose Celtic Way

Councillor J James

Rhoose Stewart Road

 

St Athan

Councillor J Thomas

St Francis

Councillor N Hodges

St Nicholas

Councillor N Hodges

Victoria Park

Councillor F Johnson

Welsh St Donats

Councillor R Traherne

 

The table lists all Community Centres and includes a list of Councillors who have expressed a willingness to act as Managing Charity Trustees (as a result of the consultation undertaken).

 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

19.      Economy and Environment

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Siân Vaughan - Community Development Officer - Tel: 01446 704813.

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Leisure and Tourism

Committee Reports

Finance Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

 

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