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Agenda Item No 5(i)

 

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent by virtue of the desirability of settling the future of the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust as soon as possible

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Trust Committee: 22nd July 2013

 

Joint Report of the Head of Legal Services and the Head of Accountancy & Resource Management

 

Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise the Trustees of the result of research, enquiries and discussions with the Charity Commission as to the future of the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust in order for the Trustees to consider the best way forward following the sale of the Lower School site. 

Recommendations

1.             That the Trustees of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust be approached to ascertain whether they are willing to take on the role of Trustees of the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust.

2.             That, in light of the fact that the objects of the 1983 Scheme governing the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust are no longer completely fulfillable (the principal object being the provision of a secondary school) that the running of the Trust be transferred to new Trustees namely the present Trustees of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust (subject to their agreement).

3.             That the Council as present Trustee and the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trustees enter into an appropriate form of Deed whereby the Council ceases its role as Trustee and the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trustees are appointed as new Trustees.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             The agreement of the Trustees of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust take on the role of Trustees of the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust is necessary.

2.             The sale of the Lower School site means that the Council has no reason to remain in the position as Trustee; the Scheme in question will be better operated by other Trustees who are closely involved with the objects of the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust.

3.             The transfer of responsibilities to new Trustees must be agreed and recorded in an appropriate deed.

Background

2.             The Council as Trustee of the Cowbridge Comprehensive School Trust has held the assets of the Trust under the terms of a Scheme settled in 1983 by the Charity Commission.  This Scheme provides for the provision of a secondary school on the site of the former Lower School and for the application of the Charity's income to the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust.  That requires the income generated to be paid to the Trustees of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust. The objects of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust are the provision of special benefit for Cowbridge Comprehensive School of a type not normally provided by the Local Education Authority and the promotion of the education, including social and physical training, of persons who are or were pupils of Cowbridge Comprehensive School and who are in need of financial assistance. The object of the Scheme in relation to the provision of a Secondary School due to the sale of the Lower School site is no longer capable of being completely fulfilled. 

Relevant Issues and Options

3.             It is no longer necessary for the Council to have a Trustee role in the absence of any involvement in the running of a school land holding and the Charity Commission have confirmed that it would be agreeable to the effective replacement of the Council as Trustee of the Scheme and the appointment in its stead of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trustees.  The 1983 Scheme requires that questions relating to the Scheme are determined by the Charity Commission but the Commission has indicated that the way forward proposed will meet with its approval. 

4.             Also comprised in the Scheme are the playing fields; under the terms of the 1983 Scheme the Council is the holding Trustee of any land belonging to the Charity.  This will not automatically change when the new Trustees are appointed.  Therefore the new Trustees will be required to vest this land in the Official Custodian for Charities land under the terms of the Charities Act 2011.  The Official Custodian will hold the legal title to the land only and will have no say in its management.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

5.             The Council in divesting itself of its Trustee role will make a saving of officer time and resources by no longer having to administer the Trusts.

 

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

6.             There are no Sustainability and Climate Change Implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

7.             The Council in its capacity as Trustee is required to comply with the provisions of the Charities Act 2011.  The changes proposed will have to be approved by the Charity Commission and it will be necessary for appropriate deeds and documents to be drawn up to effect the changes proposed and agreed with the legal representatives of the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust.

Crime and Disorder Implications

8.             There are no Crime and Disorder implications.  

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

9.             There are no Equal Opportunities Implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

10.        The sole concern of the Trustees is to act in the best interests of the Trust and it is considered that what is proposed is in the best interest of the objects of the Trust and therefore the objectives of the Corporate Plan/Service Plan are not applicable.

Policy Framework and Budget

11.        Not Applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

12.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

13.        None.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer:

M. Walsh

 

Officers Consulted:

Managing Director, Lorna Cross

 

Responsible Officers:

Head of Legal Services & Head of Accountancy & Resource Management

 

 

 

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