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Agenda Item No 5(ii)

Matter which the Chairman has decided is urgent by virtue of the desirability of settling the future of the 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 and Resource Management

 

Former Sixth Form Site, Cowbridge

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To advise the Trust Committee of the result of research, enquiries and discussions with the Charity Commission in relation to the former Cowbridge Comprehensive School Sixth Form Site in order that consideration be given to the future of the site which is subject to a Trust limiting use of the site for the provision of a secondary school.

2.             To make provision for expenditure incurred by the Trust. 

Recommendations

1.             That the former Sixth Form site which is subject to the terms of a 1912 Scheme be the subject of an application to the Charity Commission for a new Scheme as set out in paragraphs 4 & 5 enabling the disposal of the land and application of resulting proceeds of sale under the terms of the new Scheme .

2.             That consultation in relation to the new Scheme must be carried out and the Charity Commission's approval to the terms of the new Scheme obtained.

3.             That approval of expenditure from the Trust be delegated to Head of Accounting and Resource Management in consultation with the Chair of the Trust Committee.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.              Disposal of the Sixth Form 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.

2.             It is a requirement of the Charity Commission that a new Scheme be promoted given the failure of the original Trust.

3.             In order that costs are correctly allocated.

Background

3.             The Trust in relation to the Sixth Form Site is a distinct Trust imposed by a Conveyance of the land. The relevant Scheme dates from 1912 and provides that the land is to be used for the purposes of a Secondary School.  Following the discontinuation of the use of the site for school purposes, the object of the Trust has totally failed. Research and consultations with the Charity Commission indicate that it will not be possible to simply transfer the land or sale proceeds to new Trustees.

 

Relevant Issues & Options

4.             Where a Trust has failed, it is necessary to develop a Scheme that is as near as possible to the original objects. Any Scheme has to be approved by the Charity Commission.

5.             As the object was the provision of a Secondary School at Cowbridge, it is considered that a Scheme could be developed under which the objects of the existing Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust would be sufficiently approximate to the failed Trust's objects to form the basis of a new Scheme. Those objects are to apply the income of the Trust in providing special benefits for Cowbridge Comprehensive School, of any kind not normally provided by the local education authority and on promoting the education, including social and physical training of persons who are or were pupils at the School and who are in need of financial assistance.

6.             Once the objects of the new Scheme have been drafted, positive consultation will be required and the result of that consultation considered before the Scheme could be submitted to the Charity Commission for approval.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

7.             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. Costs which have been incurred in relation to security of the  defunct buildings on site and which may yet be incurred until the Council can divest itself of its Trustee role may need to be repaid to the Council from sale proceeds when the site is sold.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

8.             There are no Sustainability and Climate Change Implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

9.             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.

Crime and Disorder Implications

10.        There are no Crime and Disorder implications.  

 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

11.        There are no Equal Opportunities Implications.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.        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

13.        Not Applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.        None.

Background Papers

16.        None.

 

Contact Officer:

M. Walsh

 

Officers Consulted:

Managing Director, Lorna Cross

 

Responsible Officers:

Head of Legal Service and Head of Accountancy & Resource Management.