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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Trust Committee: 17th March 2014

 

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 seek authority from the Trust Committee to commence a formal consultation as set out in the body of the Report.

Recommendation

That the draft scheme approved by the Charity Commission be the subject of consultation and the results of such consultation be reported back to the Trust Committee.

Reason for the Recommendation

Given the failure of the Trust in relation to the Sixth Form Site as reported at the Trust Committee meeting of the 22nd July 2013 it is necessary for a new scheme to be put in place following consultation.

Background

2.         The full background was set out in a report to Trust Committee on 22nd July 2013 but a summary is set out below for convenience.

3.         As previously reported the Trust, in relation to the Sixth Form Site, is a distinct Trust that was 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.  Due to the failure of that Trust, due to the discontinued use of the site, the Charity Commission have advised that a new scheme will be necessary, such scheme to be as near as possible to the 1912 scheme objects.  In the meantime a new draft scheme has been formulated and agreed in principle with the Charity Commission (that scheme replicating in essence the Sir Thomas Mansel Franklen Trust objects). 

The object of the 1912 scheme are to apply the income of the Trust to provide special benefits to the school of any kind not normally provided by the Local Education Authority and so that the benefits can be felt by Cowbridge Comprehensive School and on promoting the education by including the social and physical training of persons who are or were pupils at the school and who are in need of financial assistance. 

 

It is hoped that the new scheme can be formally approved although public consultation is necessary.

 

4.         At the Trust Committee Meeting on 22nd July 2013, it was resolved that:-

(i)           that the former Sixth Form Site which is the subject of the terms of the 1912 scheme shall be the subject of an application to the Charity Commission for a new scheme as set out in paragraphs 4 and 5, enabling disposal of the land and an application resulting in the power for sale under the terms of the new scheme to that consultation in relation to the new scheme be carried out and the Charity Commission approval of the terms of this scheme obtained;

 

(ii)          that approval expected from the Trust be delegated to the Head of Accounting and Resource Management in consultation with the Chair of the Trust Committee.

 

5.         The consultation is proposed to be with schools within a 2 mile radius of Cowbridge.  Those schools will be Ysgol y Bont Faen, Ysgol Iolo Morgannwg, Llanfair Primary School and Llangan Primary School.  These are considered to be local schools for the purposes of consultation.

6.         Once consultation is carried out and observations received, these observations will need to be reported to the Charity Commission who will then consider inter alia whether any further and wider consultation will be necessary before a new scheme can be approved.

7.         The new scheme, which will include a power of sale, and any sale must be the subject of public notice inviting representations.

Relevant Issues and Options

8.         There will be a further report to this Committee with the results of consultation for Committee to consider the outcome of that consultation. 

9.         Thereafter it will be necessary to liaise again with the Charity Commission, to seek its views on the results of consultation with a view to proceeding to formal confirmation and making of the scheme.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.      The Council, by divesting itself as Trustee will make a saving of time and resources by no longer having to administer this Trust.  The costs which have been incurred by Council will, as previously reported, will need to be repaid to the Council including costs yet to be incurred from the sale proceeds from the site when it is ultimately sold.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

11.      There are no sustainability or climate change implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

12.      The Council, in its capacity as Trustees are required to abide by the provisions of the Charities Act 2011.  The scheme will have to be approved by a Charity Commission.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13.      There are no crime and disorder Implications.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14.      There are no equal opportunities implications

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

16.      Not applicable.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17.      None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18.      None.

Background Papers

Draft scheme and draft letters of consultation.

Contact Officer

Mike Walsh, Principal Lawyer, Legal Services.

Officers Consulted

Managing Director, Group Estates Officer.

Responsible Officer:

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