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Issue - meetings

Wiltshire Council Charitable Trusts

Meeting: 24/05/2011 - Cabinet (Item 68)

68 Wiltshire Council Charitable Trusts

Report of the Corporate Director – Community Services is circulated.

Supporting documents:


The Chief Executive, Andrew Kerr explained he was a Trustee of the Wiltshire Community Foundation and on offering to leave the meeting for the duration of consideration of this item, was asked to remain.



Cllr John Thomson, Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Communities and Housing presented a report which sought approval to obtain ’in principle’ sanction from the Charity Commission for the transfer of a number of Charitable Trusts from the council to the Community Foundation for Wiltshire & Swindon (CFWS).


It was noted that increasingly, local authorities were recognising that acting as a charity trustee was not a core purpose and there was insufficient capacity and expertise to manage these funds effectively. The Charity Commission had specifically endorsed the transfer of assets to Community Foundations who had appropriate investment knowledge, charity commission reporting frameworks, and community grant-making track records (The Boost Initiative). Over 15 local authorities in England had transferred charitable assets to their local Community Foundation in order to get maximum benefit from Trusts which otherwise had traditionally under-achieved.


In recommending the proposals contained in the report, Cllr Thomson amended the last recommendation to provide delegated authority for him in consultation with appropriate officers to progress the transfers to their conclusion following feedback from the Charity Commission.




That Cabinet:


(a)               gives approval to an approach being made to the Charity Commission to seek ‘in principle’ sanction to the transfer of 11 ‘in scope’ Trusts to a leading charitable body;


(b)              approves the selection of the Community Foundation for Wiltshire and Swindon as an appropriate leading charitable body to whom the 11 ‘in scope’ Trusts could be transferred, subject to the agreement of the Charity Commission;


(c)         gives approval to the appointment of a specialist Community Foundation consultant to undertake the work required to obtain ‘in principle’ sanction from the Charity Commission; and


(d)   gives delegated authority to the Deputy Leader in consultation with the Corporate Director for Community Services, the Chief Finance Officer and Solicitor to the Council to progress the proposal to complete the transfer if appropriate following feedback from the Charity Commission.


Reason for Decision:


This is current best practice for making the most effective use of charitable trusts by local authorities. Transferring the Charitable Trusts to a leading charitable body will reduce costs associated with the management of these trusts which are not core Council business. Furthermore, the council will see a greater impact from the grant funding available due to the added value that will be derived from aligning the grant making of the transferred Trusts with the Community Foundation’s existing grant making programmes.




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