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New guide published for all local authorities

20/10/09
 

A new guide has been published for all local authorities that are sole trustees of charities to help them fulfil their duties and responsibilities in accordance with charity law.

The guide is produced by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Charity Commission.

Many local authorities hold assets which are subject to charitable trusts, such as recreation land or property, often as a result of something being gifted to a council in a will for public use.

The new guide is intended to help councils and council members fulfil this role responsibly, and to help avoid any financial or reputational issues that may occur if things go wrong.

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the Charity Commission said: “It is very important that local authorities understand their roles and responsibilities as sole trustees of charities, to ensure that any assets they hold are applied in line with charity law.

"There is often a lot of public interest in such matters. I would recommend highly that all local authorities with these responsibilities read this short guide and also take note of other relevant guidance that is listed.”

Cllr Margaret Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “Charity law can be complex and it's important that councils are clear about their responsibilities when they are trustees for land or assets.

"We have developed this joint guide with the Charity Commission to help authorities manage charitable trusts effectively and avoid some of the pitfalls that can occur”.

The four-page guide is available at www.charitycommission.gov.uk and www.lga.gov.uk

 
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