Inquiry launches after trustees ‘fail to engage’ with regulator

The Charity Commission has launched a fresh investigation into a charity that was criticised by regulator last year for a raft of financial and governance failures.

The regulator has opened a statutory inquiry into Moss Side and Hulme Community Development Trust after its trustees failed to prove they had complied with an order to improve made in 2020.

In November last year the Charity Commission rebuked the charity for several failures, including allowing payments of more than £50,000 to a trustee to double up as its chief executive. Under the charity’s rules payments of this nature are prohibited unless approved by the Commission.

The Manchester based regeneration charity came under scrutiny after being part of the regulator’s ‘double defaulters’ class investigation into charities that failed to file proper accounts on two or more occasions in the last five years.

In launching the new action the regulator said that it had placed a requirement on trustees to appoint more members of its board and hold an annual general meeting.

“The trustees were required to supply the Commission with an update within six months of the order,” said the regulator.

“They failed to do so and requested an additional six months to comply.”

However, “despite numerous attempts made by the Commission to engage with the trustees, the regulator is yet to receive any evidence that the charity has complied with its order".

It added that “trustees’ engagement with the regulator has been below the expected standard”.

In its November 2020 investigation the Charity Commission also criticised the charity for “inconsistencies” in its annual report around the purpose of the charity’s learning centre.

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