Charity advised to follow rules

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A charity regulator has called on a Silverdale charity to make sure it follows its own laws of governance.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales has advised the Silverdale Village Institute committee that it must follow its own governing document and allow the representative of Silverdale Youth Group to become a member of the board.

Tim Stothert, from the Silverdale Youth Group, said that he had been trying, without success, for a year to have the group recognised and make contributions at board meetings.

Mr Stothert, who lives in Silverdale, said: “The Institute committee has done absolutely nothing over the last year to help our youth group or the wider population of Silverdale use the facilities at the Institute.

“They have prevaricated and tried to stop us doing anything at all at the Institute and on the field.

“I have a legal right to be a trustee and yet I have been barred from attending any meetings to discuss when our youth group can use the hall.”

Earlier this year, a Silverdale Parish Council proposal for a skate park and other leisure uses on land attached to the Institute was turned down by the committee.

Mr Stothert said the wider population of Silverdale wanted tennis courts, a skatepark, running track and multi use games area on the site, in Spring Bank.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission, which has a role to promote charities compliance with charity law, said a complaint had been received relating to concerns about the governance of the Institute. She added: “In this case, we have written to the trustees of the Silverdale Village Institute to emphasise their duty to abide by the governing document of the charity which outlines the right of the youth group to appoint a representative to the trustee board of the Silverdale Village Institute.

“We will be following up with the trustees to determine whether they are adhering to the terms of the governing document.”

Kelvin Mashiter, chairman of the Silverdale Institute, said that the committee had met on Tuesday night to discuss the issue, but would not say whether Mr Stothert was to be recognised as a trustee, and declined to answer any further questions.

He added: “We have been forced to take legal advice and for the moment we have no further comment at this stage.”