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lynned55
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...or lack of. We have our AGM tomorrow and ALL our current officers are standing down, all off to school. I honestly cant see us getting more than the odd person coming forward to take their place.

 

Does anyone know what we would do if this happened? Every year we wonder will we get enough to stand but this year is dire, really bad, so I looked at our constitution which says the committee shall consist of 4 officers and no less than six members in total. I know, our current committee can re stand and/or staff could become committee but neither of these are really the option i wish to take- besides i dont think staff can be officers.

 

So what have you all done if you have had none/less than the numbers legally required.

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how sad that you are in this situation - we have been fortunate this year and i know pla says at least 50% should be current parents - my friend was chair for many years even when her children left because no one came forward so she locked the doors one morning and told all the parents that if they did not step up ,preschool would close , it worked - this year we took on an admin person to help the chair so volunteers did not feel it was such an onerous task ,

sorry can't offer any better advice

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It is sad- but unfortunately I feel, a sign of the times. An admin worker would be wonderful- not for the Chair but for me. Our committee does very little anyway- I've had a good look round the CC site-but they weren't much help really and when sending out the invite for the AGM I stated on there quite clearly that all committee were standing down this year and if we didn't get replacements there was every possibility of not opening in Sept. Doesn't seem to have made a difference, I've never known such apathy or disinterest.

 

Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised and half a dozen or more will turn up and stand for election!!

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Well...in theory and if the charity commission get to know, you'll hear words like 'unlawful' 'unauthorised' and 'disolve', don't let them know!

I am chair, all staff are on the committee, one of our staff keeps receipts and banks money, I and another staff member signed cheques, an ex parent takes minutes at our very irregular meetings but the CC have a list of people who are members!

I know we're not abiding by the rules, but its not the CC who will lose out if we close so I keep plodding on. Our AGM is October, if no-one comes forward I'm going to take a serious look at changing how we run. I don't know enough about the options open to us but I know from reading others experiences that there has to be a way.

Not a very helpful post I'm afraid, just wanted to let you know you're not alone

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So whose names go down as V/chair, sec & treasurer then as our constitution actually names those three along with a chair as being elected at AGM. To be honest, I'm more than happy to rope people in for their names only as my dep & I do all the committee work anyway (apart from our PAYE & bookkeeping) if necessary then we will have to employ someone to do this.

Our constitution doesn't actually state that staff cannot be committee, doesn't say they can either but I wonder if that matters. Really I'm past caring now but not beyond lying to whoever if it means we carry on. What we do need to do now is start investigating other ways of running.

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The last functioning committee we had are still the named officers. I asked when they left if I could borrow them and they agreed I could. I do sometimes wonder if they realise they're still listed and I know its wrong but really I have no other option at present. There are other ways of running but you need to be careful that changing doesn't mean you have to officially close and then set up again. We run under the PLA constitution so if we were to close all our equipment and money would go to the PLA or other charity with similar aims to us, its not a case of just rewriting the constitution and becoming something different. It needs careful reading

Edited by Rea
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Hi. We have been in a similar situation so much so that my current committee are all ex parents. However in order to improve the sustainability of the group we are in the final process of converting from a charity to a Community Interest group. Through this the staff team will take over the actual running of the setting.

 

We have had to jump through hoops to get here but it will be worth it not to fight for a committee each year.

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Rea believe it or not there is indeed a way around it. Our constitution very much stated the same as you have wrote above. However this is not always enforced and we changed the charity. I have the paperwork in the car so will return and explain how we did it legally x

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Our accountant is a CIC, she said we'd lose charitable status if we changed to that and then have to pay tax so we didnt think it was the way to go, any info you can share would be great :D

Edited by Rea
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Sazz J I would love to know how you do this too.

 

I have to say my chairman is brilliant but just told me that she is only allowed to stand for committee (not just chair but any position) for 6 years. This means that although she may not want to she will have to stand down and there is no one to replace her or any of the other members that are standing down. We struggle to get people to stand for committee then when we get people that are wiling and we have to ask them to leave as they have done their time and no one there to replace them!!! So frustrating and then we made the mistake of wanting to employ a committee member (who had stepped down I might add so we could employ her) and the to and fro from charity commission has been a nightmare completely unbelievable!!!

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The Charity Commission must have a purpose, but I always feel they are there to make things difficult which is why I dont tell them anything other than the yearly accounts.

When we had the words I quoted above, said to us, it was in a very strict manner. There was no trying to understand our situation, no advice, just a telling off. When things were sorted and I wrote telling them the outcome, I never heard another word from them, not a thanks for keeping us updated, good luck or anything.

I dont feel they are there to help and I dont feel they understand small charities like ours. Maybe others have had a better experience, but I for one wont speak to them now.

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with our situation we just wished we hadn't bothered to say anything at all and the email my chair showed it to me I read it three times and am still not convinced I really understand what they have said as it seems to be three messages each one contradicting the one before!!! very confusing clear as mud does not come into it.

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You can opt on someone who hasnt any links with the setting, at least our constitution allows that. Thtss a fab idea, I'll put myself forward too, although when it comes to meetings and certainly the AGM I think you have to actually be there. I'm going to read the con. for the details.

 

I've been committee member for 8 years, Chair for 3 I think, maybe 4. And thats true!

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Our constitution allowed for co opted members...Chair was sister of a staff member..other posts i used to plead for names each year.. but tended to have a few who kept returning with children, so had them listed and added to the committee on a semi permanent basis...

 

depends on the constitution as to how long they can serve.. ours said 10 years a year out and then they could return again.. others can have no time restrictions on them,, as we changed ours to one without..

and CC.. we kept low, sent the accounts every year and the other papers they sent us.. they never contacted us or did anything other than send us a return.. most of the time the names we sent were the same ones!

 

legal.. probably not.. but it did work and parents who gave names for committee were all knew.. even if they forgot .

 

 

am curious about what tax you would be liable for if changing to a community interest against the usual charity thing.. and how much difference it would make.. had we the option I would have changed .. .

 

and they are supposed to attend in person at meetings.. we managed to get around it somehow... often wondered who checked this part as the paperwork only got filed away.. no one ever asked to look in the 10 years I was doing it..

Edited by Inge
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Dont know what she meant about the tax Inge, it was a really brief meeting a few weeks ago. I'm going to speak to the PLA because I'm sure they can help us change to something.

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I'm desperate to find a way around this. I did consider asking current committee to carry on in name only as our constitution states no time limit. It does however state that we MUST have four officers and not less than six members in total. Problem with asking people to use their names is that they are still legally responsible for the group, as our Chair is a soliciter I cant see her agreeing to this- cant say I blame them either.

Today, I rang Ofsted re charges for new DBS- wait for it: As committee are the registered person/body they are NOT classed as volunteers and will cost us/them £52+ for this. We will still send in a EY2 for each new committee member then instead of sending them/us a disclosure when appropriate we will be directed to their online site for the DBS part and that is when the charges will kick in. Good this aint it? Cant get any committee to volunteer as it is and now we will be turning those that aren't absolutely necessary away as we wont be able to afford them. Of course I suppose they could always pay for themselves.

 

So as I say I would dearly love further info on this. I looked (briefly) into CI group but couldn't see any real benefits. Will let you know how our meeting goes.

Wish me luck!

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The Charity Commission must have a purpose, but I always feel they are there to make things difficult which is why I dont tell them anything other than the yearly accounts.

When we had the words I quoted above, said to us, it was in a very strict manner. There was no trying to understand our situation, no advice, just a telling off. When things were sorted and I wrote telling them the outcome, I never heard another word from them, not a thanks for keeping us updated, good luck or anything.

I dont feel they are there to help and I dont feel they understand small charities like ours. Maybe others have had a better experience, but I for one wont speak to them now.

This has been my experience too, they are very threatening and intimidating

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Just to add, if you are a member of the PLA don't let them know too much either :ph34r:

 

my development worker was NOT happy when she knew we only had 4 members and 2 of them are staff, 1 is my dad (does treasurer role but doesn't attend meetings) and the other one is actually a current parent - hooray!!!

She has told me she will be coming to pre-school in September and if we don't have more than 50% of parents on board then she will stand in the entrance hall and not let anyone past!!

 

Im still not sure if that's a good or bad thing xD

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Are you sure that committee members are not classed as volunteers and thus get checks free? We did ask specifically about this at the briefing we had with someone from the DBS and were assured they would be free - if not we couldn't afford it either, especially as we are lucky with our parents this year and will have around 12 committee members (smug or what?)

 

Jo

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Are you sure that committee members are not classed as volunteers and thus get checks free? We did ask specifically about this at the briefing we had with someone from the DBS and were assured they would be free - if not we couldn't afford it either, especially as we are lucky with our parents this year and will have around 12 committee members (smug or what?)

 

Jo

 

Oh very smug! Whats your secret?

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TMG told me that volunteers will be free but that they will be charging an admin fee of 12.60. When I said so it's not free then they said yes it is free as the fee is just for admin!

 

Ofsted were adamant that committee members were not volunteers as they were a 'registered body' and therefore would incur a charge of £52+. Perhaps someone else could contact them and see if they get a different story (wouldn't surprise me)

We managed to get a Chair, (who is a criminal defence barrister, a breastfeeding councillor and therefore already has two enhanced CRB's) a Sec (who is a probation officer so has a CRB & another enhanced CRB through her church volunteer work) & a Treasurer (who is a middle school teacher & also has an enhanced CRB) But we are now going to have to pay best part of £200 to get them all done again. I'm fuming over this, it's all been made so b****y complicated that no one seems to know what is going on and as usual we are left to find out for ourselves what is supposed to be going on! Just who decided that committee weren't volunteers must be ................. well I cant think of what else to say. Except our newly elected Chair is going to 'try and get to the bottom of these ridiculous assumptions' (her words) and find out why they have made them.

 

I am about to start the process next week and send them EY2 forms. Watch this space then!

Edited by lynned55
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Our constitution allows for committee to be made up of non members- however having people from here would be no good unless they live in our area, as you would have to attend some meetings.

Who ever it was that had the info on CI groups- we would love to hear how you have gone about changing things- when you have the time

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