After a long delay the Trust has received a response from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport regarding the Charity Commission Scheme. It was announced at the Board meeting on the 12th March that DCMS felt that the preferred option for updating the Malvern Hills Acts was by a Private Bill.
Over the coming months the Trust will be taking steps to investigate and cost the options available to it before deciding on how to proceed.
A statement from the Charity Commission can be found below:
“The Commission met with Malvern Hills Conservators (MHC) in late 2016 in relation to changes the charity were considering making to improve their governance arrangements and modernise the charity. These changes related to the five acts of parliament that govern the charity, which have been in operation since 1884.
At the time, and with the agreement of the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) the Commission advised the charity to apply for a parliamentary scheme, to become effective via an Order by the Secretary of State for DCMS. MHC complied with this advice, preparing all relevant material for the scheme and, as advised, undertaking a public consultation, which took place between 2 September 2019 and 13 October 2019.
The amount of public interest the consultation generated was significant, particularly from precept payers of the charity, many of whom expressed concern about the proposed changes. It’s therefore been agreed by DCMS and the Commission, that these changes to the charity’s governing documents would now be best handled via a private bill, allowing greater scope for public scrutiny and debate than under a parliamentary scheme procedure. The charity has only recently been informed about the change in advice.
We understand this delay may be frustrating for people at the charity and others invested in the process, who want to see this issue resolved as quickly and as efficiently as possible. However, the significant amount of work undertaken by the charity in preparing for a parliamentary scheme will be relevant for preparing a private bill.
This charity manages a hugely significant and well-loved open space for the UK so it’s important to ensure that changes are made in the right way. The Commission and DCMS will therefore be supporting the charity as needed, as they pursue the next steps of this process.
Charity Commission for England and Wales
11 March 2020”
Further information about the Charity Commission Scheme, the proposals put forward by the Trust and the results of the public consultation can be found below.
Thank you to everyone who has responded to our public consultation by submitting the consultation questionnaire.
We received 467 responses from the public and all the responses have now be collated, analysed and summarised by the Charity Commission Scheme Working Group. Their report, along with recommendations can be viewed in the full report below. A summary is also available at the start of this document.
A document with the responses in full has also been provided for reference, as well as the Public Consultation Document, glossary and table of acts.
This report, and the recommendations within it, will be discussed at the Governance Committee meeting on the 30th January 2020.
The Trust manages a landscape of national importance. Since Malvern Hills Conservators was established by Act of Parliament in 1884, many things have changed.
We now need to fundamentally revise our governing Acts in order to be able to operate more effectively in the 21st century. We have set out what the problems are and our ideas on how to solve them.
You can have your say on the proposals through a public consultation which will run online from 2nd September to 13th October.
The Malvern Hills and Commons are a much-loved landscape which is open to the public. All sorts of people have an interest, whether as recreational users, commoners, keen observers of wildlife, local residents who pay the levy which provides a valuable contribution to its up-keep, people who appoint a board member or people who just admire the Malvern Hills through their windows.
Although we have spent years examining the options, we’d really value your comments and ideas, because you might come up with something that we haven’t thought of!
Please could you take the time to understand the problems that we have outlined and carefully to consider the solutions we have put forward? We might not have found the best ones and we hope some good ideas will flow in from the consultation. Be assured that all comments will be read and considered.
We have prepared 2 documents to help you understand the issues which Malvern Hills Trust needs to address:
The consultation document is lengthy and some of the content will be unfamiliar – a few topics contain quite a bit of legal jargon and not everyone will be familiar with things like commoners’ rights. We have done our best to explain everything as clearly as possible but some parts will inevitably be quite hard to follow. The consultation document refers to our Acts. These are set out section by section for those who would like to refer to the current provisions. Full copies of the original Acts (some parts of which have been altered and repealed) are also available here.
We are running a series of drop-in events throughout the consultation period where staff and Board members will be available to discuss your viewpoints and explain in more depth the changes we are proposing to make.
|Callow End Village Hall||09/09/2019||3pm-8pm|
|Colwall Village Hall||17/09/2019||3pm-8pm|
|Malvern Theatres, Circle Bar||22/09/2019||1:30pm- 5:30pm|
|United Reformed Church Hall, Malvern Link||25/09/2019||3pm-8pm|
|Castlemorton Parish Hall||01/10/2019||3pm-8pm|
If you would like a hard copy of the consultation document or any alternative format, please contact the office on 01684 892002.
You can help us to care for the Malvern Hills into the future by taking part in this consultation. Once you have read through the full consultation document please complete the online consultation questionnaire.
You do not need to answer all the questions. If you are only interested in responding to a few of them, you can skip the others. The deadline for online submissions is midnight on 13th October 2019.
We would prefer everyone who can to respond online but please contact the office on 01684 892002 if you need a paper copy of the consultation questionnaire. The deadline for receipt of paper copies of the questionnaire is 4pm on 11th October 2019. These need to be delivered to our offices:
Please respond online or by completing the paper version of questionnaire. We cannot guarantee to accept any comments which are not submitted in these two ways.
Please note the deadlines – 4pm on 11th October for paper responses and 13th October for electronic submissions.
The Trust will consider all responses received and will review its proposals in the light of them.