Charities register shrinks by 5% in six months

More than 10,000 charities dropped since March as regulator's purge continues

The number of charities on the  Charity Commission register fell by more than 10,000 between March and September this year, according to figures released this week.

The statistic was contained in a letter from Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, in response to a parliamentary question from Jenny Willott, the Liberal Democrat spokeswoman for the third sector.

Hind wrote that the total number of charities had fallen from 188,901 at the end of March to 178,720 by the end of September.

But he said the decrease was a result of the commission's work to improve the accuracy of the register of charities.

"A key aspect of our strategy is the prompt removal of charities that are inactive and with which we can no longer establish contact," he said.

"The marked peak of removals of charities that have ceased to exist or operate in September 2009 is a direct consequence of this strategy."

The figures show 6,470 charities were removed from the register during that month.

Willott wanted to know how many charities had declared themselves insolvent since March, but Hind said the commission did not record this information.

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