No-confidence motion against board of MS Society fails

Planned end of respite care services at four centres prompted move at the charity's annual general meeting

Members of the MS Society have voted against a vote of no confidence in the charity’s board.

The motion was tabled at the charity's annual general meeting after the board announced it was planning to stop providing respite care at centres in York, Surrey, East Lothian and Leamington Spa, putting 380 jobs at risk.

It said members no longer trusted the board because it had "redirected major respite care spending without our approval".

The motion added: "Key decisions should be brought to the members."

Sue Tilley, a former trustee of the charity, who seconded the no-confidence motion, said that about 30 per cent of 7,000 voting members backed it. She said the charity had about 40,000 members in total.

A second resolution, in favour of the board’s decision to stop providing the respite care services, was backed by 60 per cent of the members who voted.

Tilley said the charity’s chief executive, Simon Gillespie, had told her he would hold a meeting with her to discuss alternatives to the respite care services. She said she was looking forward to "mending the rift".

The MS Society issued a statement saying: "We are pleased that members have voted in favour of the society's decision to update the way in which we provide respite care.

"The current four centres are excellent but are not used by the overwhelming majority of people with MS who need respite care."

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