Paper round

It has been a fractious old week in charity land. We kick off with a classic local bunfight. Hemel Hempstead Today reports that a youth centre in Berkhamsted was distinctly miffed after its local council reported it to the Charity Commission for "underutilising" its resources.

The council claimed it had been trying to arrange a meeting with trustees of the Langley Meadow Youth Centre for six months.

But treasurer Andrew Horton said commission guidelines meant the charity could run only a limited number of activities and told the men in suits to mind their own business.

"It's a waste of taxpayers' money for the council to be meddling in a charity's business," he simmered.

It was also a septimana horribilis for the Queen. While the media zoned in on her fashion cat fight with French first lady Carla Bruni, Her Majesty caused a flutter among bird charities by making a donation to an organisation that, according to The Daily Telegraph, believes in exterminating magpies, grey squirrels and feral cats.

Songbird Survival - which, according to the newspaper, "emerged out of an alliance between landowners and pigeon fanciers" - has criticised the RSPB for denying that predators are responsible for the decline of various songbirds.

Another frequent subject of calls for extermination is former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan. But US army veterans charity the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund wouldn't hear of such barbarity after Morgan gave it the £125,000 prize money he was awarded for winning the US Celebrity Apprentice TV show.

Announcing his victory, host Donald Trump told Morgan: "You're a vicious guy. You're tough, you're smart, you're probably brilliant." Shame the Mirror fired him.


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