Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, has said he supports the proposal that people disqualified from being trustees should also be excluded from taking on other key positions within charities. Wilson made the comment while giving evidence in Westminster to the joint committee that is scrutinising the draft Protection of Charities Bill, which proposes giving new powers to the Charity Commission. These include allowing it to ban people with convictions from being charity trustees or disqualify people it considers unfit from taking up trusteeship.
A homelessness charity has been forced to close following the arrest of a second member of its finance team on suspicion of fraud. Cyrenians Cymru said that in accordance with the policies of its funders – which include the Welsh government, the National Lottery and Swansea Council – its funds had been frozen and its board of trustees decided to declare the charity insolvent and go into administration.
The sector skills council Skills for Health has launched a new government-funded online training and development resource for the charity, social enterprise and health sectors. Skills Platform, which was originally developed by the now-defunct Skills Effect, gives charities and health sector organisations advice and guidance on sourcing, comparing and purchasing training and related consultancy services.
The average online charitable donation made in the run-up to Christmas has increased by 15 per cent over the past four years, according to figures from the fundraising software firm Blackbaud. The company found that the average online gift made through its 104 charity customers’ fundraising pages in November and December 2014 was £64.76, up from £56.27 in 2010.
The Charity Commission does not need extended powers but more lawyers, according to Lord Phillips of Sudbury, the Liberal Democrat peer and veteran charity lawyer. Phillips expressed this view in his written evidence to the joint committee that is scrutinising the draft Protection of Charities Bill, which was published on the parliamentary website this week.
Cats Protection is to launch its general election Manifesto for Cats at a House of Commons event next month. The cat charity will unveil its 10-point document, which was compiled after a three-month public consultation, at a parliamentary reception on 10 February hosted by Neil Parish, the Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton. Attendees are expected to include the animal welfare minister Lord de Mauley, his Labour shadow Angela Smith and more than 30 MPs.
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