Age Concern Enterprises paid £815,000 to departing chief

The trading subsidiary of Age Concern paid £815,000 to its former chief executive Tony Page when he left the organisation after a dispute last year.

The dispute was about Age Concern's ill-fated membership organisation, Heyday, which Page managed until just before its launch in May 2006.

It is understood that the payment also attracted VAT, bringing the total cost for Age Concern Enterprises to nearly £1m. Heyday has recruited only 44,000 members against an initial target of 300,000.

The payment to Page is mentioned in the final footnote to Age Concern's report and accounts for 2006/07, published last week. It was included on the advice of the charity's auditors, Grant Thornton.

The footnote shows that the bulk of the payment was for consultancy by Page's company, Network Enterprises Ltd, some of it related to the previous financial year.

It also shows that £90,000 was for "intellectual property rights" and £80,000 for "an agreement on confidentiality and other protection of Age Concern Enterprises' business interests".

The footnote does not give the headline figure of £815,000, but a memorandum from Grant Thornton to the charity, seen by Third Sector, confirms the figure and says it is net of VAT.

The Age Concern accounts show that £3m of the £5m set aside for Heyday from the charity's reserves was used during the year. A separate explanatory note breaks down the total of £16.4m invested in Heyday over three years, including contributions from commercial partners.

The accounts show that the charity's income rose to a record high of £86.5m, with a deficit of £3.4m, compared with a surplus of £2.9m the previous year.

A spokesman for Age Concern said he could not comment on the payments because of the confidentiality agreement. Page was not available for comment.

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