Challenge to Charity Commission over land dispute

Former trustees lodge appeal with charity tribunal over regulator's decision not to intervene in board disagreement

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

Two former trustees of a local grant-making charity in Litcham, Peterborough, have asked for a review of the Charity Commission’s decision not to intervene in a dispute between members of its board.

David Holland and Vince Piffero, former trustees of the charity Litcham Relief In Need, have lodged an appeal with the charity tribunal.

They were involved in a dispute with the charity’s other three trustees over whether it should sell land that it held as investment property.

Holland and Piffero wanted to sell the land, which it currently rents out for use as allotments, but the other board members disagreed with the plan.

Elizabeth Christie, the charity’s chair, told Third Sector that after the three trustees refused to agree to sell the land, Holland and Piffero claimed the three were not legitimately in post on the grounds that their terms of office had expired.

Christie said she was unaware that the appeal to the tribunal had been made and did not know what it was about.

She said the charity had removed Holland and Piffero as trustees earlier this year because they had not attended a meeting for two years.

The appeal asks the tribunal to review the commission’s decision not to make an order under section 26 of the Charities Act 1993. Section 26 allows the commission to authorise trustees to take actions they may not otherwise be permitted to take.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said it was aware that the appeal had been lodged with the tribunal, and had provided comments on a "preliminary point". She was unable to provide further details about the case.

Third Sector was unable to contact Holland or Piffero for comment.

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