Charity Commission under fire for declining to investigate Melton Mowbray Town Estate

The former vice-chair of MMTE, which runs parks in the town, has criticised the watchdog for just referring him to its guidance on conflicts within charities

Melton Mowbray
Melton Mowbray

The former vice-chair of the Melton Mowbray Town Estate has criticised the Charity Commission for refusing to launch an investigation into the organisation after he sent the regulator a 250-page document about the charity.

Mike Rawson recently stepped down from the board of the charity, which runs most of the town’s parks and leisure facilities, after eight months as its vice-chair and two years as a trustee.

Rawson said he had since sent the commission a 250-page document outlining problems at the charity, including allegations of abusive behaviour and poor financial management, but was disappointed to learn that it would not be investigating his complaints.

He told Third Sector he decided to stand down at an annual general meeting in October after being "verbally abused" by other trustees. He said an independent financial adviser had recently been brought in to look at the charity’s investment portfolio and had found that it was "not fit for purpose".

"I took a torrent of abuse over that as well," he said. "If the Charity Commission can’t do something about this, I don’t know what they’re doing as a commission. There’s so much wrong with the way this charity’s being run, it’s unbelievable."

Last year, the charity tribunal provisionally struck out an appeal against the Charity Commission’s decision not to investigate the charity after it was accused of sexual discrimination and acting unconstitutionally by a local resident.

Rawson said he would not be letting his complaints drop and would approach his local MP about the situation.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission confirmed that it had received complaints about the charity.

"We have directed the complainants to our guidance on what issues the commission will look into as well as our guidance on conflicts within charities and explained that we will not be taking any further action," she said.

Nobody from the charity was available for comment.

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