Charity tribunal to reject appeal in Melton Mowbray Town Estate case

Complaint falls outside of the court's jurisdiction, tribunal decides

The charity tribunal has provisionally struck out an appeal against the Charity Commission's decision not to investigate a Leicestershire charity accused of sexual discrimination and acting unconstitutionally.

A local resident complained to the commission that Melton Mowbray Town Estate, a 460-year-old charity that runs most of the town's parks and leisure facilities, had failed to consult its members about spending decisions and a proposal to change the election process for trustees.

The resident, who asked not to be named, also accused the charity of discriminating against female trustees and of "continuous maladministration" over a period of two years.

In response to the complaint, the commission issued guidance to the charity's trustees, but ruled that it would not take regulatory action because this would be disproportionate.

The complainant lodged an appeal with the tribunal but was told that his application fell outside its jurisdiction. Decisions by the commission not to investigate a charity, either with a statutory inquiry or a regulatory compliance case, cannot be challenged by the tribunal.

"The members of this charity are in no man's land," the resident said. "The commission won't do anything more and the tribunal says the case is beyond its jurisdiction."

The resident said he would consider applying for judicial review.

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