The Charity Commission has appointed seven interim trustees to The Greenwich Islamic Centre in south London, which lists its objects as acquiring a suitable premises for use as a centre for the Muslim community in the London borough of Greenwich.
An order published by the commission earlier this month said the charity had elected a council of 17 trustees in January 2005. But the order said no further trustee elections were held after 2005 despite a requirement in the charity’s constitution that it should hold an annual general meeting for the purpose of electing new trustees each year.
The commission issued an earlier order in May 2012 that required the charity to appoint interim trustees for six months and hold an election of trustees before the interim trustees’ appointments expired. An election took place in December 2012 but was declared null and void by the centre "for reasons of technical irregularities", this month's order said.
The interim trustees’ appointments expired in November 2012, and there have not been any validly appointed trustees since that date. The commission has now appointed seven new interim trustees who, it said, must hold a trustee election as soon as possible.
The order also instructed the charity to appoint Anne Hock, managing director of the ballots and elections company Popularis, to oversee the membership process and the election. The new elected trustees will hold office until 31 January 2015, the commission’s order said.
Tariq Abbasi, director of the Greenwich Islamic Centre and one of the interim trustees appointed by the commission, told Third Sector that annual general meetings had not been held since 2005 because the trustees had been focusing on other things, including the charity’s large construction project.
Abbasi said that he had made the decision to declare the elections in December 2012 null and void because they had not been run properly, but he said he was confident that the new round of elections would be more successful. "We have involved some professional companies that help charities to hold elections," he said. "We’re looking forward to the elections."