Heyday costs Age Concern England £1.7m in one year

ACE spent £1.7m in 2007/08 on "exceptional costs" relating to its struggling membership organisation Heyday.

The money went on ending or scaling back contracts, particularly those related to IT. Redundancy payments also contributed to the total.

But it does not include the Heyday-related £815,000 pay-off made to Tony Page, the former managing director of Age Concern Enterprises (26 September 2007, page 1).

"The most significant example of the one-off contractual costs incurred by Heyday last year related to the scaling back of IT spending," said a spokesman for ACE. "This was necessary because the contracts in place related to the original projected membership numbers and IT systems needed to be brought into line with actual membership."

The support organisation originally planned to recruit 300,000 members over 50, but has only 40,000 at present. Redundancy payments did not exceed £5,000 for any employee, the spokesman said.

Most of the 39 employees that were made redundant were not eligible for redundancy payments because they were not employed for long enough. Heyday is expected to continue in some form after the proposed merger between Age Concern and Help the Aged (17 September, page 5).

- See Feature, pages 14-15

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