Notting Hill Carnival Trust staff resist eviction in board fight

The Notting Hill Carnival Trust is in disarray this week with funding frozen and the management resisting attempts by trustees to evict them from the charity's premises.

The organisation's chief executive, finance director and secretary remain at work but haven't been paid for over a month and have been accused by trustees of illegally occupying the offices.

Lingering conflict between a group of trustees and the management came to a head last week when the trustees, accompanied by the police, attempted to wrest control from chief executive Claire Holder by changing the locks of its West London offices. But staff managed to re-enter the building.

Trustee Ansel Wong accuses Holder of being "autocratic" and of appointing family members to positions without following equal opportunities policies.

"The board had no real role, he said. Wong and fellow trustee Debi Gardner were officially sacked last December by an enlarged board of trustees. They were accused of undermining the trust by acting as a faction.

But the trust did not inform the Charity Commission, which states that it still regards Wong and Gardner as trustees, although this view is not legally binding.

The trust's funders, which include the Greater London Authority and the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, will not hand out any money until the trustees have assumed control.

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