Shetland Charitable Trust submits proposal for constitutional change

The trust plans to reform its board after being accused of misconduct by the OSCR

The Shetlands
The Shetlands

Board members at one of the largest charitable trusts in Scotland have sent the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator a proposal for constitutional change after being accused of misconduct by the regulator

The Shetland Charitable Trust, which has assets of more than £200m and is principally a funder of other organisations, was told by the OSCR to reform its board and thus improve its independence more than three years ago. Until recently, 21 of its 22 board members were Shetland Islands councillors.

In December, trustees cancelled plans for a referendum on reform after David Robb, chief executive of the OSCR, wrote to them accusing the trust of misconduct. He gave them 14 days to confirm the referendum was cancelled and 28 days to provide the OSCR with a timetable for implementing the required changes to the charity’s constitution.

The board held another meeting later in December during which trustees agreed on a set of proposals for change, which have since been sent to the OSCR. However, not all trustees agreed on the proposals and two have since resigned.

Trustees recommended that the number of trustees should be cut to 15, consisting of seven councillor trustees and eight who would be appointed by an independent selection panel.

They also proposed that the chair and vice-chair should be selected by trustees from any of the 15 trustees who would be in place.

A spokesman for the OSCR said: "I can confirm that a timetable has been provided to us and this, along with any subsequent proposed reorganisation of the charity, will be considered in line with our established procedures."

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