Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
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gaz
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Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby gaz » 15 Mar 2010, 7:41pm

On 12 February 2010 Kevin Mayne made a statement inviting members to "submit additional questions to members.matter@ctc.org.uk or via the Save The CTC campaign so that we can produce on the record responses."

I submitted such a question on 16 February 2010.

Thank you for the opportunity to pose questions for an on the record response.

The CTC Charitable Trust Accounts 2008 show the loan of £388,000 from the CTC as being at Bank of England base rate. Bank of England base rate is not a commercial rate of interest. A commercial rate of interest is unlikely to be at a margin of less than 3% above base rate. To achieve such a low commercial margin would almost certainly require the CTC Trust to give the lender first legal charge over the Headquarters building. As the building remains unencumbered I suspect a true commercial margin for such borrowing would have been even larger.

May I ask why the loan of £388,000 from the CTC to the CTC Charitable Trust is described on the CTC website as being at a "commercial rate of interest"?

May I also ask that this reference is amended to reflect the true rate of interest as stated in the CTC Charitable Trust Accounts.


Having received no response I repeated my request, this time direct to Kevin Mayne, the same day I received an off the record reply and an assurance that the on the record reply would follow later the same week.

It's been twenty eight days since I requested an on the record response. It's fourteen days since I was promised one within (being generous) seven days. I still don't have one. The inaccurate information remains on the website: How have the charitable staff and expenses been paid for? Section C.

Frankly that isn't good enough. The inaccurate information should never have reached the website, it should have been corrected in a timely manner once it was bought to the attention of National Office and at the very least this should have been done within the timescale advised to me by Kevin.

So has anyone else submitted an "on the record" question? Has anyone else managed to get an "on the record" reply?
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Karen Sutton
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Re: Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby Karen Sutton » 15 Mar 2010, 11:46pm

I wonder if Simon or Greg got any useful information on this at the meeting with Kevin et al in February?

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby Kevin Mayne » 16 Mar 2010, 9:56am

That's fair comment Gaz and I hold my hand up, I did tell you I would be publishing a response to your query and I am the bottleneck.

I have drafted a much more detailed revison of the background and practical implementation of the Club's loan to the Trust which includes the correction to the question of the interest rate being charged. I completed this about a week ago.

As the loan structure was set up on the advice of our professional advisors I sent the draft to them for comment as it would be inappropriate for me paraphrase their advice without checking.

I have not had a reply and I have now been told the Club's Honorary Consulting Solicitor was on holiday last week. If I can't get a formal response I will have to publish the redraft this week and add a note to that effect.

Apologies

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gaz
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Re: Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby gaz » 16 Mar 2010, 8:37pm

The consultation you have suggested before posting your detailed revision is completely appropriate. What is inappropriate is that the wrong information reached the website (presumably after checking) and that it remains uncorrected. Correcting one sentence to remove an inaccuracy does not require any consultation and must be preferable to leaving the wrong information on the website.

Nevertheless I thank you for your apology and look forward to seeing the detailed revision.
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gaz
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Re: Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby gaz » 19 Mar 2010, 1:09pm

Having raised one query about the description of the loan on the website I now find myself faced with another.

From the 2005 Charitable Trust report ot the Charity Commission. (My bold).

"The new building, in Guildford, is close enough for us to retain our present staff, but in a more strategic location with significantly better transport links. The purchase cost of £1 .25 million was the same as the sale price of the current building . This meant we could proceed immediately (in April 2005) and secure the property. We need to raise £388,000 for the balance of the project, comprising VAT, relocation and fitting out."

IMO this does not compare well with the CTC website description of what the loan was used for, apart from fitting out. (My bold).

"The Trust has a loan from the Club of £388,000 which paid for equipping the new offices after purchase and provided working capital for the turnover associated with the work previously undertaken by the Club."

I'm even more interested in seeing the detailed revision because right now things aren't looking clear to me at all.
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Kevin Mayne
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Re: Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby Kevin Mayne » 22 Mar 2010, 5:19pm

The supplementary paper on the loan has now been added to the Financial FAQ

http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=5363

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gaz
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Re: Getting an on the record reply from membersmatter@ctc.org.uk

Postby gaz » 22 Mar 2010, 9:00pm

Thank you for the on the record reply. The correction to the FAQs resolves the issue I first raised and the link to the supplementary paper provides greater clarity.

I understand that, from the financial viewpoint, since the "payment" of interest by the Trust to the Club is matched by a "donation" from the Club to the Trust the rate of interest becomes irrelevant. Equally irrelevant, from the financial viewpoint, is the exact purpose of the loan.

However when doubts are being expressed about aspects of the financial relationship between the Club and the Trust it is very disappointing to find the original FAQs contained inaccuracies and that these were not corrected much sooner.

The question for me, sadly, becomes do other inaccuracies exist in the FAQs? I cannot answer that question but I find it harder to rely on the FAQs to help me make my voting decision now that I know something was wrong.
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