Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 Jan 6

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
Regulator
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Regulator » 6 Jan 2012, 5:00pm

Kevin Mayne wrote:Sent to CTC volunteer networks on Friday 6th January

Message from the Chair of CTC Council about the progress of CTC Charitable conversion

Progress of CTC Charitable conversion

You may have been contacted in the last few days about progress with the conversion of Cyclists’ Touring Club to a charity as agreed at the 2010 AGM. A copy of an email from the Charity Commission of England and Wales (CCEW) rejecting CTC’s application for registration has been circulated.

The purpose of this email is to clarify the Council’s position in relation to that correspondence. It is in fact the decision we received in the autumn and does not contain any new information. A similar application has been approved by the Scottish regulators and CTC is now registered as a charity in Scotland. This means we are already subject to charity regulation and have to act as a charity in everything Cyclists’ Touring Club does.

Since receiving the CCEW decision we have taken extensive legal advice and consulted with other partners in the voluntary sector.

The consistent advice we have received is that it is highly unusual for an application to be passed in Scotland while not in England and any charity that can pass the public benefit test in Scotland should do so in England and Wales.

Our legal advisors are currently drafting our application for a review of the CCEW decision on a number of grounds. After application the review may take up to three months but we are encouraged that all our advice has consistently said that our application to become a charity is robust, not least because it is already proven in Scotland.

When considering membership organisations such as the London Cycling Campaign and the RSPB which are comparable to the CTC and already have charitable status in England and Wales, we feel confident that we will succeed in due course and remain committed to achieving registration.

In wider terms the Council is reporting the end of a relatively successful year which as expected has been unaffected by charity matters: finances are on target, we are managing the transition out of high levels of government funding, member benefits and campaigning continue.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me on david.cox@ctc.org.uk

Best cycling regards for 2012.

David Cox
Chair of CTC Council
January 5th 2012.



Perhaps Kevin or David would like to clarify why the correspondence from the CCEW was not shared with all the directors of the club when it was received?

The consistent advice we have received is that it is highly unusual for an application to be passed in Scotland while not in England and any charity that can pass the public benefit test in Scotland should do so in England and Wales.


It is indeed unsual - and in fact, there are grounds to suggest that the Club should not have been registered in Scotland before it was registered in England and Wales. I am aware that the OSCR is being asked to review its decision to grant charitable status.

Our legal advisors are currently drafting our application for a review of the CCEW decision on a number of grounds. After application the review may take up to three months but we are encouraged that all our advice has consistently said that our application to become a charity is robust


The advice that you've had so far seems to be completely off the mark. Have you gone to new legal advisers for the review application?

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Simon L6
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Simon L6 » 6 Jan 2012, 5:11pm

contains no information for you, David, but contains a lot of new information for us because you wouldn't circulate the e-mail. And I'm not sure that the comparison with the RSPB is clever - it's the little feathered jobbies that are the beneficiiaries of the RSPB's charitable endeavours, not the odd types with binoculars.

This does lift a corner of the carpet and allow us a glimpse of the fluff underneath. Setting aside the pathological urge to conceal, it would appear that there will be no new resolution to the AGM this year, because the CTC's legal advisers are confident that the Charities Commission decision will be overturned. That confidence may be rewarded, but, then again, looking at the text of the Charities Commission letter, it may not. By the time the matter is settled a new Chief Exec will be in post. Why would he or she devote endless hours to a struggle for ill-defined and possibly illusory ends when there's a whole lot of re-organising to be done as the big contracts wind down in the wake of Cycling England's demise?

My reading of David Cox's letter is this
- we've got to appeal, because if we go back to change the Articles again we'll look like monkeys and those nasty types at SavetheCTC will stuff us
- if we lose the appeal we'll give up

And my further reading is (and I'm not enjoying writing this, not one little bit) that Greg's advice to us has been right all along about the Charities Commission. So, just to make sure that he doesn't explode with contentment, it falls to me to tell you lot that he once tried (and failed) to hail a cab to take him and his bike up the Ditchling Beacon. There you go! That's the kind of degenerate those poor Councillors have had to contend with!

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Regulator » 6 Jan 2012, 5:19pm

Simon L6 wrote:contains no information for you, David, but contains a lot of new information for us because you wouldn't circulate the e-mail.



Contains a lot of new information for some councillors, as well. Why the Chair thought it was appropriate to withold relevant information from his fellow directors I don't know... you'd think he'd never heard of the concept of corporate governance.

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Simon L6
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Simon L6 » 7 Jan 2012, 10:45am

Regulator wrote:
Because the CTC offering for BUGs is fairly pathetic, consisting mainly of a web-site page and the chance for BUG members to affiliate to CTC. All for what for money BUGs will be a fairly hefty fee.

I looked at it last year for our SHA. We got a better deal by going direct to CTC's insurers.
but that, Greg, is a question of marketing and selling expertise. The CTC can sort out a deal with Spengler Butterworth - with respect, that's beyond even your powers because they don't know what they're about and the CTC has the muscle (and the will) to pin them down. A small cycling club should not deal with SB on their own.

Then it's a question of marketing and pricing. I disagree with you on the present arrangements - it's a good deal, and any BUG or local cycling club would be ill-advised to worry too much about the £50 annual payment for organisers insurance. There's a real opportunity here, and I'm confident the CTC can grasp it.

The campaigning thing is a worry, but it's also an opportunity. The Campaigning Department runs itself - I recall one ten minute report to Council in three years. Now's the time for Councillors to step up to the plate and take a long hard look at campaigning. I don't think there's any chance of setting up a grass roots campaigning style along the lines of the LCC, but it must surely be possible to run the kind of campaigns that promote both cycling and the CTC as brands - a swift look at http://www.mumsnet.com/ is instructive (if gruesome). Looking at the success of Cycle Chat, and the rise and rise of Evans and Wiggle you kind of wonder why the CTC isn't more in to surfing the wave......

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby byegad » 7 Jan 2012, 2:50pm

irc wrote:
meic wrote:The letter of rejection states,

"However the Club itself is not established for exclusively charitable purposes for the public benefit. It is a members' organisation established to promote the interests of its members and provide them with benefit. It is not therefore established for exclusively charitable purposes or the public benefit."



I'm confused with this. I agree the CTC is primarily there to promote the interests of it's members and is not established for exclusively charitable purposes or the public benefit.. Neither is Eton or other private schools yet they are charities. Can someone explain the difference to me.


Eton is where those in power send their children and the CTC is for the peasants. OK?
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Regulator » 8 Jan 2012, 10:47am

byegad wrote:
irc wrote:
meic wrote:The letter of rejection states,

"However the Club itself is not established for exclusively charitable purposes for the public benefit. It is a members' organisation established to promote the interests of its members and provide them with benefit. It is not therefore established for exclusively charitable purposes or the public benefit."



I'm confused with this. I agree the CTC is primarily there to promote the interests of it's members and is not established for exclusively charitable purposes or the public benefit.. Neither is Eton or other private schools yet they are charities. Can someone explain the difference to me.


Eton is where those in power send their children and the CTC is for the peasants. OK?



Eton and many of the other public schools were originally established as charities - which is the key difference with CTC.

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Regulator » 10 Jan 2012, 6:34pm


drossall
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby drossall » 10 Jan 2012, 8:59pm

irc wrote:I'm confused with this. I agree the CTC is primarily there to promote the interests of it's members and is not established for exclusively charitable purposes or the public benefit.. Neither is Eton or other private schools yet they are charities. Can someone explain the difference to me.

The difference probably lies in timing (such schools have been charities for a while), and the public benefit test.

As I understand it, to be of public benefit, a charity does not have to benefit all of the public (otherwise a charity serving the poor or disadvantaged would also have to serve the rich or advantaged!) However, the benefits must not be unreasonably restricted (e.g. a housing charity could not serve only people with red hair). Education has always been assumed to be of public benefit and so charitable; I think it's fair to paraphrase that any one school can only educate some of the population anyway, and any improvement in the education of (as many as one school could handle of) the population was seen as a good thing, so private schools were obvious charities.

Now the focus is very much on equality, so harder questions are being asked about how public is the benefit from such schools. This isn't the thread to debate such issues, but that's my sense of the answer.

Again on my understanding, the phrasing:

irc wrote:I agree the CTC is primarily there to promote the interests of it's members...

looks quite dangerous. The 2006 Act added the advancement of amateur sport (=exercise) as a benefit, presumably in response to the couch potato problem. Therefore, if the CTC promotes activity through cycling in as much of the population as possible, it's not that important that it asks interested parties to become members - membership is being used as a means of getting people to contribute to and register with the organisation. However, an organisation that existed to campaign on behalf of, or promote specifically the interests of, its members would not be a charity.

But IANAL.
Last edited by drossall on 10 Jan 2012, 9:41pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Vorpal » 10 Jan 2012, 9:19pm

I have an idea. Let's start a club to do that. :lol:
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Regulator » 11 Jan 2012, 8:05am

Simon L6 wrote:
Regulator wrote:
Because the CTC offering for BUGs is fairly pathetic, consisting mainly of a web-site page and the chance for BUG members to affiliate to CTC. All for what for money BUGs will be a fairly hefty fee.

I looked at it last year for our SHA. We got a better deal by going direct to CTC's insurers.
but that, Greg, is a question of marketing and selling expertise. The CTC can sort out a deal with Spengler Butterworth - with respect, that's beyond even your powers because they don't know what they're about and the CTC has the muscle (and the will) to pin them down. A small cycling club should not deal with SB on their own.

Then it's a question of marketing and pricing. I disagree with you on the present arrangements - it's a good deal, and any BUG or local cycling club would be ill-advised to worry too much about the £50 annual payment for organisers insurance. There's a real opportunity here, and I'm confident the CTC can grasp it.



The CTC BUG 'deal' doesn't include any insurance for the members and it specifically excludes coverage of the employer. You pay simply to get a webpage where people can sign up to affiliate for £15 and some 'organisers liability insurance'. The organisers insurance has a very limited scope and won't cover things like pool bikes (which are becoming common in organisations with BUGs)

I got a deal from Spengler Butterworth which effectively meant that for a £1,000 premium the SHA (as employer) was covered and 350 members of staff got comprehensive insurance for using the SHA's pool bikes or their own bikes for work. That's less than £3.50 per person.

And although the policy is aimed mainly at SHA staff, any visiting NHS member of staff is covered for using our pool bikes. So that is effectively 1,191,231 people covered for a £1,000 premium (or 0.08p per person covered). I think the CTC would find it hard to beat that...

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Karen Sutton » 11 Jan 2012, 11:51am

I have noticed several BUGS in our area have affiliated. Some are connected with Manchester University, some with Local Authorities, plus some large employers like Astra Zeneca.

How does the BUG affiliation differ from a Club affiliation?

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Simon L6
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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Simon L6 » 11 Jan 2012, 12:32pm

I'm sorry for setting off this diversion, but BUGs can affiliate as clubs, and offer their members CTC membership, with the benefits that brings for £15. It's a really good deal, not least because the service is first class. One of our members reported his card lost this morning and wanted to know his number, and I had a reply from the Membership Department within the hour - and a new card will be on the way to him. That will enable him to buy stuff from shops at a discount, which, I suspect, is, after the 3rd party insurance, the best benefit that CTC membership offers.

Butterworth Spengler? Don't know what they're doing. And can't be bothered to reply to e-mails. Which is why I'm glad that I've got Rob Fuller from the CTC National Office going in to bat on behalf of The Fridays

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Karen Sutton » 11 Jan 2012, 7:45pm

Thanks Simon,
I just wanted to know in case our MG decides to go down that route.

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Steady rider » 13 Jan 2012, 10:23am

it seems there are still reasonable concerns about the conversion to a charity.

The AGM has been mentioned and I wonder if the CTC could offer 2 types of membership.

One for CTC club direct as previously.

One for CTC charitable purposes.

Both memberships would provide the same benefits.

This would allow for cyclists who may not wish to join a charity the option of still being a full CTC member with all benefits.

It would allow cyclists who wish to join the charitable section to still retain all benefits and if they wish engage or support charitable aspects. If payment above the membership fee was sent, the excess would be taken as a charitable part.

Funds raised by CTC club direct membership could not be used for charitable purposes, unless approved by a separate vote of CTC club direct membership.

All other issues could still be decided via the normal processes.

I can see that it is not prefect and has pros and cons, but it's a bit of a compromise.

Would it work ?

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Re: Report on the progress of CTC charity application 2012 J

Postby Regulator » 13 Jan 2012, 11:28pm

[quote="Steady rider"]it seems there are still reasonable concerns about the conversion to a charity.

The AGM has been mentioned and I wonder if the CTC could offer 2 types of membership.

One for CTC club direct as previously.

One for CTC charitable purposes.

Both memberships would provide the same benefits.

This would allow for cyclists who may not wish to join a charity the option of still being a full CTC member with all benefits.

It would allow cyclists who wish to join the charitable section to still retain all benefits and if they wish engage or support charitable aspects. If payment above the membership fee was sent, the excess would be taken as a charitable part.

Funds raised by CTC club direct membership could not be used for charitable purposes, unless approved by a separate vote of CTC club direct membership.

All other issues could still be decided via the normal processes.

I can see that it is not prefect and has pros and cons, but it's a bit of a compromise.

Would it work ?[/quote]

Not with Kevin or David Cox at the helm....