Share

Big Society Network's 2012 accounts show £180k deficit

Big Society Network's 2012 accounts show £180k deficit
News

Big Society Network's 2012 accounts show £180k deficit

Finance | Tania Mason | 23 May 2013

Big Society Network has finally filed its 2012 accounts with Companies House, nearly five months late, and the unaudited abbreviated balance sheet shows a deficit at the end of March 2012 of £180,716.

Big Society Network has come under fire recently for receiving several hundred thousand pounds of public funds and not disclosing any of it in published accounts. 

Its associated charity, Society Network Foundation (SNF), was also awarded nearly £200,000 from the Cabinet Office Social Action Fund even though it did not meet the published grant criteria and changed partners and projects after the bid deadline, leading to charges of cronyism. And the project that was funded never got off the ground, so no social outcomes have been achieved.  

Both the organisations involved in awarding the Social Action Fund grant – the Cabinet Office and the Social Investment Business – said that the money was granted on the basis of the “track record” of the organisation’s senior management.

But there are no comprehensive accounts available for either BSN or SNF to demonstrate what that track record is.  The most recent accounts for BSN, just published on the Companies House website today, were submitted nearly five months after the deadline and Companies House even instigated a striking-off order at the start of April, though this has now been withdrawn.

And once again the company has merely produced an abbreviated balance sheet rather than full accounts. It is able to do this because it is a private limited company with income of less than £6.5m and so can claim a small company exemption.  However, this has been condemned by sector accountants as bad practice because public money is passing through the company.

Three directors

The company has three directors; chief executive Steve Moore, external relations director Lucy Winmill, and chair Martyn Rose, who is former co-chair of the National Citizen Service Programme with Michael Gove and former co-chair (with Theresa May) of the Get Britain Working group.  

According to the website the company also employs nine more people.

The 2011 accounts showed a deficit of £25,140.  The latest accounts reveal that this deficit has climbed to £180,716 – even though the company has received at least £725,000 of statutory funds, from Nesta and the Cabinet Office, since its launch in March 2010 up until July 2012.  

The website states that the Network is funded by “a combination of project funding, foundation funds, private donations and business investors”.

The deficit is made up of current assets totalling £14,541 and creditors of £199,783.  Fixed assets amount to £4,526, making an overall deficit of £180,716.  

Parliamentary questions

Earlier this week Gareth Thomas, shadow minister for civil society, tabled a series of Parliamentary questions relating to the government’s funding of Big Society Network. He accused the government of wasting taxpayers’ money on “Big Society vanity projects” and said he would be following the issue closely.

The Big Lottery Fund also recently announced a grant of £1m to Society Network Foundation
to organise a national fundraising challenge event later this year. It said it carried out stringent financial checks on the Foundation before awarding the grant.  Both sets of accounts filed by the Foundation so far show it to have been a dormant company.

Steve Moore did not respond to enquiries.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

Over 145 charities receive donations from #icebucketchallenge through JustGiving

1 Sep 2014

Over 145 individual charities have benefited from donations made as a result of the ice bucket challenge,...

Supermarkets donate profits from #icebucketchallenge to MND Association

29 Aug 2014

Tesco has announced that it will donate the profits made from an increase in sales of ice to the Motor...

Commission contacts Bradley Wiggins' charity over concerns about how it has spent donations

29 Aug 2014

The Charity Commission has contacted the trustees of the Bradley Wiggins Foundation after the charity...

Sky News anchor accuses Barnardo's chief of fence-sitting over Rotherham scandal

1 Sep 2014

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan refused to call for the resignation of South Yorkshire Police...

Former Awema chief executive cleared of two counts of fraud

1 Sep 2014

The former chief executive of the Welsh race relations charity, Awema, was cleared of two counts of fraud...

Charity Commission launches inquiry into Aid and Peace Trust

1 Sep 2014

The Charity Commission is investigating the Aid and Peace Trust over concerns about the management of...

Over 145 charities receive donations from #icebucketchallenge through JustGiving

1 Sep 2014

Over 145 individual charities have benefited from donations made as a result of the ice bucket challenge,...

EU data protection proposals would kill fundraisers’ mailing lists, says report

28 Aug 2014

Proposed EU data protection rules could destroy mailing lists relied on by charity fundraisers, and would...

Macmillan: We did not hijack #icebucketchallenge

21 Aug 2014

Macmillan has hit back against accusations on social media that it has hijacked #icebucketchallenge, saying...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance