Baroness Pitkeathley expected to chair House of Lords committee on charities

20 May 2016 News

The House of Lords is expected to approve a motion to create a select committee to consider issues related to the charity sector next week and will appoint Baronness Pitkeathley as its chair.

The House of Lords is expected to approve a motion to create a select committee to consider issues related to the charity sector next week and will then appoint Baroness Pitkeathley as its chair.

As long as the motion is passed on Monday, peers then will approve a motion to appoint 12 members to the committee, including Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Baroness Barker and Baroness Pitkeathley (pictured) who will act as chair.

The creation of this ad hoc Select Committee was first proposed in the Lords by Lord Shinkwin earlier this year.

He suggested that it could “explore how the charity sector could be strengthened through the development, dissemination and application of best practice” and could consider issues around “improving governance, transparency and accountability” with the sector.

The remit for the ad hoc committee has now been agreed that will invite evidence from the sector on examples of best practice; the role of the Charity Commission in promoting trust in the sector; the fiduciary duties of trusties and what lessons the sector can learn from the recent controversies, and how these problems can be avoided in the future.

NCVO said it expects the committee to do a “serious and thorough” job on analysing the issues before it reports back in March 2017.

Initial evidence sessions are expected to take place in June and July to establish the sorts of questions it should be asking, before moving towards more in-depth evidence gathering in the autumn.

Chris Walker, senior external relations officer at NCVO, said: “Its creation presents a useful opportunity to look at the issues concerning governance and public perception around the charity sector.

“The members of the committee mentioned have a good mixture of experience, both of sitting on similar committees within the Lords but also of the wider charity sector. We expect them to do a serious and thorough job.”

Baroness Pitkeathey, the proposed chair of the committee, has a long history with the charity sector, including working as the chief executive of Carers UK for 12 years. She is also currently the chair of the Big Society Trust. Baroness Barker is currently the Liberal Democrat Lords principal spokesperson for the voluntary sector and Lord Harries is currently chair of the Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement and is a trustee for two charities.

Members of the committee are expected to be: 

  • Baroness Barker
  • Lord Bichard
  • Lord Chadlington
  • Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
  • Baroness Gale
  • Lord Harries of Pentregarth
  • Baroness Jenkin of Kennington
  • Lord Lupton
  • Baroness Pitkeathley (chair)
  • Lord Rooker
  • Baroness Scott of Needham Market
  • Baroness Stedman-Scott


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