Charity Commission investigates community drop-in centre over governance concerns 

24 May 2024 News

By Ivelin Radkov, Adobe

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into a Middlesborough-based charity over concerns of the trustees’ management of conflicts of interest and payments to connected parties.

It will also look at if there has been any authorised personal benefit to trustees at Streets Ahead for Information.

The charity, which was established in 2006 and registered with the Commission in 2017, runs an information, help and advice centre for local residents.

The Commission engaged with the charity after it failed to submit its annual accounting information for the financial years ending August 2020 and 2021 on time.

It was initial placed into a class inquiry for charities in double default of their annual reporting requirements.

The Commission said when the charity eventually submitted its overdue accounts, these raised issues that required further investigation as part of a new inquiry. 

It therefore opened a separate statutory inquiry into the charity on 16 April, which will examine if the trustees have fulfilled their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law and if there has been any misconduct or mismanagement in the charity’s administration.

The regulator said its inquiry would pay particular regard to the trustees’ oversight and management of conflicts of interest and payments to connected parties and whether there has been any unauthorised personal benefit.

It added that it may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

A spokesperson for Streets Ahead for Information said they were “unsettled” by the inquiry announcement from the Commission, and stated that the charity did submit its 2020-21 return, although it was late.

The charity had a total income of £131,000 and expenditure of £116,000 in the financial year ending 23 August 2022, according to Commission data.

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