Monday, October 24, 2005

Woodbank Hall - SCU's Reply

We have response to our email to the Charities Commission about Stockport Council's plans to sell Woodbank Hall.

Dear Mr Cliffe,

Thank you for your e-mail of the 22nd September 2005.

I note the comments you have made in relation to this Charity and its' property. The situation is that the scheme is now in force. It must be understood that the scheme is simply conferring a power to sell all or part of the overall property of the Charity. If the trustee ever intends to sell all or part of the property then they would be required to comply with the provisions of section 36 of the Charities Act 1993, which requires that they seek professional advice from a qualified surveyor and give public notice of the intended sale. The purpose of the public notice is to allow for the public to comment. If the trustee decides to exercise its' power to sell, which also covers leasing, then the public notice stage would be your opportunity to comment.

I would suggest, in relation to your current comments, that you contact the Council to seek a response from them as it is for them to comment on what their intentions may be.

I hope that my comments will be of assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Clarke
Small Charities Unit

Charities Commission

The message seems to be, the Council can do what they want, but they must consult the public first. Our role is to try and find out what the Council intends to do, before the consultation. It is to be hoped that their plans are constructive, but if not then we will have to coordinate public pressure to protect Stockport's future and our Heritage.
On the internet, I found this statement by the Small Charities Unit on DISPOSAL OF CHARITY LAND AND BUILDINGS.