Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Plunging into the pool of despair

The Charity Commission has sent me a copy of the 2009 accounts (361 days late). This document can be found here.

The accounts show one large piece of expenditure for £9,776 for professional fees. Probably to do with the negotiations over the sale of the land to the developers of the site including Huntingdonshire Regional College before the plug was pulled by the previous Labour Government. Otherwise SNSPT had £68,677 in cash at the bank.

One aspect worries me and that over half the proceeds from the sale goes to HDC.
I looked up the previous set of accounts to find that this wasn't even mentioned in the 2008 accounts. There we have it. Martin Land and his announcement that the trust was going to get £1.75 million is wrong. The figure after HDC is paid off the £28,859 ad all the fees and legal bills will give the trust just over £800,000. Not much to build a pool with!

This must have been known before! So why wasn't this agreement in the previous accounts? The agreement was made in 1987.

Is £800,000 enough to build a swimming pool? Probably not. St Neots is going to be stuck with a Swimming Pool Charity with about £870,000 of cash but can't afford to build a swimming pool!

The Swimming Pool Trust is an unaccountable body which is taking decisions over a major project for the Town. Why aren't the public informed of the details? When I asked for a report to HDC Cabinet I eventually received a redacted report after appeal. I just have to wonder whether the redacted bit of the report contained the half goes to HDC. Secrecy and yet more secrecy.


John said...

1 Oct 1987 agreement only mentions repayment of £28,856 debt

John said...

Urban District Council Deed 4 Jan 74 states

The Council may delegate all or any of the powers authorities and discretions hereinbefore conferred on it except the power to hold the land upon which the swimming pool and ancillary buildings shall be constructed or erected to any committee or committees
How then did the Council legally manage to permit the Swimming Pool Charity Committee absorb the whole site into its accounts as its own asset.

John said...

Why did the St Neots Town Council in its application to the Land Registry on 23 Jan 2007 for absolute freehold rights over the whole site including the bowling alley completely fail to declare any debts or charges or covenants on disposal of the site or the proceeds thereof. What is the effect on their legal title therefore.

John said...

It is rumoured that the Town Council has agreed to pay the HDC 150,000 pounds if it will approve access to this site via the Priory Park Car Park. Where would this money come from as it appears that the Charity Commission has insisted that all the proceeds from any sale of the site are to be held in an endowment. This access probably unnecessary too, considering the length of the site's direct frontage on to Huntingdon Street.