Devolution affords Scottish charities the opportunity to forge their own relationships with MSPs providing them with access to parliament in a way they have never had before. This freedom of access does not have the support of many UK, (London) controlled charities who are unwilling to cede power to their Scottish branches.
In 200* The Scottish ******** ******** charity management team, submitted a proposal, (to the UK umbrella organization) that the charity should be autonomous of England, including control of financial contributions made in Scotland. This was rejected leaving the Scottish management team and staff well and truly deflated. A significant number of people, (who had been volunteers actively supporting the charity) resigned and the Scottish management team were suspended. A number of key managers then left the charity.
An important patron of the charity, in Scotland, who, in addition to provision of moral and physical support, had provided significant financial donations resigned her position, citing distracting and demoralizing seemingly endless internal rows with the charity’s London office. Paraphrasing the statement of resignation the Patron said;
“I have not taken the decision to quit my position as patron lightly. In the last year the Scottish team and myself initiated and attended a mediation session, in the hope of sorting out long-standing and escalating conflicts between the Scottish management team and officers in London, driven by the imposition of changes and ever increasing control measures, from England. Unfortunately little was achieved. With mounting frustration and disappointment, I have been witness to the resignations of immensely dedicated people within the Scottish ******** ******** and the increasing demoralization of staff whom I have come to know and admire over the last ten years.”
The suspended, (shortly after ex-Chairman) of the charity in Scotland briefed staff that the patron might be persuaded to reconsider standing down if the charity cut its ties with London.
London based controllers instructed members of the charity in Scotland that a breakaway could result in a loss of £550,000 research grant finance. A postal ballot was then conducted, a majority of the 25% of the membership voted in favour of retaining the status quo, (Pity a 40% majority wasn’t written into the ballot.)
There is much to admire about the leadership of the Scottish charity and the strongly worded statement of the patron, who clearly fully supports independence from London as the best way forward for the charity.
The patron!! JK Rowling. The Charity!! The Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland. The Source!! (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rowling-quits-multiple-sclerosis-charity-over-angloscottish-feud-1666842.html)