The Independence Of Scottish Charities
Devolution affords Scottish charities opportunities 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 its UK controllers 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 was suspended
An important patron who, in addition to providing moral and physical support, had also made many significant financial donations resigned citing distracting and demoralizing endless internal rows with the 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 I initiated and attended mediation sessions, 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 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 ten years of our association.”
The suspended, soon 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.
The London office warned the charity in Scotland that any breakaway would result in the loss of £550,000 research grant finance.
A postal ballot was conducted and around 75% of the membership either abstained or voted to be independent of England. So London retained control.
There was much to admire about the leadership of the Scottish charity and the strongly-worded statement of the patron, who clearly fully supported a Scottish charity separate from London.
The patron!! JK Rowling. The Charity!! The Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland. The Source!!