Welsh MPs attack Charity Commission

Welsh politicians have condemned the Charity
Commission’s verdict on the Children’s Society’s exit from Wales as
“feeble, disappointing” and “unduly lenient”.

are calling for changes in the law so that other charities will not
be able to repeat the way in which the society made its departure
from Wales last autumn.

House of Commons all-party Welsh Affairs Committee asked the
commission to launch a formal inquiry into the reasons behind the
charity’s decision to leave Wales, jeopardising vital advocacy work
with children.

Although the commission declined
to conduct such an investigation, it has responded to the MPs’
concerns, finding that the “society’s handling of the issues fell
short of good practice”. And it says that the widespread criticism
of the trustees over their lack of consultation was
“understandable”, adding: “The possibility cannot be excluded that
consultation of statutory funders might have generated rescue
funding opportunities.”

the commission found that the organisation had not breached charity
law and a statement from the Children’s Society claims that it has
been exonerated. Bob Reitemeier, its chief executive, said: “This
is an important decision. It makes it clear that decisions were
made after due consideration and within the remit of the charity’s
rules of association.

commission’s response means that the Welsh Affairs Committee’s
request for an inquiry has been rejected. It is clear from the
letter that there is no case to answer and the matter is now
closed. The commission is clear that there was no financial
mismanagement and that the trustees’ decision is

But in
Wales there is still widespread dissatisfaction with the way the
affair was handled, with Ann Jones, assembly member for the Vale of
Clwyd, describing the commission’s view as extremely disappointing
and feeble.

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