BWB highlights

Happy new year! This week’s Briefing brings you up to date with announcements made over the Christmas period since 21st December.

To kick start the new year, we are asking for feedback on the BWB Briefing. Please see the end for details.


At a glance

Thursday this week is the deadline for replying to the House of Commons call for evidence relating to the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill.

HMRC has published a paper on its plans to become fully digital by 2020.

The Civil Aviation Authority has published new guidance for charities and fundraisers who wish to offer flights or flight-inclusive trips as part of their events or fundraising activities.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined Telegraph Media Group £30,000 after it sent hundreds of thousands of emails on the day of the general election urging readers to vote Conservative.

New social investment regulations will allow a contractor to enter into more than one social impact contract under the same accreditation where the contractor's investors wish to claim social investment tax relief.

The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life has published its report "Living with Difference: Community, Diversity and the Common Good".


Charity Commission

Inquiries

The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into, Ghulam Mustafa Trust. The main issues are governance failings, brought to light by an inappropriate Facebook post back in June, following which the trustees have failed to engage with an action plan prescribed by the Commission.

Consultation on new fundraising guidance

A reminder that the Charity Commission is consulting on a new version of its guidance “CC20 Charities and Fundraising”. The new guidance differs from the existing guidance in two main respects: the draft is aimed almost exclusively at trustees and significant detail from the previous version has been left out of the new version.  BWB encourages all charities and fundraising organisations to respond to the consultation.  The deadline for responses is 11th February.  

Other

The Commission:

  • Has appointed Interim Managers to the charity Rhema Church London.  
  • Has published a press release encouraging charities to file their accounts on time.  

Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill

Thursday this week is the deadline for replying to the House of Commons call for evidence relating to the Bill. 


First Tier (Charity) Tribunal

You may remember the Government was consulting on plans to introduce fees for bringing Tribunal claims generally. The Government response to the consultation has now been published and it is going ahead with all proposed plans, though no date has been given for when.  


Tax and VAT

HMRC has published a paper setting out its plans to become fully digital by 2020.


Governance

Tesse Akpeki of Onboard has, together with Law Works, prepared a video looking at ways to resolve conflicts between a chief executive and Chair of a charity.  It is being launched this week. Tesse comments “Getting the relationship between the Chief Executive and the Chair right is crucial to organisational success.   Energy, time, morale, money and confidence can be lost when this key relationship goes belly up.  The top tip is to know the different steps parties can take to resolve disputes between CEO and Chair.  Law Works video shares tips to resolve these conflicts in a constructive way.”


Fundraising

Challenge events involving flights

In November 2015 the Civil Aviation Authority published new guidance for charities and fundraisers who wish to offer flights or flight-inclusive trips as part of their events or fundraising activities.


Data protection

The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has fined Telegraph Media Group £30,000 after it sent hundreds of thousands of emails on the day of the general election urging readers to vote Conservative.

The ICO has warned companies making nuisance calls to expect more fines in 2016.  


Campaigning

See item above under Data Protection.


Social Finance

Credit unions: The Bank of England Prudential Regulation Authority has published guidance on credit unions purchasing internal audit services from a third party.  


Social investment

The Tax Relief for Social Investments (Accreditation of Social Impact Contractor) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/2051) were made on 16 December 2015. With effect from 9 January 2016, they will amend the social impact contractor accreditation rules to allow a contractor to enter into more than one social impact contract under the same accreditation where the contractor's investors wish to claim social investment tax relief. BWB Partner Luke Fletcher explains “The Regulations make it possible in certain situations for ‘spot purchase’ or ‘networked’ social impact bonds to benefit from social investment tax relief, where multiple commissioners are involved in purchasing services. This is a recognition of the growing diversity of different approaches to social impact bonds, with the spot purchase model having been pioneered by our own BWB Advisory & Impact team, in the case of the It’s All About Me adoption bond.”

Melanie Mills, Big Society Capital's Social Sector Engagement Director has published this blog on “Celebrating social investment pioneers”. 


Social value

See item under Sport below.


Social enterprise

Late last year Hogan Lovells and Big Society Capital published a report, ‘Going for Gold: How golden shares can help lock in mission for social enterprises’, which outlines how a social enterprise business can preserve its mission as it grows and raises further investment.  The aim of the report is to explore how golden shares can help lock in mission for social enterprises.   


Communities

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper on assets of community value (as defined in the Localism Act 2011). 


Education

Schools

According to the Department for Education, religious groups have backed the government’s decision to issue robust guidance that protects the freedom of schools to set their religious studies curriculum in line with statutory guidance and in accordance with the wishes of parents.  

The Department for Education has published a consultation on its plans to change parts one and two of its safeguarding guidance “Keeping children safe in education”.  

Also see item under Faith based organisations below.


Children's services

New Philanthropy Capital has published a report “That awkward age:  children, well-being and charities”.  The report looks at new data on children’s well-being acquired through the application of NPC’s Well-being Measure. It confirms trends NPC has identified in the past: that young people’s well-being falls as they grow older, and that girls’ well-being falls more sharply than boys’.  


Health

See item above under Children's services.


Housing and homelessness

The Department of Health has awarded £38.7 million of grants to homelessness and housing charities who were invited to bid for funding in March 2015 - another £3.4 million has been provided by the Greater London Authority.


Sport

Robert Gill of the Sport and Recreation Alliance has published this blog about what is meant in the Government's new sports strategy about the importance of the “social value of sport and physical activity”.


Faith based organisations

The Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life, convened by the Woolf Institute and chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss, has published its report "Living with Difference: Community, Diversity and the Common Good". The recommendations include that:

  • All pupils in state-funded schools should have a statutory entitlement to a curriculum about religion, philosophy and ethics that is relevant to today’s society, and the broad framework of such a curriculum should be nationally agreed. The legal requirement for schools to hold acts of collective worship should be repealed, and replaced by a requirement to hold inclusive times for refection.
  • Bodies responsible for admissions and employment policies in schools with a religious character should take measures to reduce selection of pupils and staff on grounds of religion.

Also see item under Education above.


Libraries

On 16 December 2015, the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) published guidance on the legal duty of local authorities under section 7 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 to provide a comprehensive and efficient library service.   

The Leadership for Libraries Taskforce has published a toolkit, Libraries Shaping the Future, to accompany the guidance mentioned above. The toolkit sets out how libraries contribute to local and national priorities, shares good practice and provides information on alternative governance models.


Reform of ombudsman

The government has published its response to the March 2015 consultation inviting views on legislative proposals to create a proposed single public services ombudsman for England (PSO). 


Business rates

The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has announced an inquiry into the Government’s proposals to allow local authorities to retain 100 per cent of the full stock of business rates by 2020 and to cut business rates, and for directly elected mayors to add a premium to business rates to pay for new infrastructure. 


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Stephen Lloyd Awards 2016

Winners of Stephen Lloyd Awards 2015, Spark Inside have been receiving pro bono support from Deloitte through the BeyondMe initiative, enabling staff with corporate organisations to work alongside charities. 

A team of consultants from Deloitte have been conducting extensive market research and interviews with all ranges of prison staff from London and the South East. The market research has now been completed and Deloitte are currently writing the business plan, which also specifies what a training programme should incorporate. The programme design team will be led by David Sleightholm, former deputy chief of probation and vice chair of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and Jann McBride, head of talent at Sodexo. 

Spark Inside’s next steps are creation of both the course and the business plan, looking at various options for accreditation of the course. They aim to pilot the course in Spring 2016, and after mentioning the course to a few prison governors, all, so far, would like to host the pilot.


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Disclaimer - The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update - it is our selection of the website announcements made in the two week period up to Monday 4th January which we think will be of interest to charities and social enterprises. The content is necessarily of a general nature - specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

 

 


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Christine Rigby

Senior Consultant

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+44(0)20 7551 7712

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c.rigby@bwbllp.com
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Posted on 06/01/2016 in Legal Updates

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