11 Apr Open Letter from Chairman
For the last few months, Kitty Croft, Ellis Fincham and Stewart Atkinson (who all sit on the Elmscroft Community Association) and I have been reviewing the management structure. We were also joined by Richard Drewitt, an active member of the Gloucester Model Railway Club, who has kindly agreed to be part of the management team.
We discovered that the Elmscroft Community Association has not held Charitable Status since 2009. This means that the members of the Association lost the protections afforded to them by a separate legal entity and became exposed to a high level of personal risk. More recently, the Centre was required to renew the lease with Gloucester County Council to continue operating, individuals in the Elmscroft Community Association could not sign the lease as the Council insisted that the agreement be between it and an incorporated entity.
In the second half of 2021, to keep the Centre open, the Association sought legal advice. After considering the recommendations presented by the Solicitor it was agreed that a Community Interest Company would be created, and the assets of the Association transferred to the new Company. The Company was incorporated in December 2021 and the lease signed in April 2022.
Until now, the management of the Centre has not been fully transferred to the Community Interest Company as the difference between the Elmscroft Community Association and the Company has not been fully understood. As the Company has signed the lease, it is required to file returns to Companies House and with the Community Interest Company Regulator. To allow the Company and the management team to fulfil these legal obligations, the assets of the Elmscroft Community Association have now been transferred. Richard and I have registered our details with Companies House, so we are now responsible (along with Kitty and Ellis) for the management of the Company.
I suspect that the transfer to the Community Interest Company will have no impact for many of you; we will continue act for the benefit of the local community. Although we are now a Company, it is not established or conducted for personal gain and any surplus or assets are to be used for the benefit of the Community. Indeed, the volunteers that you are used to dealing with (such as Lea Poole for bookings) and seeing around the centre remain the same. We also require more volunteers to help to run the centre, so please don’t be shy in coming forward!
For those who are curious as to how the Community Interest Company will continue to protect local interests, a copy of the Articles of Association will be published on the website shortly / has been published on the website. I am also more than happy to answer any questions that you may have, and I can be contacted on email@example.com.
Elmscroft Community Interest Company