Charities Act 2011

Discussion in 'Scientology Property Tax' started by RolandRB, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. RolandRB Member

    • Like Like x 1
  2. RolandRB Member

    ^^ Any local authority who is giving the cult mandatory charitable non-domestic rates relief must be breaking the law because the CC E+W has stated that the Church of Scientology does not meet the requirements for being a charity. They say this of the current COSRECI as well (see 2nd page): FOI Response Information Disclosed.pdf

    It remains the view of the Charity Commission that the Church of Scientology is not
    established for charitable purposes or for the public benefit and is therefore ineligible for
    registration as a charity under the Charities Act 1993. The Commission maintain the same
    view about the Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc. The Decision of
    the Commission made in 1999 remains valid. Please find enclosed a full copy of the
    • Winner Winner x 1
  3. Boris Johnson (Mayor of |London) will still be on a high after the success of the Olympics and Paralympics there. Might be a good time to give him another nudge.

    Whaddya say, Bo? We gonna clean this place up?
  4. RolandRB Member

    Tuesday 18 September 2012

    Dear Stella Creasy,

    Given the enactment of the Charities Act 2011:

    .. in which the Charity Commission has been given the responsibilities
    of The Crown to decide what is and what is not a charity:

    "(1) The Commission has the following general functions --

    1. Determining whether institutions are or are not charities"

    ... and given that the Charity Commission in 1999 refused registration
    for charitable status to the Church of Scientology in 1999:

    ... and given that the Charity Commission holds the same view about the
    current Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc. (from a
    letter sent to the London Borough of Camden (page 2)):
    FOI Response Information Disclosed.pdf

    "It remains the view of the Charity Commission that the Church of
    Scientology is not established for charitable purposes or for the
    public benefit and is therefore ineligible for registration as a
    charity under the Charities Act 1993. The Commission maintain the same
    view about the Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc.
    The Decision of the Commission made in 1999 remains valid. Please find
    enclosed a full copy of the decision."

    ... then please explain why it is that the Church of Scientology
    continues to enjoy mandatory (charitable) non-domestic rates relief
    amounting to approximately 300,000 GBP per year on their properties in
    the local authority boroughs of the City of London, Westminster and
    Sunderland with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local
    Government doing nothing to remedy the situation.

    Yours sincerely,

    Roland Rashleigh-Berry
    • Like Like x 6
  5. RolandRB Member

    The proper action for a British citizen is to write to their own MP about it which I have done.

    Fingers crossed with this one. This has failed before. It will probably fail again as central government does not act to correct wrong decisions made by local authorities. The local authorities are expected to apply the law and if they don't know the law or they don't know how to interpret it then that is regarded as their problem and not that of central government. All central government can do is to "urge" them and even that is crossing the line.
  6. RolandRB Member

    I read below that it only came into force recently on 14 March 2012:

    Everybody seems to have ignored it or did not know it was there. For me, a significant change is that the Charity Commission decides on behalf of the Crown, what organisation is a charity and what not. That is a very major change. Before, if the CC decided something then that was regarded as challengable in court by the turned down charity suing the department withholding tax relief to them. Now it seems to me that the CC decision has the weight of the law behind it.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RolandRB Member

    Should I?

    I did this but the CC will say it is not under their jurisdiction. I will let people know when they tell me this.

    BTW, the complaint was dynamite. No holds barred. Pete baby, if you are reading this, get in your FOI request a bit quick my son! :)
  8. fishypants Moderator

    Excellent. 'Stella' is someone at CoL?
  9. RolandRB Member

    No, Stella is my local MP (Member of Parliament). The way it works in the UK is that to question something about how central government is run you have to write in to your own constituency MP (even if you didn't vote for them and never would). It is their job to pass this on to central government and get a response and they will always get a response and it is always signed off at ministerial level. That's the way our system works in the UK.
  10. Anonymous Member

    ah! excellent.
  11. RolandRB Member

    But in nearly every case it will be a fob off authorised at ministerial level. Don't think that anybody has any intention of doing anything to upset the status quo. Think more like ten years down the line.
  12. RolandRB Member

    Luckily, the cult has no clue who I really am...... :)
    • Funny Funny x 2
  13. RolandRB Member

    Good fucking God, I still don't believe I wrote what I did. Good fucking God!!!!

    I think I'm turning into my hero, Steven Seagal ! :)
  14. RolandRB Member

    ^^ I think Pete-baby would sue me blind if he could find out what I wrote. :)
  15. RolandRB Member

    The CC will tell me it is not under their remit. I will then send in a new complaint to them that City of London, Westminster and Sunderland authorities are undermining the reputation of charities in the UK by giving public money, that was intended to help charities, to undeserving non-charitable groups.

    ... then a few days after that I should be informed that it is not in their remit either.

    Edit: I'll do the second action anyway when I can find some time.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Anonymous Member

    I hope some more of you britfags will join in. One letter can be ignored, more letters make it hard.
  17. RolandRB Member

    Writing in to their MP is the best way. That way it has to be discussed at ministerial level or signed off at ministerial level. It can be fobbed off (as it usually is) but not ignored.

    Best is a hard copy letter. For those who prefer email or want to know a contact then, for UK people only, follow this link:
    • Like Like x 1
  18. RolandRB Member

    I'm thinking of a letter of complaint to the Charity Commission something along these lines:

    My complaint concerns large sums of public money (300K GBP per year) that is legally intended to help charities maintain their premises in the UK being instead given to a non charity by a few local authorites (City of London, Westminster and Sunderland). This takes the form of mandatory (charitable) non-domestic rates relief being given to the Church of Scientology which the Charity Commission decided in 1999 was not eligible to be registered as a charity.

    If local authorities decide to grant discretionary relief to such organisations then that is their own business but they surely do not have the authority to grant money destined for charities to non-charities.

    If the CC has quasi-judicial powers then I would hope they have the powers to protect what are effectively compulsory (through taxation) charitable donations made by the public to ensure this money is put to its proper use.

    It would be helpful if the Charity Commission clarified their position regarding this and if they have the power to act then to contact local authorities directly to instruct them to cease this activity. This would also give reassurance to the public that the Charity Commission is able and willing to take action to prevent the abuse of charitable donations made by the public.

    This action by local authorites has undermined confidence in charities across the country and produced resentment over how charities get rates relief that honest hard-working tradesmen with business premises do not enjoy. This has has been reported in the national press and has besmirched the good name of charities in the UK.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. fishypants Moderator

    I think that looks good.
  20. RolandRB Member

    Complaint sent. Watch this get nowhere fast. I might even get arrested and charged with wasting their time.
  21. RolandRB Member

    Dear Mr Rashleigh-Berry,
    Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc.
    Thank you for your e-mail raising concerns about the above organisation.

    While I appreciate you may be disappointed by this response I must advise that we will not be investigating this organisation as requested.
    This organisation does not have registered charity status. I note that you believe this organisation has a legal duty to register as a charity in England and Wales and consequently falls under our jurisdiction but we do not consider this to be the case. As you may be aware we have not recognised Scientology as an exclusively charitable purpose in England and Wales. Consequently there is no regulatory action that we can take in regard to your concerns.
    Your issues re the legality of any applications this organisation may have made for rate relief should be raised with the local authorities concerned.
    Similarly any concerns that this organisation may be fraudulently claiming to be registered as a charity in Australia must be raised with the Australian charity regulators. As the regulator of charities in England and Wales it would not be within our jurisdiction to investigate concerns in relation to claims about charity registration in foreign countries.
    If as it appears you believe the actions of this organisation constitute fraud may I suggest that if you have not already done so you should contact Action Fraud. Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. For your convenience I have enclosed a link to their website;
    I hope that I have explained why the Charity Commission will not be taking any further action.
    Given that your concerns are not within the regulatory role of the Charity Commission for the reasons provided in this response we will not respond to any further correspondence from you on this issue. You can find further information about our regulatory role on our website.
    Yours sincerely
    Charity Commission - First Contact
  22. Anonymous Member

  23. RolandRB Member

    The police will do nothing unless the CC tells them to take action.
  24. RolandRB Member

    I have given up on this now. I've been trying for more than two years and gotten nowhere. This has proved to me that change through official channels and normal legal means is just not possible. As for central government in the UK, the last person who entered the Houses of Parliament with well-meaning, good and honest intentions was named Guy Fawkes.

    I have been beaten and admit defeat. The cult has won.
  25. anonysamvines Member

    just a thought

    have you tried contacting all the other types of churches? like catholics, proddies and jews etc. I presume they aren't all getting the same relief and if so they may be interested in not subsidising Co$ and will have more clout (and lawfags).
  26. RolandRB Member

    I'm finished with this now. More than two years and hundreds of hours getting nowhere.
  27. anonysamvines Member

    yep i can understand that. Just thought maybe an info dump to them (is it a million CoL have given them in a few years?)may have been a swan song to finish on. Just give them the info you have amassed and leave them to pursue or not.

    But i thank and respect you fot the valiant efforts you have made!
  28. Anonymous Member

    Would Action Fraud not see the letter you received from the CC referring you to them as such?
  29. RolandRB Member

    It's not my project any more.
  30. RolandRB Member

    The cult has received in excess of one and a half million UK pounds of money, paid for by the British taxpayer and destined for helping charities, directly from the good office of the City of London Corporation since 2006.

    Only central government can do anything to put this right and don't forget that Eton College, the source of many of Britain's political leaders over hundreds of years, and the most exclusive and expensive public school in England, is itself a registered charity also paid for by the suffering British taxpayer, so don't expect anything to change in the next few decades.
  31. RolandRB Member

    Off topic but I wrote to the Charity Commission for England and Wales about a topic that has me puzzled.

    Dear Sirs,
    I have been reading your own guidance on what constitutes a charity and that a charity must have "exclusively" a charitable purpose to qualify for registration so I have been wondering how Eton College has achieved registration as a charity since its main purpose, as is widely known in the UK, is educating the sons from rich and privileged families. I recognise that this "public" school does many charitable acts but I can not reconcile its registration with the concept that it must "exclusively" be for charitable purposes. I know that "education" falls under one of the "heads of charity" as classified by Pemsel but this was a classification of the types of charity at that time and not a definition of what constitutes a charity. Educating the sons of the rich and privileged in such a way that those sons, through association with other old school members, become rich and privileged themselves, does not, to my way of thinking, offer any net public benefit to society so therefore I question the registration of Eton College as a charity and would like to know the reasoning of the Charity Commission as to why it deserves to be registered as a charity.
  32. RolandRB Member

    Dear Mr Rashleigh-Berry

    You have asked why an independent fee-charging school, such as Eton College, can be a charity.

    In common with any type of organisation, schools can be charities if they are established for exclusively charitable purposes which are for the public benefit. Like any charity, they can charge for the services or facilities they provide. So a school established with the aim of advancing education, which is a long established charitable purpose, can be a charity, even though it charges fees (even very high fees) to carry out its activities. What is important is that for charities which charge high fees (and independent schools would generally fit in this category), fee-charging does not have the effect of restricting the opportunity to benefit only to those who can afford to pay the fees charged.
    The trustees of a high fee-charging independent charitable school have an obligation to provide benefits, which are more than minimal or tokenistic, to people who cannot afford the fees. It is for the trustees to decide, in their charity’s circumstances, what sorts of benefits to provide. For example, whether to provide bursaries or scholarships, or work in partnership with state schools, or perhaps a mixture of both.
    Eton College was formerly an exempt charity (which means it was a charity that was not required to register with the Charity Commission). However, the Charities Act 2006 removed that exempt status in 2010, and Eton College became a registered charity in November 2010. Its registered charity number is 1139086. As part of the registration process, the trustees of Eton College demonstrated that they would provide more than minimal or tokenistic benefits for people who cannot afford the fees charged by the charity.

    Registered charities have to report annually on the public benefit they provide. You can view the latest set of accounts submitted to us by Eton College (for year ending 31 August 2011) on our website. If you search our register using the charity’s registered number you can access full details about the charity, and view its accounts. The accounts provide details of the ways in which Eton College provide benefits to the public, including people who cannot afford their fees.

    I hope that this is of assistance.

    Kind regards


    Head of Status and Public Benefit
  33. RolandRB Member

    I reckon it was a combination of the private golf course, the rowing club, the dressage ponies and the beagle pack for hunting that swung it in favour of being "exclusively" charitable.
  34. Ah, dear Roland, another delightful excursion into OT, but fascinating imponderables.

    I read the accounts for Eton College, aka THE KYNGE'S COLLEGE OF OUR LADYE OF ETON BESYDE WINDESORE

    The tl;dr:

    29 boys paid no fees whatsoever (after a detailed means test)
    19% of pupils were granted some 'fees remission' ie (got off with some portion of the fees)
    that's it, as far as charity, in the ordinary meaning of the term.

    The College has financial assets of around £250,000,000, excluding 300-odd buildings they own, and The Collections - books, antiquities and objets d'art.

    Charity is a word which came into the English language from Old Northern French, c. 1200, in the sense of benevolence and generosity to others, esp. the poor, as in the following quotation -

    'Kariteþess mahhte. Iss mikell all unnseȝȝȝenndliȝ.' (Ormulum)

    Clearly, then, Eton isn't exclusively charitable in the above sense. They must surely mean something else.

    Wonder if the current Eton heid bummer - The Lord Waldegrave - could enlighten us here? Fancy dropping him a note?
  35. RolandRB Member

    I'm done trying to get the rich to stop the poor paying for their luxuries. I need a lawyer to carry on the fight in my place. I am not going to waste any more of my breath.

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