I am writing to update you on developments over the ownership of Emsworth Community Centre and of the status of our charity, which leads me to invite you to an Extra Ordinary Meeting on Monday 21st January at 7.30 pm. Please read on and RSVP.
Community Centre Ownership
As you may know we currently lease the Community Centre buildings and land from Hampshire County Council (HCC) at a cost of £6,000 per year, which equates to about ten percent of our running costs. As we mentioned at our AGM in July, we have been considering an asset transfer offer from HCC that would enable ECA to own the buildings and land going forward.
HCC, as part of their commitment under the Localism Act (2011), would like to transfer the ownership of the Community Centre and land to Emsworth Community Association (ECA) for an asset transfer fee of £1. This comes with the condition that the value of the asset remains with the community.
As ECA Trustees we have evaluated in detail the offer from HCC. As our current lease requires us to fully fund and manage all of the maintenance works, there would be little change to the day to day running of the Centre and ownership would secure the Community buildings for years to come. The money saved from paying the lease would then be reinvested in maintaining and improving the Centre. We believe that the offer from HCC is good for the future of people of Emsworth and wish to put this proposal to our Members to vote on in the New Year.
Change of Charitable Status
ECA’s current charitable status, as an unincorporated association, has several drawbacks and prevents us from owning buildings and land in ECA’s name. To overcome this, we as Trustees, propose to transfer to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). A CIO is a new legal form of charity that was created by the Charities Act (2012) to enable charities, such as ECA, to own land in its own name as well as other benefits to its Members and Trustees. The new CIO structure would look very similar to the existing ECA structure having Trustees and Members with rights to vote in the Trustees.
I have prepared a Question and Answers sheet that provides more background detail on the benefits of our proposals. Click here to download the Questions and Answers sheet
If you have any further thoughts or concerns that you would like to raise in connection with our proposals, please contact the ECA office in the first instance and I will respond to your query as soon as I can.
ECA Extra Ordinary Meeting – Monday 21st January at 7.30pm
ECA Members, I would like to invite you to an Extra Ordinary Meeting on Monday 21st January at 7.30 pm to discuss and vote on these proposals. I would be grateful if you would let us know if you’re able to attend by clicking on one of the following links:
If you would like a hard copy of this letter or of the Question and Answer sheet please pop into the office for a copy.
Thank you for your patience and support on these important matters.
In the meantime I wish you, on behalf of all of the Trustees, a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year and I look forward to meeting you at the Extra Ordinary Meeting in January.