Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 29 March 2017

Bates Wells Highlights


The House of Lords Select Committee report on charities will make an interesting read over the Easter break. See today’s Briefing for initial comment from the sector.

The Bates Wells Briefing is taking a break next week and will return the week beginning 10th April.

At a glance

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry, “From start-up to scale-up: support for growing businesses”.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s Compliance team has published new guidance for commercial participants in door-to-door charity bag collections.

Two companies have been fined a total of £83,000 for breaking the rules about how people’s personal information should be treated when sending marketing emails.

The Committee on standards in public life is undertaking a follow-up review of how the Nolan Principles are being upheld by providers of outsourced public services.

Charity Commission

Inquiry reports

The Commission has published reports into:

  • Africa Relief Trust (1077946). The case was opened following information provided to the Commission from a local authority that the, apparently dormant, charity had entered into a tenancy agreement to occupy a large commercial property, for which it was claiming rates relief. Note that the inquiry report states that, in view of these serious mismanagement issues the Commission is considering the fitness of individuals involved in this case to be trustees and the use of its powers under section 10 of the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 to disqualify the individuals from holding future trustee appointments.
  • Ipswich Kurdish Islamic Cultural Centre (1149580). The inquiry concluded that there was misconduct and mismanagement in the charity’s administration in relation to unauthorised salary payments made to a trustee even though the charity’s governing document prohibits the employment of trustees; a zero interest loan provided to 2 members of the local community totaling £20,000 which amounted to twice the size of the charity’s 2015 income; and the lack of a safeguarding policy despite the fact that the charity operates weekend classes for children
  • Khalsa Missionary Society (1126873). The Commission concluded that the trustee in charge of Khalsa Missionary Society has damaged the good name of charities by using a charity as a conduit for immigration fraud and has permanently removed him as a trustee barring him from becoming involved with charities again.


The Commission has published this speech by Priti Patel at the Bond annual conference and a press release about the event.


The House of Lords Select Committee on charities has published its report “Stronger charities for a stronger society”.  NCVO reports that there are 100 conclusions including 42 recommendations across 150 pages. covering governance, finance and funding (including grant funding and core costs), public service delivery and contracting, digital, volunteering, campaigning and advocacy, and regulation, including charging by the Charity Commission.  For an overall initial comment from NCVO see here. Over the coming weeks NCVO plans to provide separate short briefs on the main themes in the report.

See here for comment from IOF and here for a Civil Society Media report of other sector comment. 

Third Sector has an article on a report published by Lloyds Bank Foundation which says that departure from the European Union, an uncertain economy and overstretched local authorities are among the biggest political changes that will dramatically affect the landscape for small charities in the near future:  In its report, Facing Forward: How Small and Medium-Sized Charities can Adapt to Survive, the grant-making body warns that there are 10 key challenges on the horizon for small charities and warns them to implement a range of actions to ensure their survival, including diversifying their funding streams.


Article 50 – process

The UK’s Permanent Representative to the European Union, Sir Tim Barrow, informed the European Council last week of the UK’s intention to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on Wednesday 29 March 2017.  

On 17 March 2017, the House of Commons Exiting the European Union Committee published a document setting out the government’s response to its first report of the parliamentary session 2016-2017. The document contains an appendix setting out the government’s response to the 24 recommendations in the committee’s first report:

  • The government has welcomed the establishment of the committee, acknowledging that it will comprise a key element of parliamentary scrutiny for the process of the UK’s exit from the EU.
  • The government has stated that it intends to publish a White Paper that will set out its approach to the Great Repeal Bill and how the domestic legal system will work once the UK has left the EU.
  • The government also intends to bring forward a motion on the final agreement to be approved by both Houses of Parliament before it is concluded, and before the European Parliament debates and votes on the final agreement.
  • The government expects that this will cover both the withdrawal agreement and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Great Repeal Bill

On 20 March 2017, the Institute for Government (IFG) published a report on ‘Legislating Brexit: The Great Repeal Bill’. IFG’s report suggests that the legislative challenge facing Parliament may amount to “10 to 15 new bills and thousands of pages of secondary legislation before the Article 50 process is complete”, in order to ensure the UK is prepared to leave the EU. The report makes recommendations to the government and Parliament as to how effective democratic scrutiny of the legislative process can be maintained, despite the challenging deadline. One of these recommendations is that the government should limit the use of secondary legislation to repeal primary legislation, which could undermine the role of Parliament in scrutinising legislation.

Sector implications

David Isaac , Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has warned government Brexit plans are showing a lack of ambition for equality and human rights standards. 

New Philanthropy Capital has published this blog Looking on the bright side of Brexit.


Clothing collections

The Advertising Standards Authority’s Compliance team has published new guidance for commercial participants in door-to-door charitable collections. Advertisers are required to make sure the claims on their bags are in line with the guidance by 2 June 2017. The new guidance includes that:

  • the company name is clearly displayed on both sides of the bag and
  • is at least as prominent as the charity who benefit from the collection, for example by putting “Company X Ltd’ collecting in association with “Charity Y” or similar.  

Also see under Data protection below.

Social finance

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has launched an inquiry, “From start-up to scale-up: support for growing businesses”, to investigate how to help UK start-ups and potential high-growth small businesses overcome hurdles to become “scale-ups”.  The Committee is seeking evidence on points including:

  • What steps should the government take, if any, to improve and incentivise the provision of patient capital? What distribution mechanisms are in place to ensure that businesses throughout the UK can access this capital?
  • Are there other regulatory or economic interventions that the government should make to achieve the objective of increasing the number of successful and high-growth businesses in the private sector?
  • Written submissions must be received by Wednesday 3 May 2017.  The Committee expects to hold evidence sessions in May and June.

Third Sector reports that London charities are being invited to bid for a share of a £500,000 pot to help them get the skills and infrastructure needed to generate income through social investment, with the deadline being 17 April 2017. This support is being provided as part of the latest series of grants from the Stepping Stones Fund, which is a collaboration between City Bridge Trust and UBS (the financial services company). Organisations eligible to apply include charities, charitable incorporated organisations, community interest companies, exempt and excepted charities and cooperatives, as long as they serve beneficiaries who live in the Greater London area. Grants will be available in two strands: (1) firstly to provide funding for capacity-building to enhance investment-readiness and long-term financial stability, and (2) secondly to help organisations to pilot new projects, outcome measurements and partnerships, in each case to help with scaling and development.  

Fair for You has launched its third social impact report showing how it’s providing alternatives to high cost credit. The report published by the Centre for Responsible Credit illustrates the “huge social benefits which could be achieved if Government were to widen the availability of affordable, not for profit, alternatives to high cost credit”.



An independent review providing practical guidance to teachers about how to tackle bad behaviour in the classroom has been published.  

The Department for Education has published a consultation on its proposed revisions to the statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils (exclusion guidance).  

The Local Government Ombudsman has published a report on school transport. The report emphasises the need for councils to make decisions about school transport in a fair, lawful and transparent manner, and offers advice and guidance to parents and councils about the school transport decision-making process.


The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a statement in relation to the potential risk to patient medical records held by GPs on “TPP SystmOne”.

Outsourcing public services

The Committee on standards in public life is undertaking a follow-up review of how the Nolan Principles are being upheld by providers of outsourced public services.

Community rights

To coincide with last week which was Communities Week, the government released this press release about exercise of over 6,000 community rights to protect buildings, land and spaces.

International development

International Development Secretary Priti Patel has announced an innovative fund to support small development and humanitarian organisations.  

BOND has published highlights from its conference last week.  

Also see under Charity Commission above.

Modern Slavery

The Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has announced an investment of £6 million in projects to tackle modern slavery around the world and provide vital support for victims. The £6 million is the first investment from the £11 million Modern Slavery Innovation Fund announced by the Home Secretary last year.

Data protection

Two companies have been fined a total of £83,000 for breaking the rules about how people’s personal information should be treated when sending marketing emails:

  • The airline Flybe has been fined £70,000 for sending emails with the title ‘Are your details correct?’ to people who had told them they didn’t want to receive marketing emails from the firm..  The emails advised recipients to amend any out of date information and update any marketing preferences. The email also said that by updating their preferences, people may be entered into a prize draw.
  • The car manufacturer Honda has been fined £13,000 for sending 289,790 emails aiming to clarify certain customers choices for receiving marketing.  The firm believed the emails were not classed as marketing but instead were customer service emails to help the company comply with data protection law. Honda couldn’t provide evidence that the customers had ever given consent to receive this type of email.

A county council which left files (that included sensitive information about children) in a cabinet sent to a second hand shop has been fined £60,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published the results of a survey completed by local councils at the end of last year, along with a blog highlighting guidance available to help councils achieve compliance with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Also see under Health above.

Advertising and marketing

The Committee on Advertising Practice has published new guidance on affiliate marketing.  Affiliate marketing is where an affiliate such as a blogger or Instagrammer is rewarded by a business for each new customer they attract through their marketing efforts. Affiliates usually place links online that direct anyone looking at that page to the website of the business and they receive a pre-agreed percentage of each sale.


Scottish Fundraising Regulation

OSCR has published a video and a blogpost on the subject of fundraising in Scotland, both featuring Alison Elliot, Chair of the Independent Fundraising Standards and Adjudication Panel for Scotland.


OSCR has produced new guidance for Scottish charities about pension auto-enrolment.

Northern Ireland

new thematic report by CCNI sets out the importance of charity trustees keeping their entry on the register of charities up-to-date.

New from Get Legal

BWB Get Legal brings you a range of top-quality, affordable legal documents, available to download and customise to your specifications. Every document has been drafted by our expert solicitors.

Documents and checklists for £12

Get Legal has a range of documents, checklists and guidance notes to suit any budget. Each one can be tailored to the specifics of your organisation. Take a look at these documents, each of which costs just £12:

Stephen Lloyd Awards 2017

Cycle with us in the Hertfordshire countryside!

On Saturday 27 May, the Stephen Lloyd Awards committee are organising a 30 mile cycling fundraising event to bring our community together and to raise more funds for the awards. 

All are welcome (experienced or not) . We are keen to get as many participants as possible, so feel free to bring your friends and/or family who would enjoy cycling.  Organised by one of the award’s supporter and leading charity events organiser, Skyline Events, it promises to be a fun experience!

If you are interested in participating, please register a place by clicking here, or contact Mona Rahman at [email protected].

Got an innovative idea? Apply to the Stephen Lloyd Awards!

The 2017 Stephen Lloyd Awards are also open for entries and are encouraging anyone, or any organisation, with an innovative idea seeking to address a problem systemically, to apply. The aim of the awards, in line with Stephen’s own approach, is to help create success by finding and nurturing innovative ideas and projects that can lead to practical, sustainable social change. The awards committee is particularly interested in supporting ideas that address social problems at a systemic level.

Entries for the awards will close on 7th April 2017. Applications should be emailed to [email protected].

For more information about Stephen Lloyd Awards or specific guidelines for the application process, please visit the website here.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of March 29, 2017.