Charity Commission Disqualifies Two Former Trustees of Manchester Charity

The regulator’s statutory inquiry into The Moss Side and Hulme Community Development Trust has found persistent and prolonged failures by the former trustees



Two former trustees of the charity have been disqualified by the Commission from holding any trustee or senior management role in a charity for 7 years. They were found responsible for long term misconduct and/or mismanagement at the charity, and failure to comply with an order of the Commission.


The Moss Side and Hulme Community Development Trust was registered in 2002 with the aim of regenerating areas of social and economic deprivation in Moss Side, Hulme and adjacent areas of Manchester.


This is the third statutory inquiry into the charity during the two individuals’ time as trustees. The first was a class inquiry in 2017 for charities which have defaulted on their statutory filing obligations with the Commission on two or more occasions in the last five years. In 2018, a second statutory inquiry was opened into this charity after the trustees failed again to submit accounting information and concerns about potential unauthorised payments to a trustee.


That inquiry concluded in November 2020 following the receipt of the overdue accounts and the issuing of an order under section 84 of the Act that required the two trustees to, among other governance improvements, recruit more trustees in line with the governing document, advertise and hold an annual general meeting (AGM), and ensure that there was no further trustee remuneration.


Mr Hartley Hanley and Mr Mike Bisson, did not, as ordered, produce a report detailing how they complied with each requirement set out in the order. The regulator made numerous attempts to contact them to assess their compliance with the order, but was met with either little engagement or no response. As a result, the third inquiry was opened in September 2021.


The regulator has concluded that Mr Hanley’s and Mr Bisson’s failure to comply with an order of the Commission, and their persistent and prolonged failures amount to misconduct and/or mismanagement in the administration of this charity. They were each consequently disqualified from acting as a trustee for 7 years.


During the course of the inquiry, the Commission used its powers to appoint three trustees, who called an AGM alongside Mr Hanley and Mr Bisson. Before the AGM took place, the new trustees acted to remove Mr Hanley as a trustee, and Mr Bisson resigned. The three new trustees, who were ordered to stand down at the AGM, were re-elected by the charity’s members. Alongside two more trustees who have been appointed since, there are now 5 new trustees responsible for the management and administration of the charity.


Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations at the Charity Commission said:

Trustees of charities should show accountability towards the communities they serve, and the wider public. This includes complying with an order of the Commission.
Mr Hanley and Mr Bisson are responsible for persistent and prolonged failures in the management of this charity. We have taken robust regulatory action to ban these individuals from serving as trustees or senior managers in any charity for 7 years. I hope that the new trustee board can deliver on the charity’s aims for the people of Moss Side and Hulme.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.

  2. The Commission opened the inquiry on 29 September 2021. View the full inquiry report.