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National Trust under scrutiny

...and probably found to be not highlighting slavery and BAME enough and heavily fined as a result while other charities with dubious links to sandy places carry on regardless
 
Another institution that's been usurped by revisionists... finally it seems like something's being done.
The charity commission is hardly a bastion of conservative values, but that said, its a hopeful signal...... A cynic might say that the charity industry have started to realise that the more woke and progressive they're become identified with, it may at some point start to feel the cold wind of hostility and the subs will start to dry up.
 
The National Trust?

You mean the National very rich land owners tax avoidance while carrying on living in their properties Trust?
 
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Yes, how wrong was I when we joined thinking it was about preserving heritage and providing a decent cream tea!

With scones?

is it scon or scown?

Jam first or cream first?
 
Can you cut and paste the article. Its behind a paywall.

Here you go. 786 comments so far

National Trust could face inquiry into its 'purpose'​

Charity Commission to examine whether body is 'losing sight' of its remit after controversies

ByChristopher Hope, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT23 October 2020 • 9:30pm

Baroness Stowell said it was important that the National Trust did not 'lose sight' of what members expected

Baroness Stowell said it was important that the National Trust did not 'lose sight' of what members expected CREDIT: Geoff Pugh

The National Trust could face an official investigation by the charity regulator for straying from its "clear, simple purpose" to preserve historic buildings and treasures.
Speaking to The Telegraph's Chopper's Politics podcast (which you can listen to on the audio player above), Baroness Stowell of Beeston, who chairs the Charity Commission, said it was "important" that the National Trust did not "lose sight" of what members expected, adding that it was right that it was facing questions.

The commission is examining whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects. Regulators approached it earlier this month after members of the public complained about its controversial review into links between its properties and the British empire and slavery.

That could lead to a formal investigation in the coming weeks, with the questioning of the Trust's recent conduct by the regulator extremely embarrassing for a charity with 5.6 million members.
The National Trust has made a series of other moves that have been unpopular with members in recent years including making volunteers wear rainbow lanyards to support LGBT causes, while dozens of curators are being laid off to save money amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MPs were infuriated when the Trust's 115-page interim review, entitled "Connections between colonialism and Properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery" found that one third of its protected sites had ties to the "sometimes uncomfortable role that Britain, and Britons, have played in global history".

Winston Churchill's Chartwell residence, in Kent, was given as an example, with the wartime Prime Minister's home being highlighted alongside those of slavers.

Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill


Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill CREDIT: Robert Morris/ PA
Lady Stowell said: "The National Trust has a very sort of clear, simple purpose, which is about preserving some of our great historic places and places of great beauty and national treasure.
"What people expect of the National Trust is that they focus on that purpose, they don't lose sight of that. And when they do things which somehow seem to some of their supporters, some of the people that they're relying on... they shouldn't be surprised if that leads to questions and criticisms."
Asked whether the commission had contacted the Trust after the report was published, Lady Stowell said: "Sure. It's important that I and the commission exist to represent the people who are supporting the National Trust or any other charity."

She said it was important that members of the public "know that we get what it is that they care about, we understand. And that's part of what we're here to do – we will ask questions."
Commission officials made contact with the Trust two weeks ago after complaints from members of the public. It is not expected to become a statutory inquiry, but the commission has powers ranging from ordering the Trust not to commission other similar reports to giving it an official warning.
A National Trust spokesman said: "As is expected of all charities, the National Trust reports to the Charity Commission on any significant issues affecting our work. We updated the commission about media comment received in relation to the colonial history report published in September, and will be providing the commission with a further update.

"We always answer any questions the commission has with full transparency. We will continue to update the Charity Commission, and we are not aware of any formal action being taken in relation to the media coverage about our report."

The National Trust welcomes back visitors following the coronavirus lockdown

The National Trust welcomes back visitors following the coronavirus lockdown CREDIT: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Lady Stowell, the Leader of the House of Lords from 2014 to 2016, acknowledged the work charities have done to respond to the coronavirus crisis and the financial difficulties many face, saying: "A lot of the good, well-run charities are responding to this in the way that you would expect them to, which is that they're cutting costs."

But she stressed that she wanted charities to look at taking action to curb excessive executive pay. Earlier this year, the commission asked charities to submit information on all salaries above £60,000 in bands of £10,000, with the evidence forming the basis of a major report on charity executive pay before the end of the year.

A source said the report was about "shining a light on pay and reminding charities that the public on whose support they depend expects them to be able to explain and justify when they are paying big salaries".
Lady Stowell said: "There's a minimum standard, so there's a legal regulatory obligation on charities in terms of their disclosure. But actually, is that enough?
"If you really know that the people who you are relying on sort of need a constant reassurance that you are what you say you are, then you find ways to be able to demonstrate that to people. When it comes to explaining or justifying pay, it is not good enough to say 'this person could have earned X amount somewhere else', which is what you often see in a business."

Lady Stowell said the commission was seeking more powers to make it easier to throw charities off the official register if they are found to be breaking rules, as well allowing organisations to become temporary charities, adding: "I've started talking to the Government about this, that we have powers that allow us some greater control over what comes on and off the register, because it goes back to what we were talking about in terms of people's expectations of a charity when it is registered."
She urged larger charities to appoint people to their boards who understand the perspective of the supporter "rattling the tin for them or volunteering for them" and warned them not to take supporters for granted, saying it was "no longer acceptable in this day and age for any institution to rely on the fact they've been around" as a reason why they should continue.

"People are no longer willing to give charities the benefit of the doubt just because they're a charity," she said. "They expect a charity to constantly show that they are different from a business, that they are motivated in a different way. You can't, as a charity, just assume that what you've enjoyed in the past will continue into the future."

Announcing that she will stand down from chairing the commission in February, Lady Stowell said the public's trust in charities had begun to recover after it was damaged by scandals at Oxfam and Save the Children.

"We have carried out inquiries into some of the biggest name charities and not been in any way shy in doing so," she said. "That has led to real change and improvement amongst those charities themselves. There's some evidence of public trust and confidence starting to increase again as a result of that. But... this is a job that will never be done."

Listen to The Telegraph's weekly political podcast, Chopper's Politics, presented by Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hope, on the audio player at the top of this article, and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred podcast app.
 

Here you go. 786 comments so far

National Trust could face inquiry into its 'purpose'​

Charity Commission to examine whether body is 'losing sight' of its remit after controversies

ByChristopher Hope, CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT23 October 2020 • 9:30pm

Baroness Stowell said it was important that the National Trust did not 'lose sight' of what members expected'lose sight' of what members expected

Baroness Stowell said it was important that the National Trust did not 'lose sight' of what members expected CREDIT: Geoff Pugh

The National Trust could face an official investigation by the charity regulator for straying from its "clear, simple purpose" to preserve historic buildings and treasures.
Speaking to The Telegraph's Chopper's Politics podcast (which you can listen to on the audio player above), Baroness Stowell of Beeston, who chairs the Charity Commission, said it was "important" that the National Trust did not "lose sight" of what members expected, adding that it was right that it was facing questions.

The commission is examining whether the Trust has breached its charitable objects. Regulators approached it earlier this month after members of the public complained about its controversial review into links between its properties and the British empire and slavery.

That could lead to a formal investigation in the coming weeks, with the questioning of the Trust's recent conduct by the regulator extremely embarrassing for a charity with 5.6 million members.
The National Trust has made a series of other moves that have been unpopular with members in recent years including making volunteers wear rainbow lanyards to support LGBT causes, while dozens of curators are being laid off to save money amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MPs were infuriated when the Trust's 115-page interim review, entitled "Connections between colonialism and Properties now in the care of the National Trust, including links with historic slavery" found that one third of its protected sites had ties to the "sometimes uncomfortable role that Britain, and Britons, have played in global history".

Winston Churchill's Chartwell residence, in Kent, was given as an example, with the wartime Prime Minister's home being highlighted alongside those of slavers.

Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill


Chartwell, the former home of Sir Winston Churchill CREDIT: Robert Morris/ PA
Lady Stowell said: "The National Trust has a very sort of clear, simple purpose, which is about preserving some of our great historic places and places of great beauty and national treasure.
"What people expect of the National Trust is that they focus on that purpose, they don't lose sight of that. And when they do things which somehow seem to some of their supporters, some of the people that they're relying on... they shouldn't be surprised if that leads to questions and criticisms."
Asked whether the commission had contacted the Trust after the report was published, Lady Stowell said: "Sure. It's important that I and the commission exist to represent the people who are supporting the National Trust or any other charity."

She said it was important that members of the public "know that we get what it is that they care about, we understand. And that's part of what we're here to do – we will ask questions."
Commission officials made contact with the Trust two weeks ago after complaints from members of the public. It is not expected to become a statutory inquiry, but the commission has powers ranging from ordering the Trust not to commission other similar reports to giving it an official warning.
A National Trust spokesman said: "As is expected of all charities, the National Trust reports to the Charity Commission on any significant issues affecting our work. We updated the commission about media comment received in relation to the colonial history report published in September, and will be providing the commission with a further update.

"We always answer any questions the commission has with full transparency. We will continue to update the Charity Commission, and we are not aware of any formal action being taken in relation to the media coverage about our report."

The National Trust welcomes back visitors following the coronavirus lockdown

The National Trust welcomes back visitors following the coronavirus lockdown CREDIT: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Lady Stowell, the Leader of the House of Lords from 2014 to 2016, acknowledged the work charities have done to respond to the coronavirus crisis and the financial difficulties many face, saying: "A lot of the good, well-run charities are responding to this in the way that you would expect them to, which is that they're cutting costs."

But she stressed that she wanted charities to look at taking action to curb excessive executive pay. Earlier this year, the commission asked charities to submit information on all salaries above £60,000 in bands of £10,000, with the evidence forming the basis of a major report on charity executive pay before the end of the year.

A source said the report was about "shining a light on pay and reminding charities that the public on whose support they depend expects them to be able to explain and justify when they are paying big salaries".
Lady Stowell said: "There's a minimum standard, so there's a legal regulatory obligation on charities in terms of their disclosure. But actually, is that enough?
"If you really know that the people who you are relying on sort of need a constant reassurance that you are what you say you are, then you find ways to be able to demonstrate that to people. When it comes to explaining or justifying pay, it is not good enough to say 'this person could have earned X amount somewhere else', which is what you often see in a business."

Lady Stowell said the commission was seeking more powers to make it easier to throw charities off the official register if they are found to be breaking rules, as well allowing organisations to become temporary charities, adding: "I've started talking to the Government about this, that we have powers that allow us some greater control over what comes on and off the register, because it goes back to what we were talking about in terms of people's expectations of a charity when it is registered."
She urged larger charities to appoint people to their boards who understand the perspective of the supporter "rattling the tin for them or volunteering for them" and warned them not to take supporters for granted, saying it was "no longer acceptable in this day and age for any institution to rely on the fact they've been around" as a reason why they should continue.

"People are no longer willing to give charities the benefit of the doubt just because they're a charity," she said. "They expect a charity to constantly show that they are different from a business, that they are motivated in a different way. You can't, as a charity, just assume that what you've enjoyed in the past will continue into the future."

Announcing that she will stand down from chairing the commission in February, Lady Stowell said the public's trust in charities had begun to recover after it was damaged by scandals at Oxfam and Save the Children.

"We have carried out inquiries into some of the biggest name charities and not been in any way shy in doing so," she said. "That has led to real change and improvement amongst those charities themselves. There's some evidence of public trust and confidence starting to increase again as a result of that. But... this is a job that will never be done."

Listen to The Telegraph's weekly political podcast, Chopper's Politics, presented by Chief Political Correspondent Christopher Hope, on the audio player at the top of this article, and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your preferred podcast app.
The worst damage that can happen to a charity, is the sense its become an industry and profits matter most.... The next worst thing, is that Industry has contempt for the people (ratner moment) and people either look elsewhere, or stop handing over cash at all.
 
The worst damage that can happen to a charity, is the sense its become an industry and profits matter most.... The next worst thing, is that Industry has contempt for the people (ratner moment) and people either look elsewhere, or stop handing over cash at all.
Or they become a political pressure group against the people who gave then the houses and land to steward. The countryside is a dirty place, where things that Urbanites don't like or approve of happen like shooting and farmers who drive large nasty messy mechanical contraptions.
Get over it - I resigned my membership 5 years ago.
 
Yes, how wrong was I when we joined thinking it was about preserving heritage and providing a decent cream tea!

English Heritage and offshoot Heritage England seem to fit that remit
 

Offa

War Hero
After twenty years stopped membership because of National Trust's political correctness. English Heritage does provide an excellent alternative, but National Trust for Scotland also gives everything the pre-PC NT used to with reciprocity and cheaper. Perhaps distance from London-centric metropolitan elite management is a factor. Joined both English Heritage and National Trust for Scotland.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Or they become a political pressure group against the people who gave then the houses and land to steward. The countryside is a dirty place, where things that Urbanites don't like or approve of happen like shooting and farmers who drive large nasty messy mechanical contraptions.
Get over it - I resigned my membership 5 years ago.
Indeed, and charities are not permitted to be political pressure groups.
 
Apparently members and contributors
"don't understand what the trust is about"
I'm tempted to leave a review of them myself.
And to stick it to them further, I've joined English Heritage.

 
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As a NT member, I get to access some interesting places and large open spaces without being surrounded by chavs.

As for the rest, I don't care...
What he said, the Doris and I relish the quite serenity of viewing England's heritage and history, without hoards of tracksuit smoking gobby chav types and their tribes of screaming brats, If its open then its of interest to us both, as for the NT's politics, and MO, that is of no interest what so ever.
 
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