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EAST SALFORD COMMUNITY DEMANDS ANSWERS FROM COUNCIL ON CONTROVERSIAL CHARITY
 

Star date: 20th January 2017

INSPIRING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER CONTROVERSY RAGES ON...

Controversial charity, Inspiring Communities Together (ICT) - labelled `greedy' "power grabbing control freaks" by a local councillor - was at the centre of more anger at a meeting of East Salford Community Committee last night, when its Chair and CEO declined to attend to answer questions about its spending of £90,000 of community money.

Instead, ICT sent a written response, and the community, in turn, demanded that Salford City Council's commissioning officer for the £90,000 of public money attend a future meeting to explain why the Council apparently has no concerns about ICT.

Full details here...


The controversy that has surrounded charity, Inspiring Communities Together (ICT), for a number of years has hit boiling point recently with local councillor Stephen Ord calling for an independent inquiry into its affairs and its spending of £90,000 of community money.

The funding, handed over by Salford City Council, is a legacy from the £53million failed New Deal for Communities project in Charlestown and Lower Kersal, and residents have raised concerns that the majority of the money over the years has been spent on the Chair, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and other managers of ICT, rather than community projects.

When members of its own organisation questioned what was happening they were suspended, leading to Irwell Riverside councillor, Stephen Ord, slamming ICT officials in the Salford Star: "It would appear they have acted out of greed; power grabbing control freaks; and self interest on a number of occasions..." and accused the Chief Executive and former Chair of having "an unhealthy mutually beneficial relationship...Personal greed is not too strong a word to use" (see previous Salford Star article: Salford Charity Storm – click here).

At a previous meeting of the East Salford Community Committee, which is open to all residents in the area, a member asked if there was any truth in reports that the part-time Chair and CEO of ICT had been receiving £10,000 and £30,000 respectively for their roles, and it was resolved to invite ICT to last night's meeting to provide answers.

Instead, ICT responded by letter, the tone of which angered those who attended the meeting. ICT CEO Bernadette Elder wrote: "The Trustees are very disappointed that once again the East Salford Community Committee has requested information regarding the internal workings of the organisation as this is not the first time the organisation has been asked to provide details of payment made to the Chair and CEO".

She added that "all payments are published on the Charity Commission website through ICT annual accounts as required under Charity Law... Whilst the Trustees are happy to support East Salford Community Committee and provide update information on the delivery of services and activity provided by ICT the Trustees feel that questions of payments made by the organisation are for the Board of Trustees".

The CEO concluded: "It is hoped that this will be the last time the East Salford Community Committee feel that time spent raising questions about the internal workings of one small community organisation in East Salford is a priority when there are so many other priorities which need the attention of the community."

However, Community Committee members were unhappy with the response, given that £90,000 of the `internal workings' of ICT is public money. And resolved to invite/demand that the Salford City Council commissioning officer for the money attends a future meeting to explain why, apparently, the Council has no concerns about ICT and will not launch an inquiry.

Only one out of eight local councillors actually attended last night's meeting, leaving residents who have spoken to the Salford Star believing they ducked out of facing the issues.

Meanwhile, the postponed AGM of ICT is taking place on 1st February – but before it takes place all members are being asked to renew their membership, which will only be renewed if they live in the Charlestown and Lower Kersal area; even though ICT now works and draws funding from well beyond that area.

Very Confused wrote
at 06:32:58 on 23 January 2017
I feel very confused as to why SCC have not started an independent enquiry into the actions of the two manipulating and controlling CEO and former Chair of ICT. Gross misconduct comes to mind so why does SCC just ignore what's happening in our community because the £90,000 is for our community yet we community members are all asking just where is this money going as we don't see any. Somebody at SCC is just handing these two the £90,000 and not looking at gross misconduct even though an investigation would show this. Also whoever hands this money over is doing an injustice to our local Councillors as they are getting the anger and are being blamed so come on SCC do the right thing, investigate and support your Councillors as they are having to take the flack for your cowardly and unfair actions. An independent investigation needs to happen as this terrible and unjust behaviour needs to be stopped. SCC be fair to your community and your local Councillors (they are taking the blame for your cowardly behaviour) An Independant Enquirey sooner rather than later and don't give these con artists any more communities money. Also I agree with other comments RIP ICT sooner rather than later. Also great comments from Charlestown Poet ? We have our very own secret poet in Charlestown and Lower Kersal ? Keep up your great poet comments ?
 
Charlestown poet wrote
at 07:18:58 on 22 January 2017
Loads of bad vitamins are flying in the air.seeking vulnerable residents every bloody where... When A and B are together.they think they rule the roost But please God Almighty get rid of Pathetic two
 
J Roberts wrote
at 14:42:34 on 21 January 2017
Councillor Ord's statement is spot on. I have never before seen the members so angry and demanding answers from ICT and SCC as they were at the East Salford community committee meeting. I agree Salford residents will get to the truth and yes RIP ICT.
 
Well said Kersal lad wrote
at 20:07:39 on 20 January 2017
Yes the community were up in arms regarding ICT and are demanding answers from the CEO and former chair of ICT and also the person at SCC giving them the £90:000 every year.. Salford people will not have the wool pulled over their eyes they are to smart for that, they are not to be underestimated and they do not forget so let's Watch This Space and hope 2017 brings people to task at last.
 
Kersal lad wrote
at 18:40:22 on 20 January 2017
As said last year 2017 will be the year this will be resolved... I was at East Salford Community Commute last night and yes out of the 8 councillors only 1 , the dedicated as ever Councillioe Jim King was In attendance. No chair or full community reps at ICT but ICT have changed the rules of membership and has to be signed off and approved by the CEO, and as someone in this meeting last night clearly said this Stinks. Thankfully the East Salford Community are now aware and disgisted by the handling of hard working local people who have been Saxked by the CEO and the chair -who is an Un-elected chair but thinks she is....... ICT and 7 councilliots did not turn up...I wonder why... Please all turn up and give your option on ICT on February 1St -6 pm at the Inovation Forum on Frederick Rd, Please remember the ICT have not enough people to call this meeting as they have been sacked...sacked for simply volunteering. Simply stinks.....RIP ICT.
 
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