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SALFORD CITY COUNCIL STATES ICT CHARITY ISSUES ‘BEING ADDRESSED’
 

Star date: 16th March 2017

COMMUNITY TOLD ICT SHOULD 'MANAGE' ITS ISSUES NOT THE COUNCIL

After months of controversy surrounding Salford charity Inspiring Communities Together (ICT) which saw a local councillor labelling some staff 'control freaks', Salford City Council has now responded to concerns raised by the East Salford Community Committee.

In a letter to the community, the Council states that the Charity Commission has advised that the ICT Board itself should sort out its own 'issues' – and not the Council, despite the Council handing £90,000 annual funding to ICT.

Full details here...


Salford Council letter to East Salford Community Committee
click image to enlarge

It's very rare that a councillor speaks out in public, absolutely slating a local charity – but last December, Salford Labour councillor for Irwell Riverside, Stephen Ord, labelled some staff at Inspiring Communities Together, or ICT, "power grabbing control freaks" and that "it would appear they have acted out of greed...and self interest on a number of occasions..." (see here).

With his statements kind of backed up by other members, it created a storm in the Lower Kersal and Charlestown area within which ICT operated, with its annual funding of £90,000 from Salford City Council, a legacy from the failed New Deal for Communities ten year £53million project.

The storm grew fiercer after whistleblower, Graham Cooper, accused the organisation of trying to gag him after he brought internal issues to light, and even employed three bouncers on the night of its AGM to keep him away (see here and see here).

Further to that AGM, a new Chair was installed, Mike Duddy, who later issued a statement insisting there was 'no evidence of corruption', and imploring members to `try to work together to find positive solutions'. He also promised an independent mediator to investigate the organisation (see here)

Meanwhile, in January, the East Salford Community Committee, which represents community groups and residents in the area, demanded answers from Salford Council, which is publicly accountable for ICT's £90,000 funding (see here). The Council has now drawn up its response in the form of a letter to the Community Committee which will be relayed at the next meeting on 23rd March.

The Council letter acknowledges 'some internal Board and membership issues', argues that they are 'being addressed by the Board' and that it had been assured that 'actions taken' are 'within their constitution'.

The short letter, signed by Jancie Lowndes, Assistant Director for Health Improvement Services, adds that the Charity Commission has advised that "it is the Board and members that need to manage these issues not the Council". The letter concludes that "The Council will continue ongoing discussions with ICT" (see photo for full letter)

Meanwhile, nothing has been stated about why the £90,000 public funding for the community in the Lower Kersal and Charlestown area has rarely reached any community group other than ICT...

The new poet Kersal moor wrote
at 12:46:44 AM on Sunday, March 26, 2017
Duddy looked like a pudding He just didn't know what to do The lack of information, he thought he really knew, but thank god Councillor Merry knew exactly what to do, he shot down the governance arrangements and said something isn't right Then from out of nowhere a voice appeared from above Why has a trustee been sacked , and will make a massive impact The room went suddenly silent and could not hear a pin drop just s The sound of the chairs heart beating like a drum
 
wrote
at 8:43:42 AM on Saturday, March 25, 2017
The £90,000 should not be handed to Inspiring Communities Together again. Salford City Council in my opinion gave ICT more than enough chances to put together an honest and credible board of trustees to move forward. What did they do? appoint a new chair who works in the ICT office with the CEO and wants to sweep the bad governance under the mat, keep the CEO running everything also keep the former Chair as a trustee, suspend and even sack good community members who do not shall we say toe the ICT line then they appoint Councillor Hamilton who supports the new chair and his deluded views. The talk of mediation is a farce with some board members and the CEO still place and running the organisation. Now SCC need to step in and remove the £90,000 communities monies until a new community led transparent board is in place. Sadly now there is no other option if common sence and honesty are to prevail. I look forward to reading other readers views.
 
Spec-Savers wrote
at 1:17:40 AM on Saturday, March 25, 2017
What a surprise that the only Councillor that showed support for Inspiring Communities Together and it's governance is Councillor Hamilton. She said she was a member of ICT board and would only be a board member of a board that was transparent, OMG she should have gone to Spec-Savers. Yes well said Councillor Merry for supporting your residents. Shame not all elected Councillors offered the same support. The new ICT chair with Councillor Hamilton and the CEO supported the action that the past is the past under the carpet as always. This Magic Carpet must be priceless. Thanks must also go to the community members who were a credit to our community.
 
What a whitewash ATT wrote
at 6:10:12 AM on Friday, March 24, 2017
I also attended the East Salford community committee , inspiring communities reply ,yes they do deliver great service and courses but their governance and bullying tactics to volunteers is absolute disgrace the CEO and chair clearly did not mention the thousands of pounds ploughed in to St Sebastians Community Centre And Lower Kersal centre... this obviously was A hidden agenda , The chair obviously knew nothing about the past 10 years of the NDC and seemed to be dictated by the CEO,tthe people of this area are not thick no are they stupid but quite clever and this will not stop till the truth comes out , simply stop trying to sweep this under the carpet because I surely will tell you this will not go away,well done to Councillor John Merry for standing up for the community .
 
Avidly following this article. wrote
at 4:04:23 AM on Friday, March 24, 2017
I attended the East Salford Community Committee meeting tonight. I was able to answer questions I had about the bad governance at Inspiring Communities Together. I had avidly been following the Salford Stars communities views. The new chair of ICT is clearly oblivious to the bad governance, ruthless actions and inappropriate behaviour of the CEO, former chair and some board members. The new chair, Councillor Jane Hamilton and the CEO are under estimating the residents as they clearly think bad governance can be hidden under the carpet as has been happening for years. The CEO also attended the meeting and no surprise she failed to show ICT had credibility in fact complacency came to mind. On a positive note Councillor Merry stood up for his community just a pity that Councillor Hamilton stood up for ICT's bad governance. Let's see if ICT are handed the £90,000 again even though bad governance is still happening.
 
wrote
at 1:48:49 AM on Tuesday, March 21, 2017
I've been looking into this secret club to whom I've never heard off and have lived in the area for 34 Yeats I looked up the Facebook page for inspiring communities together and was last updated July 2014, and they say they keep the community well infoemed of what's going on,what a shower of..... This is so Contradictive of this organisation of making promises They simply just not delivering to this great community we live in.
 
Not Fooled by ICT wrote
at 1:43:05 AM on Friday, March 17, 2017
Inspiring communities together, inspiring communities never more like it. Who are Inspiring communities together? A power grabbing farce. Take note our community will not be fooled by the ICT statements. Load of Rubbish, they need to come clean. Thanks Councillor Ord the only elected councillor willing to stand up for his community. Where are the other ELECTED Councillors sitting on the fence trying to please everyone when they do nothing but sit on that fence pleasing nobody. Remember that at election time.
 
This is a Joke wrote
at 1:41:50 AM on Friday, March 17, 2017
How can Salford city council ignore this, maybe they are to scared to admit this is a massive failure of ICT and of it's governance, The CEO and others need to be suspended until this is sorted, as a Kersal tenant, I've not seen a penny spent, but reading along the lines of this its wages wages and penny's on the community The letter says from Janice the city council says the board and its MEMBERS need to resolve this, well they will need a bloody big room.
 
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