Q: When is a charity both a charity and a company?
A: When it's a charitable company!
Thanet Community Development Trust (TCDT) has recently demanded a 100% plus rent hike from Revolution Skate Park in Broadstairs, precipitating its imminent closure, and thus depriving the Ile's youth of anything more constructive than nose picking and intense scrutiny of Britney Spears websites to occupy their idle minds.
Although the first four words of its website boldly state: "We are a charity", TCDT would be more accurately described as a 'charitable company'. A quick check at Companies House provides the information that its registered company number is 04385681, and its registered address is 21 Norfolk Road, Cliftonville, Margate, CT9 2HU. Its type is 'Private, limited by guarantee, no share capital'. It was incorporated on 1 March 2002. Its SIC(03) code is 9133, which means it's classified as a 'Member Organisation', sub-classification 'Other Membership Organisations'.
A search of the Charity Commission's database reveals that it was also registered as a charity (no. 1049701), on 21 November 2002, with its memorandum and articles stating that it was set up for:
THE PROMOTION AND ADVANCEMENT FOR THE PUBLIC BENEFIT OF URBAN AND RURAL REGENERATION IN THE ISLE OF THANET BY ALL OR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MEANS:-
THE PROVISIONS AND MAINTENANCE OR ASSISTANCE IN THE PROVISION AND MAINTENANCE OF RECREATIONAL FACILITIES FOR THE PUBLIC AT LARGE AND/OR THOSE WHO, BY REASON OF THEIR YOUTH, AGE, INFIRMITY OR DISABLEMENT, POVERTY OR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES, HAVE NEED OF SUCH FACILITIES;
THE CREATION OF TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES BY THE PROVISION OF WORKSPACE, BUILDINGS AND/OR LAND FOR USE ON FAVOURABLE TERMS.
I suppose they would argue that, even at £43,000 a year, Revolution is still getting 'favourable terms'.
Trustees are listed as:
COUNCILLOR MRS SPENCER
I suggest you let them know how you feel, although don't be too hard on them as the charity, er, company's latest accounts to 31 March 2005 state that they received no remuneration or expenses that year, poor lambs.
In the meantime, don't forget to sign the park's online petition.