Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust accused of issuing ‘gagging order’ by trustee
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust has been accused of being undemocratic by issuing a “gagging order” to one of its trustees.
Dr Saul Zadka, 52, claims the trust is in the process of passing a new code of conduct instructing trustees not to speak to outside bodies, such as the press, unless asked to by the trust council.
It follows a story published in the Ham&High in March in which Dr Zadka claimed the trust was risking “financial suicide” by defending a High Court action brought against it by banking tycoon Sir Victor Blank.
He said: “It’s a gagging order, it’s a way to force trustees to accept the official line. They think the trust should be seen as a united organisation.
“This stands against the principles of democracy. The chairman ignores the fact that half of the trustees are elected directly by residents.”
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As a registered company, trust chairman Angus Walker said the trust and its trustees were subject to legislation governing the conduct of companies and their directors.
He added: “The law requires directors of companies to accept collective responsibility for the decisions of their boards. The trust council accepts the force of the legislation which relates to directors’ conduct.
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“It’s about trying to make that explicit [to trustees].”