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Hampstead Garden Suburb Trust accused of issuing ‘gagging order’ by trustee

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 May 2013

Dr Saul Zadka said the trust were being undemocratic and issuing a 'gagging order'. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Dr Saul Zadka said the trust were being undemocratic and issuing a 'gagging order'. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

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.”

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.

“It’s about trying to make that explicit [to trustees].”

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