Legal action threatened over Ally Pally
PUBLISHED: 10:46 16 January 2009 | UPDATED: 15:49 07 September 2010
CAMPAIGNERS are urging Alexandra Palace trustees to refuse to approve financial accounts on the grounds of a breach of trust . And the Save Ally Pally group has threatened legal action if the accounts are approved. Meanwhile, a new report has been commis
CAMPAIGNERS are urging Alexandra Palace trustees to refuse to approve financial accounts on the grounds of a "breach of trust".
And the Save Ally Pally group has threatened legal action if the accounts are approved.
Meanwhile, a new report has been commissioned by the council to investigate who is responsible for the £3million shortfall from the year ending March 31 2008.
The campaign group has claimed that trustees have been put under "mounting pressure" to sign the 2007-8 accounts by the end of January, instead of waiting for the results of the report.
The accounts, discussed at Monday's special council meeting, showed that the £3million loss will be added to the debt of the Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust, which deals with the properties maintenance and assets.
Critics claim that the shortfall was due to the ill-fated eight month licence with developers, Firoka, who they claim took all revenues and gave nothing back to the charity.
A campaign group spokeswoman said: "The trustees have a statutory duty of care to safeguard the charity and its assets. Signing the accounts as they currently stand is likely to lead to a breach of trust by the current board."
The calls follow the publication of the Walklate Report in September, a 100-page independent review which criticised the licence with Firoka and highlighted a lack of communication, financial understanding and poor governance.
The council has commissioned Martin Walklate, author of the first report, to write a second, due to be published in February or March, which will investigate how the licence came about and who was responsible.
But trust chairman, Labour councillor Pat Egan, said: "The basic principle as to why it is shown in the accounts is that it was expenditure made by the charity and as such is clearly part of the accounts.
"The loss stems from the entire year not just the Firoka months. It is not right to portray all the losses as down to the development."
The campaigners have also renewed calls for the trust board, currently made up of four Labour and three Lib Dem councillors, to be made up of independent, non-political trustees.
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