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Charities Act 1985

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

2Resolution by trustees of old charity to alter objects.

(1)This section applies, subject to subsection (11) below, to a local charity for the relief of poverty, where—

(a)at least 50 years have elapsed since the date of the charity's foundation, or

(b)it is subject to a scheme (whether established by the court or by the Commissioners) for the joint administration of two or more charities, and in the case of each of the charities comprised in the scheme at least 50 years have elapsed since the date of its foundation.

(2)If the charity trustees are of the opinion—

(a)that the objects of the charity may fairly be considered obsolete or lacking in usefulness, or impossible of achievement, having regard to the period that has elapsed since the charity was founded, the social and economic changes that have taken place in that period and other circumstances (if any) relevant to the functioning and administration of the charity, and

(b)that an alteration of the charity's objects is required in order that the charity's resources may be applied to better effect, consistently with the spirit of the original gift, they may (subject to the following provisions) pass a resolution that the trusts of the charity be modified by replacing the objects of the charity by other objects, being in law charitable, specified in the resolution.

(3)The objects so specified must be, in the trustees' opinion, not so far dissimilar in character to those of the original charitable gift that this modification of the charity's trusts would constitute an unjustifiable departure from the intentions of the founder of the charity, or violate the spirit of the gift.

(4)The trustees must take such steps as are reasonably open to them to secure the approval to the proposed alteration of objects of any person identifiable as having been the founder of the charity.

(5)The resolution of the trustees must be unanimous and be in the form set out in Schedule 1 to this Act, or as near to that form as circumstances may admit.

(6)Having passed the resolution, the trustees shall—

(a)give such public notice that they have done so as they think reasonable and justified, having regard to the resources of the charity and the extent of its area of benefit, and

(b)send copies of the resolution to the Commissioners and to the appropriate local authority, accompanied in each case by a statement of their reasons for being of the opinions specified in subsections (2) and (3) above. The trustees need not comply with paragraph (a) of this subsection if they consider that, in all the circumstances, no useful purpose would be served by giving public notice of the resolution.

(7)The Commissioners may, when considering the resolution, require the trustees to provide additional information or explanation as to the circumstances in and by reference to which they have determined to act under this section or as to their compliance with this section; and the Commissioners shall take into consideration any representations made to them by the appropriate local authority and others appearing to them to be interested.

(8)The Commissioners shall, not less than six weeks or more than 3 months from the time when they receive a copy of the resolution from the trustees—

(a)if it appears to them that the requirements of this section are satisfied in respect of the resolution, and that the proposed alteration of objects is justified in all the circumstances (treating the trustees' opinion under subsections (2) and (3) as prima facie well-founded and not to be set aside in the absence of contrary considerations), give to the trustees notice of their concurrence with the resolution, or

(b)give them notice that they require further time in which to consider the case (but so that not more than an additional 6 months shall be taken for that purpose), or

(c)give them notice that they do not concur with the resolution. Any notice given by the Commissioners under this subsection (including any notice of concurrence, or non-concurrence, given after they have taken further time for consideration) shall be in writing, and they shall send a copy of it to the appropriate local authority.

(9)If the Commissioners give notice of their concurrence with the resolution then, with effect from the date specified in the notice, the trusts of the charity shall, by virtue of this section, be deemed modified in accordance with the terms of the resolution, and the trust instrument shall have effect accordingly.

(10)References in this section to a charity's trust instrument include any document which for the time being lays down or regulates the manner in which the charity's property may or must be applied.

(11)This section does not apply to an exempt charity or a charity which is a company or other body corporate.

(12)Section 4(6)(b) of the Act of 1960 (duty to give notice etc. to the Commissioners) does not apply where the trusts of a charity are modified by virtue of this section.

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