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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

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Cumbria charities hit back at watchdog’s criticism

ALMOST 200 charities across Cumbria could face investigation after failing to file financial details.

Cumbria-wide there are 184 charities listed by the Charity Commission including eight in Barrow, 23 in the South Lakes – at least 10 of which are in Ulverston – and 22 in Copeland.

Charities have 10 months from the end of their financial year to file their accounts and the commission claims all charities receive regular reminders to ensure they meet the deadline.

Second Ulverston Scouts is among the groups included on the list but group leader Gavin Knott said no reminders have been issued to the group.

He said: “I have had no contact whatsoever – why don’t they send us an email? “These things are done in people’s spare time.

“I am sure other charities have the same problem.”

He said the group had compiled its figures but is yet to upload them to the Charity Commission’s website.

According to the Charity Commission, Millom Guides are 892 days overdue to file their accounts. Spokeswoman Diane Tyson said: “I didn’t know anything about this. All the books have been kept.”

Also on the list in South Copeland are Friends of Captain Shaws, and Bootle and District Social and Sports Association.

In Barrow borough Askam Kids Zone, Barrow Dads, the Barrow/Romania Action Group, the Friends of Lindal and Marton, the Friends of Newbarns, Furness Probation Support, Barrow Island Community Centre and Walney Central Bursary have all been listed.

Sam Younger, chief executive of the Charity Commission said: “Not knowing how funds are spent is the top reason the public give for not trusting charities so it is disappointing that some charities in Cumbria have not been taking the requirement to submit annual information to us seriously enough. It is a great shame for those that do meet their deadline in good time to be let down by those that don’t. It reflects badly on the whole sector.”

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