UK charity commission issues warning to Coventry gurdwara

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash has been asked to ensure fair access to its prayer hall and associated facilities, having particular regard to the legal duties under the Equalities Act 2010


| Coventry, UK | 25 Aug 2017 | Asia Samachar |

The UK Charity Commission has issued an ‘official warning’ to a Coventry gurdwara for supposedly exposing its members and its trustees to ‘an undue risk of harm by virtue of repeated disruption on charity premises such that a police presence has been required on a regular basis’.

This was one of the four reasons listed in its two-page letter issued yesterday (24 Aug 2017) against the Charity Gurdwara Guru Nanak Parkash, Coventry. See here.

Among others, the commission has asked the gurdwara trustees to ensure its premises is not exposed to undue risk and is managed in accordance with the charity’s policies and regulations.

“The Commission has engaged with the Charity and has provided regulatory advice and guidance which has not been followed,” it said in the letter.

Last year, the same commission announced that it had opened a statutory inquiry into the education charity, Nanaksar Thath Isher Darbar, after it failed to file any accounts for the last two financial years.

SEE ALSO:UK commission investigates Sikh charity over ‘serious financial mismanagement’ claims 

The commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales to ensure that the public can support charities with confidence.

Third Sector, a UK publication the voluntary and not-for-profit sector, quoted an unnamed gurdwara spokesman as saying: “We are working with the Charity Commission to rectify any concerns that have been raised and once that has been turned around we are hoping to work with them to support other charities.”

In the Coventry incident, one of alleged ‘breach of trust or duty or other misconduct or mismanagement’ levelled against the gurdwara was that the trustees had failed to work collectively and to implement agreed decisions.

The commission also said the trustees had also failed to make decisions which are in the interests of the charity only.

The commission also said the trustees have failed to manage charity property responsibly or in accordance with agreed policies and procedures.

In particular it listed out the following four points: a. Failing to use Charity premises in accordance with the agreed policies and procedures; b. Failing to ensure proper and fair access to its premises; c. Undertaking unauthorised expenditure on activities and failing to take adequate steps to address the risks posed to charity’s assets; and, d. Failing to take adequate steps to prevent the circulation of views or material that were or could be seen to be inappropriately political or extremist in nature on its premises.

The commission has listed out a number of actions that it ‘considers should be taken to rectify the misconduct or mismanagement or breach of trust’.

The commission expects the trustees to make and implement collective and lawful decisions about the management and administration of the charity in the interests of the charity only. They are also to ensure that the charity’s assets are managed responsibly.

Among others, the gurdwara has been asked to regularise the use of, and ensuring fair access to, the its prayer hall and associated facilities, having particular regard to the legal duties under the Equalities Act 2010.

The gurdwara has also been asked to regularise any unauthorised activity or payments made by or on behalf of the charity.

It also been asked to ensure that ‘any premises held or used by the Charity, any online facilities and any other material used or provided by the Charity, are not or do not appear to be in support of any inappropriate political or extremist ideologies or organisations.’


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