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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means



Consideration needs to be given to how funds should be dealt with. For example if two Districts are closing and a third opening it may be fairly straightforward how the money is dealt with.

However, consider the example where three Districts are closed, three Groups go to two neighbouring Districts and new District opened to cover the rest. In this case the County Trustee Board would need to decide upon and minute how they will divide up the money from the closing Districts. This could be on a pro rata basis based upon the number of Members, or may be on a proportional basis based upon the number of Groups. Either way, the guiding principle is that the money was given / raised for the benefit of young people and by the end of the process it should still be available for the benefit of young people.

District assets also need to be considered. The District should examine any property documents very carefully. If a property is held by The Scout Association Trust Corporation (SATC) as custodian trustee on behalf of the Scout Units, the SATC must be contacted as soon as a change is contemplated. The SATC will then need to change/update its record accordingly.

If there's any doubt over the management of any property issues the District will need to instruct a local solicitor. It is important for the District to know that the Legal Department of the Association is only able to offer its member organisations very general legal advice and are unable to act as solicitor for members and/or scout units.

Should there be excess assets after a merger that are of no use to the new District or that cannot reasonably be divided up, they need to be disposed of in a way that maximises their benefit and achieves a true market value. This can be done in a number of ways, for example an auction may be appropriate, this may be open to anyone or restricted to Scout bidders only. It's not appropriate for one charity simply to give assets away to another charity. In any event the new District will need to contact the Charities Commission for guidance on proper compliance of Charity law.

Once a process is agreed, it should be shared with the stakeholders to ensure that everyone can sign up to it. The overseeing Trustee Board should monitor expenses during this process; experience shows that once decisions are made about change, few funds are raised, whilst expenses can be significant. There will be some added expenses to cover but it’s important that these are not allowed to get out of control.

Districts should produce interim accounts for the closing General Meetings, and the District Scout Council should mandate the District Trustee Board to close off the final (audited) accounts based on them being similar to the interim accounts presented at the closing meeting. It's easiest if the County can offer the new District an advance against the funds of the old Districts, this will be regained once the closing Districts funds are available.

When the Districts affairs are wound up, the money goes to the County and the County then pays that out to the new District. It's important to ensure that there is an audit trail to show the movement of this money through the County account. The County can audit/scrutinise the final District accounts and pay the money to the new District (accounting for the repayment of any advance).