Fundraising reserve powers go ahead, other charity law changes dropped

A number of amendments put forward for the charities legislation going through Parliament have been dropped, while the government addition on fundraising moves forward.

The House of Commons committee stage for the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill ended on Thursday 7th January.

The date for the final House of Commons Report stage is awaited.

Fundraising fallback

As reported by solicitors Bates Wells Braithwaite’s Briefing, the government’s amendment on the regulation of fundraising would alter the Charities Act 1992 (which already includes powers for the government to regulate fundraising):

  • To insert a new S64B into the 1992 Act – this would clarify that the government can make regulations to impose on charitable institutions requirements to do any of the following:
    • (a) to comply with requirements imposed by a regulator;
    • (b) to have regard to guidance issued by a regulator; and
    •  (c) to be registered with a regulator for the purpose of its regulation of charity fundraising.
  • To insert a new S64C giving the Charity Commission reserve powers to regulate fundraising.

On Civil Society News, ‘Reserve powers to regulate fundraising added to the Charities Bill‘ also covers the lobbying law and independent schools amendments below.

Housing associations, private schools, lobbying law, trustee disqualification

An amendment which would block the government’s plans to extend right to buy to charitable housing associations, introduced in the Lords in summer 2015, has been voted out at the Commons committee stage. See reporting by Civil Society News, which also covers discussion about implementation of new powers for the Charity Commission to disqualify trustees.

The shadow minister for civil society, Anna Turley, tabled proposals that would require charitable independent schools to give greater support to local state schools. They should  share music and arts facilities, careers advice and help find pupils work experience. BBC news item.

A further clause put forward by the shadow minister would have allowed charities to campaign politically in line with their objects, an attempt to reverse the “chilling effect” of the Lobbying Act. As reported by Third Sector.

Further reading

Full list of stages of the legislations with links to the debate records is on parliament.uk, or start at the Charities Bill’s own front page for the current state of play.

VoluntaryNews on earlier meeting for the committee (December 2015).