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Thread: Who are members of the Group Scout Council

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    Who are members of the Group Scout Council

    We had our combined BBQ and AGM yesterday and it was well attended - thanks for the suggestions previously on how to combine the AGM with more interesting things.

    We now have a new chairman and he has asked me for some clarification on who is entitled to attend which meetings - he has the intention of trying to get back to a core team attending GEC meetings as they have gotten rather large and rambling recently.

    Looking in POR:

    Group Scout Council
    POR 3.23 section a.i specifies that membership of the Group Scout Council is "open to" a long list of people.
    It also says in a.iii that membership of the GSC ceases upon certain things. It does not however seem to say that those people listed in a.i must in some way join or otherwise indicate that they wish to be a member of the Group Scout Council. Are they therefore members by default? If not, who keeps a record of who the GSC members are?
    Martin (GSL & acting CSL)

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskibrew View Post
    POR 3.23 section a.i specifies that membership of the Group Scout Council is "open to" a long list of people.
    It also says in a.iii that membership of the GSC ceases upon certain things. It does not however seem to say that those people listed in a.i must in some way join or otherwise indicate that they wish to be a member of the Group Scout Council. Are they therefore members by default? If not, who keeps a record of who the GSC members are?
    Yes they are members by default, other people not members by default can be added to the Group Scout Council at the AGM if they so wish (we have a former GSL who we do this for). The Group Scout Council is the body which usually meets just once a year at the AGM

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
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    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    Yes they are members by default, other people not members by default can be added to the Group Scout Council at the AGM if they so wish (we have a former GSL who we do this for). The Group Scout Council is the body which usually meets just once a year at the AGM
    Thank you for clarifying so quickly :-)
    Martin (GSL & acting CSL)

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    All leaders in our group are default members of the exec and so can attend those meetings if wanted, we also have 3 parents who are members. Supplementing that we have meetings for group leaders, and also section planning meetings ( usually down the pub - much better and more productive)

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernwood View Post
    All leaders in our group are default members of the exec and so can attend those meetings if wanted, we also have 3 parents who are members. Supplementing that we have meetings for group leaders, and also section planning meetings ( usually down the pub - much better and more productive)
    Meeting down the pub is great - as is our Treasurer however she only managed to get to one meeting and the AGM last year because of child care problems therefore the proposal is to meet at her house instead - hence the need for a smaller compact GEC meeting!

    I have another question:
    When a leader states that they wish to be a charity trustee, they go on to the register on the charity commission website. Is that in perpetuity or do they have to restate that desire at each and every AGM?
    Martin (GSL & acting CSL)

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Brnwood, the Group Exec and the Group Council are two very different things. The latter rarely amounts to much, unless you have a very appealing AGM that draws in all the parents and uncle Tom Cobley and All.

    Eskibrew. Your list of Trustees should be updated at the AGM and any changes recorded as soon as is possible after the AGM - IF you are a registered charity with the CC. Not all Scout Groups are registered Charities, some, many are exempted.(as tarquin will be along to explain)

    If you are registered you will have a Reg Charity No..

    Being outside TSA I have come to understand this a little better. And we have filed in a couple of grant forms lately that oint out that we are not a registered charity (yet) with the CC, but we are registred with HMRC - a distinction that some funders were unaware of, apparently!
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskibrew View Post
    We had our combined BBQ and AGM yesterday and it was well attended - thanks for the suggestions previously on how to combine the AGM with more interesting things.

    We now have a new chairman and he has asked me for some clarification on who is entitled to attend which meetings - he has the intention of trying to get back to a core team attending GEC meetings as they have gotten rather large and rambling recently.

    Looking in POR:

    Group Scout Council
    POR 3.23 section a.i specifies that membership of the Group Scout Council is "open to" a long list of people.
    It also says in a.iii that membership of the GSC ceases upon certain things. It does not however seem to say that those people listed in a.i must in some way join or otherwise indicate that they wish to be a member of the Group Scout Council. Are they therefore members by default? If not, who keeps a record of who the GSC members are?
    OK firstly the difference between the GSC and GEC.... in very simple terms

    The GEC is the board of trustees which manages the group
    The GSC is the body which elects members to the GEC
    The GSM (Group scouters meeting) is a meeting of all the leaders

    The GEC meets regularly (normally at least once a term)
    The GSC meets at the AGM, and potentially any EGMs as called

    The GEC consists of:

    - The officers (chair, treasurer, secretary)
    - The GSL
    - The section leaders (ie the leader in charge of each section) subject to them opting in to being charity trustees
    - Any other members elected by the GSC, or co-opted by the GEC

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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    Quote Originally Posted by recneps View Post
    OK firstly the difference between the GSC and GEC.... in very simple terms

    The GEC is the board of trustees which manages the group
    The GSC is the body which elects members to the GEC
    The GSM (Group scouters meeting) is a meeting of all the leaders

    The GEC meets regularly (normally at least once a term)
    The GSC meets at the AGM, and potentially any EGMs as called

    The GEC consists of:

    - The officers (chair, treasurer, secretary)
    - The GSL
    - The section leaders (ie the leader in charge of each section) subject to them opting in to being charity trustees
    - Any other members elected by the GSC, nominated by the GSL and approved at the AGM or co-opted by the GEC,
    Fixed the bit you missed there

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
    www.falkonerscouts.org.uk

    Previous Scouting Roles
    2003 - 2013 ABSL
    2017-2018 AGSL

    Wike, North Leeds District Campsite - www.wikecampsite.org.uk
    www.leeds-solar.co.uk
    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    Oops... thanks Pete... good point!

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    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eskibrew View Post
    We had our combined BBQ and AGM yesterday and it was well attended - thanks for the suggestions previously on how to combine the AGM with more interesting things.

    We now have a new chairman and he has asked me for some clarification on who is entitled to attend which meetings - he has the intention of trying to get back to a core team attending GEC meetings as they have gotten rather large and rambling recently.

    Looking in POR:

    Group Scout Council
    POR 3.23 section a.i specifies that membership of the Group Scout Council is "open to" a long list of people.
    It also says in a.iii that membership of the GSC ceases upon certain things. It does not however seem to say that those people listed in a.i must in some way join or otherwise indicate that they wish to be a member of the Group Scout Council. Are they therefore members by default? If not, who keeps a record of who the GSC members are?
    rising from my sickbed - been fighting a very heavy cold and possibly touch of pneumonia - i hope i can help.

    let's start with all these committees, councils and meetings

    1. group scout council - essentially the electoral body of the scout group. it meets - generally - just once a year at the AGM; hence 'the annual general meeting of 1st auchtermuchty scout group council'. comprises just about anyone connected with the scout group - leaders, GEC members, parents, and some district people. there's a list in POR - as you've seen. membership is automatic (by 'default'). there is no need to keep a list. you are entitled to ask someone attending and voting at your AGM under what entitlement they do so - parent, leader, for example - but generally you don't get too many 'strangers' attending scout group AGMs!

    2. group executive committee (GEC) - the body with the job of managing the scout group; again, read POR 3.23 for members and constitution. all members of the GEC are entitled to attend its meetings. the DC and district chairman also have right of attendance at GEC meets, but not voting rights. best practice says that only committee members should attend GEC meetings and other people should be invited to address its meetings as appropriate. a quorum for GEC meetings should not be set lower than 3 and anything higher than 5 or 6 will make meetings impractical. the GEC is tasked with management and strategic matters in support of the GEC and group operations but not with group operations per se. it is not a good idea to have every Leader sitting on the GEC. i would always encourage section leaders to take up their ex-officio places. i do not support groups having an all-in meeting with only some members allowed to vote (i.e. to effectively have voting and non-voting members.) - if you're not entitled to vote there's little use in you being there unless you're invited to address the GEC on a particular issue for which you can bring some knowledge, skill, or expertise!

    3. sub committees of the GEC - tasked with specific aspects of managing the group. generally three are popular: finance, equipment, fundraising. you can't have any section leaders on the fundraising committee. finance tends to be the GT, anyone connected with book-keeping bits of the group, people who manage gift aid, and such like with maybe the chairman added. equipment tends to be any quartermaster, a section leader or assistant and maybe the GSL. however, the make-up of these is up to the GEC. generally 3 or 4 people at most of which one is a GEC member. they work under the delegated authority of the GEC and must report to it.

    4. group scouters meeting (GSM) - tasked with being the team supporting the GSL in all operational aspects of the group. consists of all Leaders and Assistant Leaders. nowadays most groups will also include section assistants too as members and may also invite YLs to attend when appropriate.

    HTH

    TM
    going...going...still here...just

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    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Eskibrew. Your list of Trustees should be updated at the AGM and any changes recorded as soon as is possible after the AGM - IF you are a registered charity with the CC. Not all Scout Groups are registered Charities, some, many are exempted.(as tarquin will be along to explain)
    all scout groups are excepted charities (not exempted!) if not otherwise registered (with the CC in E&W) last time i looked derbyshire was south of the border so the differences in charity law north of the border do not apply in this case.

    scout groups are excepted charities (meaning excepted from registration) if not otherwise registered largely because they are regulated (by POR) and supervised (by the various levels). registration with the CC is generally now left for large groups with high turnover in finances. simply owning property is now not a reason to be registered. over the past few years the CC has been de-registering many groups.

    if you are a registered group then each year at the AGM you will have to produce and annual report and statement of accounts.

    if you are an excepted group then you only need to produce a statement of accounts, however, you may be required, if called upon by the CC, to produce an annual report; hence many excepted groups produce an annual report or at least possess the capability to do so within 14 days if needs be.

    (my group is an excepted charity which publishes an annual report and accounts.)

    the annual report can take various forms but must contain certain mandatory pieces of information; one of these is a list of all trustees who have served since the last AGM and report was published. if a trustee has served only part of the time then this should be indicated. where no dates are specified then it is assumed that the trustee served the full term (year). you should also show their role/office and the manner in which they were appointed, for example for a report published at an AGM in April 2015 it might say:

    The Group Executive Committee of 1st Auchtermuchty Scout Group

    ex-officio
    group chairman: Mr Douglas McBain
    group secretary: Mrs Hannah Howse, from 1 Jan 2015; Mrs Jane Docking, to 31 Dec 2014
    contact: c/o 21 Bridge St, Auchtermuchty, FZ14 6HH
    group treasurer: Mr Andy Mann
    GSL: Mr Tommy Cooper
    BSL: Miss Aileen Roberts
    CSL: Mrs Tara Knowles
    SL: Mr Ian Oughton

    elected members
    Mrs Victoria Hunt, to 31 Jan 2015
    Mr Liam Marsh
    Mr Tardekh Nashish

    co-opted member
    Mrs Julie Mannings, from 1 Feb 2015

    some groups are notoriously poor at doing this. (some are appalling!) it's not rocket science!

    I
    f you are registered you will have a Reg Charity No..
    correct.

    Being outside TSA I have come to understand this a little better. And we have filed in a couple of grant forms lately that point out that we are not a registered charity (yet) with the CC, but we are registered with HMRC - a distinction that some funders were unaware of, apparently!
    a 'registered charity' (in E&W) is one registered with the charity commissioners.

    a 'HMRC registered charity' is a charity that is registered with HMRC for tax/gift aid purposes. it is not the same as a registered charity.

    my group is not a registered charity (it's excepted) but it is registered with the HMRC for gift aid purposes. the meaning of registered here is different in each of these instances.

    TM

    going back to bed!
    going...going...still here...just

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I think you will find that if you are operating as a charity, and let's forget the Scout exception, and consider a body starting from scratch.

    As soon as you form a committee/ board/ management team, you are behaving like a charity and will be treated as such. When you start to draw money in through fundraising or subs HMRC want to know, because you may be running a business, and as such could be liable for tax.

    It is therefore essential, to avoid any confusion, that you register as a charity with HMRC.

    In grant applications we are asked : Are you a registered charity? We curently have to say no. But, we always make the point that we are registered with HMRC as a Charity, so that we are not considered as just a bunch of people trying to scam money out of funders. One or two funders had not come across that dictinction before.

    I know, I have been there. As someone who is self employed, if I was involved with a new group and it made profits ( which in business terms ur Navigators does) then I (and others) could become liable for tax on that income, unless we are registered with HMRC. It is not just for GA purposes. Though to gain GA you also need to be registered with HMRC.

    We took the time to look at this very carefully, because we knew that if we made any mistakes they would be used against us. We now have on our agenda for the AGM registration as a Charity with the CC, because we have breached the minimum turnover in our first year.

    (I always get mixed up with excepted and exempted BTW).
    Last edited by Bushfella; 06-07-2015 at 06:41 AM.
    Ewan Scott

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    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I think you will find that if you are operating as a charity, and let's forget the Scout
    and guides
    exception, and consider a body starting from scratch.
    the context here is scouting, but okay let's digress......

    As soon as you form a committee/ board/ management team,
    and a few bits more!
    you are behaving like a charity and will be treated as such.
    yes quite likely. if your organisation has charitable purposes for public benefit it will be deemed a charity by the CC.

    When you start to draw money in through fundraising or subs HMRC want to know, because you may be running a business, and as such could be liable for tax.
    you are obliged to register with HMRC for tax purposes but if there are no tax issues, then you do not have to register with HMRC. it is highly recommended that scout groups do register with HMRC at least for gift aid purposes. opening some bank accounts require you to register with HMRC.

    It is therefore essential, to avoid any confusion, that you register as a charity with HMRC.
    essential? highly recommended.

    In grant applications we are asked : Are you a registered charity? We currently have to say no. But, we always make the point that we are registered with HMRC as a Charity, so that we are not considered as just a bunch of people trying to scam money out of funders. One or two funders had not come across that distinction before.
    some grant bodies will only work with registered charities, others will work with non-registered charities but require proof of status. registering with HMRC as a charity for tax purposes can be a big help for non-registered (with CC) charities.

    there is a distinction:

    charities may have to register with the charity commission and become 'registered charities'.

    charities may have to register with HMRC for tax purposes.

    I know, I have been there. As someone who is self employed, if I was involved with a new group and it made profits ( which in business terms ur Navigators does) then I (and others) could become liable for tax on that income, unless we are registered with HMRC. It is not just for GA purposes. Though to gain GA you also need to be registered with HMRC.
    in general, scout groups tax affairs are likely to be limited to claiming gift aid rebate.

    We took the time to look at this very carefully, because we knew that if we made any mistakes they would be used against us. We now have on our agenda for the AGM registration as a Charity with the CC, because we have breached the minimum turnover in our first year.
    a relatively short while ago many scout groups were required to register with the CC simply on the grounds of having property (i.e. owning their own HQ). the requirements for registration have changed now and simply owning one's property does not oblige one to have to register in many instances. furthermore, irrespective of whether they owned property, scout groups could 'voluntarily' register with the CC which was helpful to some for getting funding from grant bodies. you cannot do this now.

    i'm not up-to-date on the precise requirements but:

    for scout and guide groups - excepted charities - you are obliged to register if your income exceeds 100k.

    for small unincorporated charities - such as yours - the requirement is 5k of income. if such a charity does not exceed the income level the CC will not register it (unless you can show exceptional cause). even if the CC does not register a small unincorporated charity it can still register (for tax purposes) with HMRC.

    if you're a CIO you have to register.

    (I always get mixed up with excepted and exempted BTW).
    excepted charities include: scout and guide groups; charitable funding bodies of the armed services; churches of most christian denominations.

    exempted charities include: E&W universities; a whole range of museums and art galleries; a range of school governing bodies such as academy trusts.

    now i really must get back to bed!

    TM
    going...going...still here...just

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post
    you are obliged to register with HMRC for tax purposes but if there are no tax issues, then you do not have to register with HMRC. it is highly recommended that scout groups do register with HMRC at least for gift aid purposes. opening some bank accounts require you to register with HMRC.
    If you are in a body that generates income, there are tax considerations, even if these are that no tax is payable. But, let's say we have a body that has three people on its management committee. It brings in , say 15,000 in turnover (we didn't do that much), of which 10,000 is a profit. This is to say, it is money generated that is surplus to the general running costs. That 10,000, if the body is not registered with HMRC as a charity, has to be attributed to someone - and HMRC may well decide that it is the three people on the management committee who have a tax liability. ( of course, most of that 10,000 will have been invested in equipment and the tax liablity would be adjusted to allow for that. But nonetheless, it is easier and safer to register with HMRC as a charity.

    I appreciate that for 99.9% of people involved in scouting this is a moot point, but there may well be some out there who are thinking, what if we jumped ship... Actually, there are quite a few who have been giving it consideration, but most decide to live with the status quo.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merryweather View Post

    for scout and guide groups - excepted charities - you are obliged to register if your income exceeds 100k.

    for small unincorporated charities - such as yours - the requirement is 5k of income.
    TM
    I imagine that the vast majority of groups lie between these two figures....

    With the exception of a very small number of "supergroups" who also own campsites and large properties, I doubt the 100K is hit very often. Where it is hit, I expect it is in the form of lottery grants etc for new premises.

    Equally for a group to have an income of less than 5k would be fairly rare. We are not a huge group and we bring in over 10k in subs alone.

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