Com­mon­wealth Games char­ity fac­ing ques­tions over £118k black hole

Sunday Herald - - NEWS - BY PAUL HUTCHEON

APUBLICLY funded char­ity set up to de­liver a Com­mon­wealth Games legacy project is un­der pres­sure over a £118,000 black hole in its fi­nances. The Peo­ple’s De­vel­op­ment Trust, in the east end of Glas­gow, also re­ported net “li­a­bil­i­ties” of nearly £90,000 and au­di­tors warned there may be “sig­nif­i­cant doubt” about the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s abil­ity to con­tinue as a “go­ing con­cern”.

It was cre­ated in 2011 to over­see the Dal­marnock Legacy Hub project, a com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity that of­fers child­care, health and train­ing ser­vices un­der one roof.

The project re­ceived £3 mil­lion from the Scot­tish Govern­ment, around £1.3m from the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) and £1.23m from Clyde Gate­way, while the lo­cal coun­cil gave the trust land for a pep­per­corn sum.

Foot­ball leg­end Kenny Dal­glish was the star at­trac­tion at the Hub’s open­ing in 2015, an event also at­tended by political lu­mi­nar­ies such as se­nior Labour coun­cil­lor Frank McAveety and SNP min­is­ter Jamie Hep­burn.

How­ever, al­though the Hub was sup­posed to “max­imise eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal peo­ple” fol­low­ing the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games, the PDT has been dogged by al­le­ga­tions over its fi­nan­cial af­fairs.

The BLF brought in in­ter­na­tional au­di­tors over con­cerns about how its award had been spent, and Po­lice Scot­land also re­ceived a com­plaint. In of­fi­cial fil­ings to Com­pa­nies House the PDT ac­counts for the year end­ing March 2016 lay bare the char­ity’s fi­nan­cial trou­bles.

An in­de­pen­dent au­di­tors’ re­port to trustees stated: “With re­spect to ex­pen­di­ture amount­ing to a value of £118,672, the au­dit ev­i­dence avail­able to us was lim­ited ow­ing to in­ac­cu­rate record keep­ing by the char­i­ta­ble com­pany. We have been un­able to ob­tain suf­fi­cient ap­pro­pri­ate au­dit ev­i­dence

The games were a tri­umph for the city, but the per­for­mance of this char­ity risks put­ting a ma­jor damp­ener on that

re­gard­ing the oc­cur­rence, ac­cu­racy and val­u­a­tion of this ex­pen­di­ture which is in­cluded in the fi­nan­cial state­ments us­ing other au­dit pro­ce­dures.”

Of the £118,672, £59,798 arose in the year cov­ered by the ac­counts, while £35,819 re­lated to the pre­vi­ous 12 months. The ac­counts added: “This has been in­ves­ti­gated ex­ter­nally and £8,320 has been ac­counted for in­ac­cu­rately and is cur­rently the sub­ject of le­gal pro­ceed­ings.”

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the PDT was also in debt: “It now also has a net cur­rent li­a­bil­i­ties po­si­tion of £89,199, which … in­di­cate the pres­ence of a ma­te­rial un­cer­tainty which can cast sig­nif­i­cant doubt about the char­i­ta­ble com­pany’s abil­ity to con­tinue as a go­ing con­cern.”

Two in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing for­mer Labour coun­cil­lor Yvonne Ku­cuk, who had a paid job at the Hub, were charged last year with al­legedly em­bez­zling around £9,000. The sum­mary case is sched­uled to call for an in­ter­me­di­ate diet in Novem­ber.

Glas­gow Tory MSP Annie Wells said: “It shouldn’t be dif­fi­cult to run an or­gan­i­sa­tion en­sur­ing there is a worth­while legacy for Glas­gow from the very suc­cess­ful Com­mon­wealth Games.

“But this is yet an­other damn­ing de­vel­op­ment and it’s some­thing the Scot­tish Govern­ment needs to get on top of. The games were a tri­umph for the city, but the per­for­mance of this char­ity risks put­ting a ma­jor damp­ener on that.”

A spokesper­son for the PDT said: “We have worked ex­tremely hard over the last 18 months to ad­dress his­tor­i­cal is­sues that have af­fected the PDT. We have now re­cruited a full new staff team, im­ple­mented new ro­bust fi­nan­cial po­lices and pro­ce­dures that have been ap­proved by our fun­ders. Hav­ing now re­cruited a new board we be­lieve the or­gan­i­sa­tion is in now in a po­si­tion to meet the as­pi­ra­tions of the Dal­marnock com­mu­nity.

“This hard work and com­mit­ment has been fur­ther high­lighted by the cur­rent fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the PDT, for the fi­nan­cial year 2016-17 we show the or­gan­i­sa­tion has gen­er­ated a sur­plus. This a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment con­sid­er­ing the fi­nan­cial po­si­tion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2015-16.”

Pho­to­graph: An­drew Mil­li­gan/PA Wire

Kenny Dal­glish was the star at­trac­tion at the legacy Hub’s open­ing in 2015

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