It is SURSAR’s tenth anniversary which is commendable, however a not so perfect 10 they also achieved this year was the Trustees have tried to hush up that they spent £10k of donated money on barristers & legal fees trying to cover their mistakes and dishonesty when dealing with a volunteer.
The Trustees knew they could never win yet proceeded at the charity’s expense and misled the Membership as to its necessity and progress. The matter could and should have been sorted out without resorting to barristers, however the Trustees were too arrogant, reckless and foolish to accept this and proceeded with an unwinnable claim.
Its not the first time charity money has been wasted on legal fees. Lets not forget that the Trustees of SURSAR did the same thing when acting as Trustees at Lowland Rescue at national level, spending thousands of pounds on a bogus legal case to try to oust the former chairman by making unfounded allegations.
Dr Piers Page and James Rossell were subsequently accused of fraud and theft by Lowland Rescue and had to step down. As usual Lowland Rescue are keeping quiet about this as they obviously don’t want the public or the members of the charities involved to know donations given in good faith are being spent on legal fees and not where intended. They too are keeping quiet about just how much was spent.
Presumably the Governors of the charities involved are happy for this level of spending to cover accusations of incompetence and fraud…
When people donate to SAR they expect the money to be used on equipment/repairs and running costs and not on legal fees where it would serve no purpose or benefit the charity. Families of the people who Surrey SAR have helped look for need to be asking to see the accounts to see where the money they raised really went and challenge the false promises that were made to them about how the money would be used. In fact anyone who has donated to SurSAR should be concerned about how their donation was used.
Over £17k was raised last year from supermarkets alone, not to mention the money raised by many other people who did charity fundraising events. Despite this they still had a £20k deficit and to spend £10k on legal fees is nothing short of a disgraceful mismanagement of charity funds.
The membership and public need to question whether the Trustees can be trusted. There needs to be constitutional change at Surrey SAR as Trustees should never be part of the management team as there is simply no accountability over management decisions regarding spending and leads to year on year financial deficits.
As long as Dr Piers Page, James Rossell and Seamus Kearns are Trustees the charity funds will always be mismanaged. One only has to look at their social media to see that despite financial deficits year after year with Dr Piers Page as Chairman they continue to buy an excessive amount of vehicles, each of which has running costs and are rarely used for SAR purposes due to the low level of callouts. It is hardly surprising that money is being haemorrhaged.
Surrey SAR Trustees could always do the sensible option which is to not break the law in the first place, that would help keep legal costs to zero as they historically were when it was a run as a friendly charity and not the pseudo business it is now. Your Victim Card has been declined.