Former Brighton university chief told to cut millions at charity watchdog

Posted On 28 Oct 2010 at 6:05 am

A former senior academic figure in Brighton has been asked to make cuts of £8 million at the Charity Commission a month after taking up the post of chief executive.

Sam Younger, 59, chairman of the Sussex University council from 2001-07, joined the charities watchdog last month.

And last week, after the government’s comprehensive spending review, he was asked to cut the commission’s budget from £29 million to £21 million.

He is expected to oversee the loss of about 140 jobs as 65 per cent of the commission’s costs are staff.

And this means that the watchdog will have to make some hard choices about the way that it works, according to The Guardian yesterday.

The report in the newspaper’s Society section said: “He puts forward, purely for debate, three scenarios: ceasing provision on demand of tailored advice and guidance for charities and would-be charities; ending investigation of alleged abuse below given thresholds; and no longer requiring approval for exceptional actions including payment of trustees.”

The report added: “As Younger himself acknowledges, MPs will be the first to complain if the commission declines to investigate a complaint about a small charity in their constituency.

“And paying trustees remains such an incendiary issue in the sector that a hands-off policy would inevitably provoke outrage.”

To read a copy of The Guardian’s interview, click here.

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