We have been made aware of the statement that has been communicated on Facebook by the Armstrong Hall Action Alliance. It is necessary for the Town Council to correct the factual inaccuracies in this post.
The Town Council as a corporate body is the Trustee of the Armstrong Hall Trust, but this is entirely separate to the role and responsibilities of the Town Council as a local authority. The management of the Armstrong Hall Trust must be kept entirely separate from the business of the Town Council; this is based on charity legislation, appropriate local government governance and expert legal advice received by the Town Council from one of the leading experts in this area. Town Council resources must not be used in the running of the Charity. The Town Council must ensure governance is in line with legal advice, whether or not this is to the liking of everybody.
Councillors are not Trustees. They are automatically representatives of the Trust, but this is a completely separate duty and role to that of local councillor. They meet as representatives of the Trust at Trust meetings, but this is entirely separate to their roles as Town Councillors and they are not representing the Town Council as a local authority when acting in this way. The Town Council cannot choose alternative representatives of the Trust under its current constitution.
Armstrong Hall Trust finances must be entirely separate from those of the Town Council and the business of the Armstrong Hall Trust must be conducted entirely separately to the Town Council. Armstrong Hall funds are entirely separate from Town Council funds, and the two are not interchangeable in any appropriate or legal way.
There are some FAQs available on the Town Council website which may also be helpful in explaining the position: AHT-FAQs-July22.pdf (thornburytowncouncil.gov.uk) We reiterate that expert legal advice has been taken to ensure that the Town Council acts appropriately and that the Town Council has no option but to adhere to this.