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Charitable trust plan postponed

DELAYED: The opening of the Whitstable Community Museum and Gallery has been postponed
DELAYED: The opening of the Whitstable Community Museum
and Gallery has been postponed

PLANS for the management of Whitstable Museum to be handed from the city council to a charitable trust today (Wednesday) have been delayed due to a legal hitch. The application from The Whitstable Community Museum and Gallery to run the museum had already been agreed by the local authority and it was Intended that the handover occur today. However, Brian Hitcham, chairman of the group hoping to take on its management, said:

“With the museum already connected to a charitable trust where Canterbury City Council are the sole trustees, the Charity Commission decided that the group’s role was to provide a management service to the council to assist it in administering this charity. This is not a charitable purpose. It’s complicated. There has been a charity in force since the museum opened in the 1950s, but when it ran out of money in the 1960s it was taken over by the city council, who are now the sole trustees. My understanding is that CCC are taking specialist legal advice over how this technical difficulty could be resolved.”

Although the council has been keen to move management of its coastal museums to outside bodies, it is understood that it owns and has responsibility for the Whitstable site and its collection. A revised date of June 1 has now been set for Mr Hitcham’s group to take over the museum management.

Herne Bay Times, April 1st 2015

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