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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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Sorry to have to ask another question, but i am in a right

Resolved Question:

Sorry to have to ask another question, but i am in a right predicament with this committee!
I will try to keep this simple:
The local council have given an community centre association who run from a council building a Lease to follow.
Within this lease it says the following:
"(8) the tenant will not allow a person running a business from xxx to also be an officer of the Community Association's Committee or a Trustee of the association"
Now according to many online committee advice websites.. an officer is a executive or management position of the committee ie Chair, Secretary, treasurer and Trustees are nominated (2 of at the AGM also) and to my understanding all the other "members" are normal committee members.
I just wanted to know if you could clarify this for me possibly.. and if this would mean ALL committee's run this way.

Thank you again
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.

Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Do you have a specific question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i run a business from the community centre and therefor i wouldn't be able to be a executive committee member.. but could i be a normal committee member?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

You have to look at the reason behind it.

The reason for the condition is because the person running the
business has a vested interest and therefore the person running the business
cannot act in the best interest of the committee and the members and also his
own interest.

For example, the tenant might want to put the rent down the
committee might want to put it up. There is then a conflict of interest. I
appreciate the putting the rent up or down in the lease may not be an issue but
it is that general reason.

For that reason, I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter
whether you are in an executive position on the committee or just a committee
member, this is precluded. In any event, you need to give the words their
normal meeting and it does say "the community associations committee" it does
not say "an executive position on the community associations committee"

I appreciate that this is probably not the answer you wanted but
there is no point in me misleading you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

There have always been user group committee members and there is a constitution to say they can not vote on any decision that is a declaration of interest. I understand you was not aware of this or i have not explained in enough detail. The constitution states "Any person involved in the running of a profit making business may not hold an Executive role or Trustee position on the Committee" and also "any member of the Committee who is also a member of or has an interest in a User Group may speak on any matter raised in the Committee which, directly or indirectly may affect that group, but they should 'declare an interest' and may not vote on any proposition concerning that group."


The constitution was updated just after the Lease was updated.


hope this information helps

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. That is pretty
material to the whole thing.

The problem there is that whilst
that would avoid the problem anticipated in the lease, the committee could vote
to change the constitution.

Sorry to have to tell you that my
answer remains the same.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I appreciate your honestly.


The important part regarding the lease.. is the word "OFFICER" and the meaning of this.. ie an officer as an executive position, chair, secretary or Treasurer etc.. or an officer as every committee member..


I have searched many websites that explain what an officer is, and they all say an officer is an executive or management position. This translates to the constitution that was amended at the same time as the LEASE to co-exist.


Sorry to keep this going...

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Don't worry. I am here anyway and we need to try and get this to
some kind of conclusion.

Who has a problem with this, the council or the Association or the

The reason I mention that is that if it is the Council, it is easy
to change the constitution so that "officer of the community associations committee"
is defined as being those with an executive position and not just one of the
footsoldier members of the committee.

If it is the committee that querying this, I think you are on a
hiding to nothing because they can change the constitution to exclude or
include any definition

am the national chairman of the motorcycle club with about 1000 members. On our
committee for example we have no ordinary members as everybody has a title so
everyone is
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, well it is me as a committee member (now ex committee member according to this new definition of "officer")

The committee (association) is just a small community centre association and they have 9 members (not including me) and they had a AGM in May 2013 and certain members where appointed into these executive positions and 2 as trustees, and then a few are just committee members.


The Lease is what the council gave to the association to adhere to naturally and this is set for 5 years. It is the lease that says the word "officer" and the following pdf link shows a very similar set up to ours..


you can see that not all members are called officers.. and this is the case for many committee's


Hope this helps


And yes i have been made aware the constitution is going to be changed, but this takes a Special General Meeting to take place here people vote for the changes to the governing document.


Also thr association is a charity and the charity commission would need to be informed of ant changes..


Thanks again

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

So who is interpreting it that
you cannot go on the committee?

The committee or the local

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The chairperson of the committee. Also a local councilor who has been involved in "helping" the committee..she has been basically running the committee (in an advisory capacity) because the chairlady is new.

i have been told that because i run a business in the community centre, things have now changed and i can no longer be on the committee at all.


This is according to the lease that apparently supersedes the constitution.. but i argued that an "Officer" is a management position and doesnt apply to my position as a normal committee member.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. There is no hard fast
legal rule to this and it comes down to interpretation and in this case, both
the chair of the committee and the local councillor seem to disagree with your

Although you can obviously change
the constitution, I don't think that's necessary because I think that all the
members could vote on this interpretation at the next committee meeting.

I agree with you that the
interpretation of many organisations (including the link that you sent me)
differentiates between the officers and the foot soldiers, so to speak. The
officers are the officers and the foot soldiers are the ordinary members.

However you have two people who
disagree and therefore I think the committee should decide this.

Please remember that the chair is
not the chief executive el supremo but is there simply to chair meetings and
has the casting vote. The chair has no authority except as a normal voting
member of the committee and the local councillor has no say at all except in an
advisory capacity.

It appears that the councillor her own agenda and is pulling the chair ladies strings .


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.. that is exactly what this local councilor is doing unfortunately.


So basically they can interpretate "officer" how they like if the committee choose to (which they will, they are all friends!!) and change the constitution to put this into effect?


The constitution at the moment was drawn up from this new Lease and rightly says "executive positions" yet they could now change this if they wanted to!! That's not good!


I want to be on the committee to improve the community centre which in turn may help my nursery business, and also stop the association from financial trouble which again could effect my 5 year business.. all because the committee are useless and have their own ideas for the centre maybe!! It should be illegal!


Thanks for your honesty

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

In a nutshell, yes they can interpret
it how they like in my opinion at any committee meeting and even if they did
not interpret it how they liked they could change the constitution to interpret
it how they like.

They cannot change the lease but
they can change the constitution within the rules in the constitution which
allow them to change the constitution.

In the same way that the councillor
has her own agenda, I think that she probably thinks you have your own agenda
or, more likely, (as I have seen this so many times) there is a clash of


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Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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