Charity fury over report

A COMMUNITY group which boasts thousands amongst its number worldwide has been reported to a watchdog organisation, which aims to weed out bogus charities.

It's emerged that the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator is now dealing with a complaint about Cumbernauld House Trust – which aims to secure the 18th century listed building for public use. The organisation, which has a sizeable following on social networking site Facebook, became a charity in April.

We understand that the suggestion that their dealings are not above board has come from another group which has an interest in the house.

This is CHB Developments – the Glasgow-based firm which is applying for planning permission to turn the historic property into flats.

We understand that the company complained to the regulator after alleging the trust was trying to mislead the public into believing that it owned the house - and had a connection with the developers as it bears a similar acronym for its name.

However, trust members have condemned the action as a ''desperate move'' and have vowed to come out fighting.

They have been invited to send a submission to OSCR explaining their side of the story and say they have their ammunition ready.

Irate spokesperson Adam Smith said:'' The Trust's formal constitution pre-dated the formation of CHB Developments Ltd by almost four months.

"No one is likely to confuse us with CHB, not least because they make no mention of Cumbernauld House in their name, but more so because our campaign has received local, national, and international press coverage, and has been mentioned in the Scottish Parliament and the House of Commons,'' said Mr Smith.

"Meanwhile CHB have kept incredibly quiet about their proposed redevelopment and have shut out community involvement without even considering the benefits that could come from working together in partnership," he added.

"There's also an insinuation in the complaint that we may have been making false representations about the ownership of the property in order to put us in a more favourable position, which is something that has never been, and never will be, the case in the present situation."

When the News contacted OSCR to shed further light on the matter, a spokesperson said: "We can confirm that we have received an objection to the name of the Cumbernauld House Trust. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further.''

The News made strenuous attempts to contact CHB through its legal team to afford it a right to reply but we were told that director Hugh Boyd was unavailable for comment.