Charity Commission
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Regulator’s inquiry finds former trustees failed to hold trustee elections

The Charity Commission has concluded its inquiry into Jamia Hanfia Ghosia Mosque and Princess Street Resource Centre.

The Charity Commission yesterday (16 April 2024) published the findings of its inquiry into Jamia Hanfia Ghosia Mosque and Princess Street Resource Centre

The regulator found there was serious misconduct and / or mismanagement in the charity’s administration and management by its former trustees, but found no evidence to support concerns about unauthorised payments to these former trustees.  

Jamia Hanfia Ghosia Mosque and Princess Street Resource Centre, which operates under its working name Princess Street Mosque, was registered as a charity in 2000 and is based in Burton-On-Trent, Staffordshire.  

The serious administration and management issues identified in the inquiry were that former trustees had not held valid elections, refused membership applications without good reason and did not have an accurate list of members. Nor did they act on written advice from the Commission to address these concerns. 

The charity’s former trustees failed to hold elections for trustees in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The inquiry accepted that COVID-19 was an unavoidable obstacle to holding an AGM and election in 2020, but found the former trustees failed to regularise this once restrictions had been lifted.  

Trustee elections were also obstructed by disputes about membership eligibility (only members could vote). The former trustees refused to accept membership applications from the community without a valid basis, so were not acting in the best interests of the charity.  

The inquiry found that the former trustees failed to follow the Commission’s written advice given on several occasions between March 2020 and April 2022 on these matters. It also found they disrupted a process led by Popularis, an independent election specialist, to develop an accurate up-to-date membership list and hold valid elections.  

The regulator opened its inquiry in April 2022, following these continued failures.  

In May 2022, the inquiry issued a legal order to allow the charity to hold a free and fair election outside of an AGM. This took place in June 2022, and resulted in the valid election of new trustees.  

In December 2022, April 2023 and April 2024 the Commission issued the new trustees with formal regulatory advice and guidance. The regulator expects the trustees to follow this guidance and act in the best interests of the charity. 

The Commission is satisfied that the current trustees understand their duties as trustees and are capable of effectively managing the charity. 

The inquiry found no evidence to support concerns raised with the Commission about unauthorised payments to former trustees. 

The charity is in the process of changing its structure to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO), which will see it dissolve and transfer its assets to the new corporate body. 

Amy Spiller, Head of Investigations at the Commission, yesterday said: 

We expect all trustees to act in the best interests of their charity and in accordance with their legal duties and we will take appropriate action where trustees fail to do so.  

In this case, we found the former trustees failed, during a significant period of time, to ensure those entitled to membership of the charity had the opportunity to vote in regular trustee elections. They failed to act in the charity’s best interests, so let down the charity and its members.  

Our inquiry has addressed these issues and led to improved governance within the charity. We expect the new trustees to follow the advice and guidance we have provided. 

Anyone involved in the management of a membership charity can refresh their knowledge with our 5-minute guides, including one about running trustee and member meetings. 

The full report detailing the findings of this inquiry can be found on

Notes to Editors: 

  • The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its ambition is to be an expert regulator that is fair, balanced, and independent so that charity can thrive. This ambition will help to create and sustain an environment where charities further build public trust and ultimately fulfil their essential role in enhancing lives and strengthening society.  
  • The Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the charity on 7 April 2022 under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011. Throughout the inquiry, information gathering powers under sections 47 and 52 of the Act were used.

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