Regulator steps in to protect assets of Drummore Harbour

The Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) has intervened to protect the assets of the Drummore Harbour Trust after the regulator discovered that the charity trustees had applied to Companies House to have the company struck off the register.

While Dumfries and Galloway Council continues with its plan to take over the harbour for the community, locals feel the trust did nothing to better the harbour.

MSP Alex Fergusson welcomed the intervention, he said: “Normally a charitable company would apply to OSCR to take this type of action but, in this case, no such application was received. Furthermore, the trustees have both resigned as directors of the company.

“To add to the confusion, the charity has notified OSCR that it wished to be removed from the charity register – a request that has to be complied with within 28 days.

“Fortunately however, property acquired during the existence of the trust has to continue to be used for charitable purposes, and OSCR has acted to protect those assets, ensuring that they cannot be sold off.

“Over a period of time, OSCR made nine recommendations to the trustees to improve the capacity of the charity to enable it to fulfil its functions.

“In OSCR’s own words, ‘the response to these recommendations is of concern… in many cases no substantive action has been taken.’

“The formation and operation of the trust has never benefitted the community of Drummore at all. If ever there was a case for community ownership Drummore Harbour is it and I hope this welcome action by OSCR heralds the first step in that direction.”