Emergency Aid – Update
Emergency Aid has been a headache for revenue departments for a number of years. For those that do not know, they were a registered charity who took on leases of otherwise empty properties throughout the UK. They then purported to occupy those properties from time-to-time by organising events to train members of the public in dealing with a potential national emergency. This has been known to involve spending the night in the property concerned, the use of gas masks, sniffer dogs and more lately cardboard cut outs of desks and other items to simulate an office environment.
Naturally enough, revenue departments were sceptical when it came to dealing with the applications for charitable relief. Walsall Council had successfully obtained a liability order against the charity in 2016 and that decision was in the process of being appealed by Emergency Aid.
Several months ago we were instructed by Wyre Forest District Council who had also obtained a liability order against the charity. Winding up proceedings were initiated but partway through, those were withdrawn to allow the charity the opportunity to place itself into creditors’ voluntary liquidation (CVL).
The creditors meeting took place on 2 August 2017 when the charity was placed into liquidation and Colin Nicholls and Andrew Shackleton of Smart Insolvency Solutions appointed as joint liquidators.
This represents good news for councils as it brings to an end this particular headache in terms of rates avoidance. Smart Insolvency work with a number of local authorities throughout the UK, and will ensure that the charity and its trustees are fully investigated in terms of how the organisation was run. The liquidators are now actively seeking to disclaim any existing leases so that liability on the properties concerned can be returned to the landlords.
If you have live Emergency Aid accounts in your area, you are advised to contact Colin Nicholls:
T: 01905 888737.