AS TRUSTEES of Age Concern Ealing (ACE), we are replying to recent letters in the Gazette, sent by a small group of people, unwilling, it seems, to disclose their names, with no current connection to ACE, who are distorting the facts for their own ends.
Regretfully, this internal matter has been blown up out of all proportions by these people. - the result of which may well endanger the success of this local charity. The governance and membership structure at ACE are essentially no different to that at other Age Concern in the UK. We, the trustees, are a group of people who care about and care for elderly people in our area. We rely on the support of volunteers and staff and we are proud to be supported by our mayor.
We have been working with the Charity Commission, Ealing Council, Age (UK), specialist lawyers and the Electoral Reform Society to sort out an internal historic anomaly, and this takes an inordinate amount of time as we are all volunteers. There is no quick fix.
We called an extraordinary meeting under an independent chair in February 2010 to start to resolve matters. The majority of those present were happy not to change our current chairmanship as they did not put forward a candidate for chairman.
However, the same small group then complained when our chairman was elected unopposed.
Having been selected as one of the mayor's charities, the said same group continue to attack ACE, even while we continue to rectify the governance structure. They make unsubstantiated and personal attacks on our chairman, who has the wholehearted support of the trustees and the majority of the membership.
They throw in all sorts of irrelevant, uncorroborated assertions in their attempt to damage the organisation and its support.
They could yet get their wish, which will have an impact on hundreds of elderly people's lives.
It is untrue ACE has stopped taking new members. We welcome new members genuinely committed to the success of the organisation and application forms are available from the ACE office in Uxbridge Road. Enough is enough. We are sorting this out, but it takes time.
Letters are being prepared for all our members and this should be resolved by September.
LOUIS BRADY, DICK DABY, MICHAEL ELLIOTT Trustees for Age Concern Ealing
135 Uxbridge Road, W13 9AU