Governance review of an exempt charity

Guided Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation, an exempt charity, from the early stages of its governance review to the adoption of new Rules

Letchworth Garden City was the first garden city founded in the early 1900s and by Act of Parliament the whole 5,500 acre estate of the city was transferred to the Foundation to manage and conserve.  The Foundation generates income from the estate for its grant programmes and to support local communities.  It is a charity but as a community benefit society is exempt from registration with the Charity Commission.

We were involved in the Foundation’s governance review since its inception in November 2012 which after a long process culminated in the new Rules being approved by the Governors at a special general meeting in September 2014 and the Financial Conduct Authority accepting them for registration in November 2014.

Ian Hempseed was appointed to the Foundation’s Governance Committee which led the work.


  • drafted the Rules and subsidiary Regulations
  • (although not registered with the Charity Commission) there are unusual provisions which required the approval of the Commission on certain matters.  We liaised with the Charity Commission on the changes and finally obtained their approval in August 2014
  • assisted the Chair and Company Secretary in preparing communications to both the Board and the Governors throughout the process
  • presented to the Governors at their special general meeting in September 2014 before they voted in the new Rules
  • provided a support service to the Company Secretary and in particular drafted an extensive guide for the Company Secretary to run all the processes under the new Rules for the appointment and election of Governors and Trustees.