Subject: RE: Brake - 1093244 CC:07412466
Dear Mr Peat
Thank you for your emails of 9 and 10 November 2010, in connection with the above charity and your concerns regarding vested interests/political subtexts associated with its activities and funding.
We appreciate the time and effort taken to prepare the additional information you have provided and having carefully considered all of this we would advise as follows:
- The Commission has considered your concerns and determined that none of the issues raised are ones which require us to raise them with the charity, or take any regulatory action.
- The charity's objects include environmentally related purposes and the Commission's role does not extend to determining the accuracy or scientific basis for statements made by the charity in furtherance of those purposes.
- We acknowledge that the charity's website lists as Supporters/Donors a number of organisations and commercial enterprises which could indeed be held to have interests in areas associated with motoring. These interests are however beyond the remit of the Commission to address or comment on - for our purposes we can simply note that for whatever reason they have chosen to make donations to, or support, the work of the charity. It is not uncommon for charities across the entire spectrum of the third sector to have such support - indeed many charities could not continue without such support, particularly in the current economic climate - nor is it a cause for concern provided the funding received is applied to further the charity's objects.
- For many people, an atmosphere which becomes un-breathable/unhealthy due to increased carbon content could reasonably be said to represent 'the end of the world' for life as it currently exists. We understand your argument that the world itself may well physically continue, albeit with an altered atmospheric content, however we do not believe that the statement or underlying principle represents a cause for concern requiring our involvement.
- Similarly, while we agree entirely that statistics and percentages ideally require a clear base value to enable informed consideration, it is not within our remit to require charities quoting particular figures to include relevant base values. Interested parties are of course able to request these figure directly from a charity if needed.
As we have already advised you, how a charity achieves its purposes (within the framework of charity law) is a matter for its trustees not the Commission. We are not the arbiter of how a charity should best express its goals/aims to the public - except where there is evidence that these are expressed contrary to its objects. While we have no reason to doubt the sincerity of your interpretation of the various statements made by the charity, it simply is not for us to test which interpretation is correct.
The actions or motives of non-charitable organisations or commercial concerns are beyond our remit and authority, we can make no comment in relation to concerns focused on their activites.
We appreciate that you may well be dissatisfied with our decision not to take up your concerns and, while this does represent our final decision, you may care to review our internal complaints process as detailed on our website. The following link will take you directly to the relevant guidance:
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
BRAKE Charity Commission replies?
Dear Mr Rogers,
I am indeed very disappointed with your finding. Here we have the life and death issue of road safety, and the life changing prosecution of perfectly safe drivers and among other supporters who gain financially from BRAKE's inexpert and unqualified statements on this important issue, there is a speed camera manufacturer. Well everyone I talk to is appalled about that evidence and its effect on reputable registered charity.
But since when was 'saving the planet' and the green agenda a charity? What right have we or BRAKE to 'save the planet' as we like it anyway? It is ever changing, once too hostile for mankind and it will return to that too no matter what we do. No-one is going to be fooled that 'Saving it from destruction' is anything but shrill green political rhetoric. 'Getting drivers out of their cars'. How does that assist genuine road safety?
Surely people need to know what BRAKE is about. Is it road safety or a green agenda? The point is that a green agenda is anti driver and driving and this then is very dangerous if it is the basis of any road safety and prosecution of drivers comment isn't it?
I have already sent out a media PR that, at your request, further paperwork to show vested interest and a political agenda have just been submitted for your attention. It says:
Further to my submission to the Charity Commission re the activities of BRAKE, it seems that the two categories, 1) Vested interests and 2) Likely to bring charity into disrepute are matters that the Commission can concern itself with and they have asked me to forward further evidence for their enquiry to consider the matter.
Basically the complaint I have made in detail is that several of BRAKE'S supporters and backers would gain from Road Safety Policy as promoted by BRAKE and that speed camera & CCTV manufacturers or firms involved with such equipment, could actually be regarded as an unhealthy & disreputable link to a road safety charity by many.
I have also noted that, as emissions and 'preventing the destruction of the planet' as well as 'getting people out of their cars' is nothing to do with Road Safety at all, these aims form part of a totally green agenda and are a political attack on driving. The inclusion of such statements in its aims is evidence that BRAKE may not be about road safety primarily but its policies would however be in line with a sympathetic green lobby group.
Do you think that you have given yourself enough time to consider all of my submission and its implications before so readily dismissing this very important matter?