A charity managed by one of the Conservatives’ top parliamentary candidates is facing scrutiny by regulators after accounts indicated massively disproportionate back-office costs and a failure to account for nearly £16,000.
Shaun Bailey, the Tory candidate for Hammersmith, is the Managing Director of My Generation, apparently set up to “alleviate social and economic disadvantage”. The accounts for years ending 2007, 2008 and 2009 make grim reading for donors, whose money appears to be massively wasted on “management and administration” and “fundraising and publicity”:
It seems Bailey wouldn’t know voluntary sector best practice if it jumped up and said “marginal constituency”. CharityFacts was founded by Professor Adrian Sargeant of Bristol Business School and supported by the RSPCA, the NSPCC, Cancer Research UK and the British Red Cross:
We would normally have concerns about a charity spending more than 15% of its income on administration. Such charities we would ask to justify their level of expense. – CharityFacts
Fifteen percent, eh? My Generation’s 2007-2008 accounts show that nearly 19 in every 20 pounds spent that year under Bailey’s management was blown on back-office expenses and promotion (Bailey himself features heavily in their materials). The small blue segment at the top of the chart below designates “direct charitable expenditure”:
Having spent a mere 44% on administration in the last year for which accounts are available, Bailey might well claim that the charity has improved in this regard. However this is still way above what would be expected and, as a report by independent examiner’s report notes, there are ”£15,952 of payments without any supporting records”.
Scrapbook is not in the business of attacking charities for no reason but My Generation is absolutely integral to Brand Bailey. What’s the first sentence in his candidate biography?
While it may perform some good works, there is no doubt that this operation is a plank in a broader PR offensive by Conservative candidates. As The Times notes:
“Both [Joanne Cash and Shaun Bailey] are seen as pioneers of Mr Cameron’s plan to rebuild communities through self-help initiatives. The party claims its candidates have begun 150 such projects, although, when contacted, officials could cite only five.”
Blogger Ivan Pope has an excellent post on these charity-cum-political activities, written around the time Bailey was selected. In May 2007, our protagonist was bragging to the Guardian about his do-goodery. But digging done by Pope at this time indicate that that My Generation had no website and seemed only to have been discussed in the context of Shaun Bailey’s political career.
The company vehicle used for the charity had only been renamed from “The Policy Alliance” months before, around the time Bailey started jockeying for the Hammersmith selection. What a remarkable coincidence!
More to come on this one.
UPDATE 16:10 Just received the following from a reader who would rather remain anonymous: “I did an event with Bailey recently. It turned into him just promoting himself”!