Call for an Inquiry into AVOW following Tribunal’s findings

BBC Radio Wales has reported this morning, 6 September, that Mark Isherwood AM is calling for an Inquiry into AVOW following the Tribunal’s damning criticism of both officers and Trustees. Having previously announced that it would be able to issue a statement on Tuesday 30 August, AVOW is now refusing to comment and is apparently considering an appeal.

There is also now a report on the BBC News website, with quotes from Mark Isherwood, the Welsh Government and a local volunteer with a disabled charity, Frank Lloyd.

Mark Isherwood:

“The findings of the tribunal are shocking. They raise major concerns around the way the organisation has been managed, the way it operates, the management of resources, the management of the people and more broadly the role it plays in the wider community.

“I want a full inquiry in public into the findings [of the tribunal] in the context of the good governance of AVOW.”

Welsh Government:

A Welsh Government spokesperson said while the issue is “primarily an operational matter” officials have spoken to Avow and will be writing to its board to ask for an “update on the actions they propose to take in response to this ruling”.

This is a slight improvement on the Welsh Government’s previous position:

“The issue referred to is an operational matter for Avow and it would not be appropriate for the Welsh Government to comment.”

Frank Lloyd, a volunteer with a local charity for the disabled:

“I am sure many funders are now considering their options with AVOW as a distributor of funding.

“It is also my opinion Wrexham charities may well be the loser if these major funders pull the plug on AVOW as its distributor of funding on their behalf.”

Mervyn Rosenberg said yesterday to the BBC:

As AVOW is constrained from making any statement about this tribunal because our HR advisers and insurers are taking counsel on the possibility of an appeal, we are unable to comment on your interview with Mark Isherwood AM.

Although the written reasons for the Judgment were only sent to the parties on 19 August 2011, Chief Officer John Gallanders has been well aware of the Tribunal’s findings and its damning criticism for months. These were spelt out in a lengthy and highly critical verbal Judgment issued on the last day of the Tribunal Hearing on 14 March 2011. The ruling given at that time condemned the behaviour of both the Chief Officer and the Trustees in much the same terms as contained in the written reasons.

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