Statement from Chairman of Chatham Maritime Trust – 27th March 2018

In response to the vitriolic comments made about SMIRA and its representatives on social media by a minority group, I would like to place on record Chatham Maritime Trust’s full support for SMIRA and its representatives for the hard work that they do on a voluntary basis for the community of St. Mary’s Island. As an organisation SMIRA makes an important and valued contribution to the overall management of St. Mary’s Island and it is a great shame that some residents fail to acknowledge and appreciate the great work that they do and what they have achieved.

The Trustees of Chatham Maritime Trust do not condone the destructive actions of this small unrepresented group of residents and give their full backing to SMIRA.

Chatham Maritime Trust is keen to engage with all residents in a positive and respectful manner; if anyone has an issue that they would like to discuss then the team at the Trust office is happy to enter into conversation.

Chatham Maritime Trust is transparent in the day to day management of the organisation and responds to the comments made regarding the dissolution of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd as follows:

From 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2013, Chatham Maritime Trust carried out it estate management operations through its wholly owned operating subsidiary Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd. This is normal practice for charities to set up trading companies.

In 2012 the Trust’s accounting advisors Reeves & Co LLP and legal advisors Vertex Law LLP advised the Trustees that there were no financial or legal advantages in continuing to separate the Trust’s charitable and estate management activities in this way. Therefore, the Trustees unanimously decided to cease the operations of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd at the end of the financial year on 31 March 2013. At this date all the trade and assets of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd were transferred to Chatham Maritime Trust.

Since 1 April 2013 until its dissolution on 20 March 2018, Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd continued to exist as a dormant company with no assets. It was kept as a dormant company in order to retain the name of the company in case it was useful to the Trust in the future.

In July 2017 the Trust’s current accounting advisors MHA MacIntyre Hudson pointed out that additional time and costs were being incurred every year, albeit relativity small, in producing the Chatham Maritime Trust Trustees’ Report and Accounts, due to the need to consolidate with the accounts of Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd, even though it is dormant. They recommended that Chatham Maritime Estate Ltd be dissolved and as the Trustees did not have any plans to bring the company back into operation, their recommendation was accepted and, on 28 July 2017, the Board unanimously agreed to dissolve Chatham Maritime Estate.

Following completion of the dormant company accounts for the year ending 31 March 2017, a Striking Off application was submitted to Companies House in December 2017. On 2 January 2018 Companies House posted the First Gazette notice in the London Gazette, giving notice that the company would be dissolved in two months if there were no objections. Subsequently the company was dissolved and the Final Gazette notice published on 20 March 2018.

Andrew Mackness
27th March 2018

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