Creation of charity by former Shrewsbury mayor due to 'gaps in services', says town council

The creation of a charity by a former mayor of Shrewsbury which led to a year-long investigation over fundraising was triggered by gaps in local services, the town council has said.

Jane Mackenzie
Jane Mackenzie

Councillor Jane Mackenzie initially planned to raise money for the Shropshire Recovery Partnership (SRP) during her tenure as mayor, but half way through formed her own charity.

This led to a complaint to the Fundraising Regulator due to ‘confusion’ as to where more than £20,000 was meant to be donated.

Shrewsbury Town Clerk, Helen Ball, said Councillor Mackenzie’s charity, Share Shrewsbury, was formed due to a lack of support provided by charities to people in need locally.

“Mayors of Shrewsbury have long since raised funds for charities and local organisations they have been passionate about,” she said.

“In the case of Councillor Mackenzie she witnessed first-hand the needs locally and the gaps in services offered and subsequently set up her own charity, Share Shrewsbury, to specifically support both people with addiction and their families on pathways to recovery.”

The Fundraising Regulator’s official report states that of the £21,799.03 fundraised during her year in office, £8,865.63 is set to be donated to Kaleidoscope, part of the SRP, and £12,933.40 will go to Share Shrewsbury.

Mrs Ball added: “Fundraising efforts during that mayoral year highlighted the need to formalise mayoral fundraising arrangements between the mayor and their chosen charities to ensure that the money raised locally is spent locally for the purpose the mayor intended.

“Both myself as town clerk and Councillor Mackenzie assisted in the Fundraising Regulator’s Investigation and in accordance with the recommendations in the report, mayors since have formal agreements for fundraising.”

Following the investigation, the fundraising watchdog declared it had ‘concerns’ over Councillor Mackenzie’s fundraising and she had not made her intentions ‘sufficiently clear’, but that she had not breached any standards.

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