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The Corporation of London is planning to use up to£177m from a trust fund surplus for charitable services in the c...
The Corporation of London is planning to use up to £177m from a trust fund surplus for charitable services in the capital, The Independent on Sunday reports (12 December).

The newspaper says that critics describe the scheme, planned over the last two and a half years, as the latest example of secrecy by members of the country's most exclusive local authority.

Previously undisclosed negotiations with the Charity Commission are sid to centre around the Bridge Houses Estates trust fund, set up in the 15th century for the maintenance of London Bridge.

Its surplus, predicted to be £177m by the end of the decade, is accumulating so rapidly that the Corporation of London as trusteee is unable to spend the money fast enough.

The Independent reports a Corporation view that the trust is a separate private organisation and that there is no need or obligation to consult the public about the plans. Parliament is expected to give the Corporation of London permission to spend the surplus next month.

But George Allen, chairman of the City of London Environment and Amenity Trust, accuses the Corporation of ignoring normal democratic procedures in creating what could become one of the country's largest charities.

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