01:02AM, Wednesday 29 May 2013
The amount spent by the trusts has become a controversial issue in the last few days, after outgoing mayor Cllr Colin Rayner accused some of hanging on to their money and called on them to 'look into their hearts'.
This week Ann Redgrave, chairman of the trust Spoore, Merry and Rixman which for 350 years has helped young people under 25 in the Maidenhead area, said: "The problem has been that in the past we were only allowed by law to spend the interest on our capital. This was not a problem until the recent sale of land brought us in a lot of capital - but no money to spend because interest rates are so low."
The trust has donated about £300,000 in the last year. But Mrs Redgrave hopes changes in the law due to come into effect this October - allowing trusts to dip into capital - will free it to spend much more.
Mrs Redgrave said she hoped this would enable the trust to spend millions
Other trusts in the borough have reacted with surprise to Cllr Rayner's comment - although he did not specify any by name.
Kevin McGarry, trustee and secretary of the Prince Philip Trust Fund which contributed £80,000 to good causes across the Royal Borough in the last year, said: "Trustees always have to make judgements on the way they distribute the monies."
Eric Wiles - trustee of New Windsor Municipal Charities which run Ellison House almshouses in Windsor - said that the trust spent as much as was needed to keep its buildings to a 'very high standard' - £150,000 recently on improving the frontage of the building with a similar amount due to be spent soon renovating the back.
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