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ZeBedie
16th Oct 2016, 20:38
Reading this Last Jacobites standing in Battle of Culloden told to leave the battlefield by National Trust (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/16/last-jacobites-standing-in-battle-of-culloden-told-to-leave-the/) promts me to ask - are they not an awful, arrogant organisation?

I particularly dislike their way of implementing Gift Aid - instead of just giving some info and enabling them to claim an extra 25% against your income tax, they make you pay more, and then take the 25% WTF?

radeng
16th Oct 2016, 22:22
While almost at the other end of the country....

As it happened: West of England on Friday, 14 October 2016 - BBC News (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-bristol-37646433?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=5800a24fe4b02d6ccd558f2b%26Gloucestershire%20fam ily%20claim%20they%20were%20'duped'%20by%20National%20Trust% 26&ns_fee=0#post_5800a24fe4b02d6ccd558f2b)

jimtherev
16th Oct 2016, 22:22
I'm never one for attending AGMs of megaliths, but am seriously thinking of challenging NT about this. I have a membership, but will never buy anything from one of their shops because of this inexplicable policy, which seems to me is designed to deter me Gift Aiding them.

Tankertrashnav
16th Oct 2016, 23:09
Under the leadership of Dame Helen Ghosh, the NT has dropped any pretence of being a benevolent organisation, with the best interests of its members and the properties it is supposed to protect in mind. She is determined to run it on hard-headed business lines, without, of course having to put up with minor inconveniences like corporation tax, having to pay for all of their staff instead of having an army of unpaid volunteers etc, which "real" businesses have to contend with. Never mind the AGM, I think a long hard look by the charity commissioners is called for.

Union Jack
16th Oct 2016, 23:13
I am not a big fan of the National Trust does for much the same reason as TTN but, in fairness, it should be noted that the original post refers to an action by the National Trust for Scotland, a wholly separate organisation.:=

Jack

Tankertrashnav
16th Oct 2016, 23:22
True, but the story linked to post #2 does involve the National Trust in England and Wales.:=

;)

Allan Lupton
16th Oct 2016, 23:51
There was a very good article by Clive Aslet, former Editor of Country Life and a respected architectural historian, about the NT and consequences of its chief executive's attitude in The Times on Saturday a week ago. He made some of the points TTN makes in post 4 above, and also that the CEO seems to dislike the fact that the majority of the NT's prime properties owe their being to the priviledged existence of their original owners.
Sadly I can't link it as The Times is no longer available free on-line.

For years we Members have had an increasingly dumbed-down handbook where we are not told much about the properties and why we should visit them, but all the fringe activities for children and eating/shopping facilities are listed. We are also not told the prices so if we take our non-member friends/family we don't know what charge we are in for.

sitigeltfel
17th Oct 2016, 07:46
Reading this Last Jacobites standing in Battle of Culloden told to leave the battlefield by National Trust (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/16/last-jacobites-standing-in-battle-of-culloden-told-to-leave-the/) promts me to ask - are they not an awful, arrogant organisation?

I particularly dislike their way of implementing Gift Aid - instead of just giving some info and enabling them to claim an extra 25% against your income tax, they make you pay more, and then take the 25% WTF?

The CEO trousers (handbags) 185,000 pa plus expenses. The cash has to come from somewhere!

ExXB
17th Oct 2016, 09:45
I know a volunteer that works at one of their properties near Bristol. Apparently amongst that community there is almost universal dislike for their paid bosses.

They have begun to limit access and even days of openings due to the difficulty in retaining and recruiting volunteers.

Goose that lays the golden egg?

We haven't renewed our membership for 2016.

VP959
17th Oct 2016, 10:08
We've just come back from a short break where we visited a few NT properties. We've been members for years, but have been too busy over the past couple of years to visit anywhere until now.

We were both a bit taken aback by the changes, particularly the reduced number of volunteers and the increased emphasis on commercialism. Some of the latter "initiatives" were so poorly thought through as to be ludicrous. An example:

One place we visited was running a raffle to raise funds for much needed repairs to one particular feature. The volunteer running the ticket sales said that they could only accept cash for tickets, and that they couldn't be bought with a card or online. I was disappointed, as it seemed a worthwhile thing to support, but neither of us carried any cash.

At the next NT place we visited, we saw exactly the same raffle being advertised, but for a different project, one at that property. The posters and advertising were identical, with just the project name changed. I suspect that they have these raffles at all properties, and the reality is that it's just another way of raising general funds.

The problem was that no one seemed to be buying tickets, and the second volunteer we spoke to told us that they weren't having much luck selling tickets because so few people carried enough cash with them any more.

Presumably someone high up in the NT has initiated this campaign, but equally clearly it seems to be failing for the simple reason that the volunteers can only accept cash. Anyone visiting more than one NT property also couldn't help to notice that the "special" raffle wasn't special at all. It was advertised at every NT property we visited last week, each time for a supposedly different project.

ELondonPax
17th Oct 2016, 13:12
Thornthwaite Farm, Borrowdale, in the Lake District. The NT recently bought the land, outbidding local farmers at auction by 200,000. They did not buy the farmhouse, so there is no way this can continue as a hill farm, as the shepherd would have nowhere to live. NT has not published any detail of its plans, has not explained why it outbid locals (NT policy is supposedly only to bid where land/property is "under threat") and not answered letters from many concerned members. This has generated fury in the local area.

VP959
17th Oct 2016, 13:30
I believe the only realistic way that the NT can be changed is for the members to call an EGM with the intention of calling a vote of no confidence in the current salaried management team. Judging from some of the comments being made I suspect such a move might well attract sufficient support to be successful.

It seemed clear to us that there were more NT employees about, and far less volunteers, than either of us remember from past visits. There also seemed to be a degradation in things like the cafes at all the places we visited. Gone were all the locally home made dishes that made eating at an NT place so enjoyable, to be replaced by food and beverages that were over-priced facsimiles of the stuff you get at a motorway service area. Service was uniformly poor, too, perhaps because the staff weren't the slightest bit interested in providing a good service, or perhaps, because they were unhappy at having to serve such awful food.

Democritus
17th Oct 2016, 14:46
..........I particularly dislike their way of implementing Gift Aid - instead of just giving some info and enabling them to claim an extra 25% against your income tax, they make you pay more, and then take the 25% WTF?

It's a HMRC requirement that such organisations take a voluntary donation on top of the admission fee if the whole of it is to qualify for Gift Aid - either that or they have to offer 12 months free admission on subsequent visits. From HMRC website:

Entry fees to visit and view your charity property don’t qualify for Gift Aid because they are not a gift. But a voluntary donation that allows visitors to view your property may qualify for Gift Aid.

Donations qualify when they:


are 10% or more than the normal admission fee, or
allow admission for at least 12 months

One of my wife's nightmares is the annual palaver of her trying to submit Gift Aid claims to HMRC......

Examples : Eden Project goes down the 12 month free admission route. Montrose Air Station Heritage Centre uses the 10% on top route.

Ancient Observer
17th Oct 2016, 15:13
The Brit NT have been arrogant beyond belief for some time now.

They scream when anyone wants to build something..............yet the worst ever property development was built by them on their own land at Cliveden.

What a monstrous carbuncle it is!

If you have the misfortune to see it, it is the most puke-inducing development ever.

Just a bunch of thugs, the NT.

beeg0d
17th Oct 2016, 21:22
yet the worst ever property development was built by them on their own land at Cliveden

I disagree, the worst ever development is that nasty glass conservatory added to the back of the beautiful brick St Pancras station

rans6andrew
17th Oct 2016, 22:46
A few years ago, before the national foxhunting ban came about, the NT balloting the membership about allowing foxhunting to continue on their land. The overwhelming feeling among the members was to stop it. The NT, in their arrogance, chose to ignore the wishes of the members and claimed that they just wanted to understand the feelings of the members but that they didn't have any plans to change anything!!!!!!

We did not renew or memberships and have not knowingly visited any NT properties since, certainly none that require memberships or payment. There are plenty of other places to visit and things to do.

rab-k
17th Oct 2016, 23:11
So the NTS appears to have a bit of a problem with unofficial re-enactment types loitering about a site where on the face of it they could be easily mis-identified as being official NTS.

They could also be telling people a crock about the '45 so it is not surprising to see them ask the individuals concerned to bugger off.

If not, there'd be nothing to stop me donning a tricorn hat and red-coat before heading up to Culloden Muir next weekend to wander about telling people that my lowland-Scots Protestant ancestors were merely trying to stop a rag-tag bunch of Gaelic-speaking Catholic upstarts from deposing the legitimate monarch of Great Britain and Ireland.

Alternatively, I could tell Americans in particular that the war was a series of several which sought to control the trade in Tunnocks Caramel Wafers, patented by one John Paul Jones Sr of Castle Douglas in 1724.

NTS dead right in this case.

What is the "Brit NT" BTW? Never heard of it.

G-CPTN
17th Oct 2016, 23:48
What is the "Brit NT" BTW? Never heard of it.
National Trust (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Trust_for_Places_of_Historic_Interest_or_Natural_Be auty)

rab-k
18th Oct 2016, 00:53
Sorry, confused by the "Brit" bit.

NT (of E, W & NI) I have heard of.

Cheers.

Tankertrashnav
18th Oct 2016, 11:03
I take it you are a "North Briton" Rab.

;)

rab-k
19th Oct 2016, 13:12
North Briton or North British? I can never tell which is correct. Coming from the northern half of the island of Great Britain I suppose I'd be Northern British, as would someone from Cumbria or Co. Durham, much in the same way as someone from Co. Donegal could equally be described (geographically) as being Northern Irish.