Co-operatives and Community Benefit Societies Act 2003

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2003 c. 15


Co-operatives and Community BenefitSocieties Act 2003

2003 CHAPTER 15

An Act to enable the law relating to co-operatives and community benefit societies registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 to be amended so as to bring it into conformity with certain aspects of the law relating to companies; to permit a registered society whose business is conducted for the benefit of the community to provide that its assets are dedicated permanently for that purpose; and for connected purposes.

[10th July 2003]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Community benefit societies: power to restrict use of assets

1 Community benefit societies: power to restrict use of assets

1 Community benefit societies: power to restrict use of assets

(1) The Treasury may by regulations make provision for enabling any community benefit society, or any community benefit society of a prescribed kind, to ensure that—

(a) assets of the society of a prescribed kind,

(b) assets of the society specified by it in accordance with the regulations, or

(c) all of the society's assets,

cannot be used or dealt with except in a case mentioned in subsection (2).

(2) The cases are—

(a) where the use or dealing is, directly or indirectly, for a purpose that is for the benefit of the community and is of a prescribed kind or, if no kinds of purpose are prescribed under this paragraph, for any purpose that is for the benefit of the community; or

(b) where the circumstances are such as may be prescribed.

(3) Where under the regulations a society has ensured as mentioned in subsection (1) as respects any of its assets, the assets concerned are ‘dedicated assets’ for the purposes of this section.

(4) Regulations under this section may, in particular—

(a) provide for the procedure by which a society may ensure as mentioned in subsection (1);

(b) provide for such of a society's rules as are of a prescribed kind to be unalterable, or for them to be alterable only in prescribed circumstances or in circumstances specified in rules of a prescribed kind;

(c) provide that, in any circumstances prescribed under subsection (2)(b), dedicated assets must be dealt with in a prescribed way;

(d) make provision for ensuring that any society, company or other person to whom any dedicated assets are transferred in prescribed circumstances cannot use or deal with those assets except in a case mentioned in subsection (2);

(e) provide for members of a society who lose property rights as a result of the society's ensuring as mentioned in subsection (1) to be compensated for that loss (whether by payment of a prescribed amount or of an amount determined in a prescribed way or otherwise), subject to such exceptions as may be prescribed;

(f) provide for the enforcement of provisions designed to ensure as mentioned in subsection (1);

(g) make provision for the carrying out of investigations by persons appointed by a prescribed person;

(h) confer power on a prescribed person to require persons of a prescribed description to provide him with information in order to enable or assist him to perform any of his functions under the regulations;

(i) provide for restrictions on the use and disclosure of information obtained by any person in the performance of any function under the regulations.

(5) Regulations under this section may—

(a) impose criminal liability;

(b) confer functions on a prescribed person;

(c) confer jurisdiction on any court;

(d) authorise a prescribed person to make rules, binding on persons of a prescribed description, for the purpose of enabling or assisting him to perform any of his functions under the regulations;

(e) make provision as to the making, publication and enforcement of such rules;

(f) provide for a prescribed person to charge fees sufficient to meet the costs of performing any of his functions under the regulations;

(g) modify, exclude or apply (with or without modifications) any enactment or rule of law;

(h) contain such incidental, consequential and supplemental provision as the Treasury consider appropriate;

(i) make different provision for different cases.

(6) Regulations under this section may not create any new criminal offence punishable with imprisonment for more than seven years.

(7) The power to make regulations under this section is exercisable by statutory instrument.

(8) No regulations may be made under this section unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.

(9) In this section—

‘community benefit society’ means a society registered (or deemed to be registered) under the 1965 Act which fulfils the condition in section 1(2)(b) of that Act;

‘enactment’ includes an enactment comprised in—

(a) an Act of the Scottish Parliament;

(b) subordinate legislation, whether made under an Act or an Act of the Scottish Parliament; and

‘prescribed’ means prescribed by regulations under this section.

S-2 Status of charitable societies to appear on correspondence etc

2 Status of charitable societies to appear on correspondence etc

2 Status of charitable societies to appear on correspondence etc

After section 5 of the 1965 Act insert—

S-5A

5A

‘5A Status of charitable societies to appear on correspondence etc

(1) Where a registered society is a charity and its registered name does not include the word ‘charity’ or the word ‘charitable’, the society must state the fact that it is a charity in legible characters—

(a) in all notices, advertisements and other official publications of the society;

(b) in all business letters of the society;

(c) in all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or goods, purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the society;

(d) in all bills, invoices, receipts and letters of credit of the society; and

(e) in all conveyances purporting to be executed by or on behalf of the society.

(2) Where a society's registered name includes the words ‘elusen’ or the word ‘elusennol’, subsection (1) of this section shall not apply in relation to any document which is wholly in Welsh.

(3) The statement required by subsection (1) of this section shall be in English, except that, in the case of a document which is otherwise wholly in Welsh, the statement may be in Welsh if it consists of or includes the word ‘elusen’ or the word ‘elusennol’.

(4) Section 62 of this Act does not apply in respect of an offence committed by a registered society under section 61 of this Act where the offence consists of a failure to comply with this section.

(5) Any officer of a registered society, or any other person acting on such a society's behalf, who—

(a) issues or authorises the issue of any document such as is mentioned in subsection (1)(a), (b) or (d) of this section;

(b) signs or authorises to be signed on behalf of the society any document such as is mentioned in subsection (1)(c) of this section; or

(c) executes or authorises to be executed on behalf of the society any document such as is mentioned in subsection (1)(e) of this section,

in which a statement required by subsection (1) is not made in accordance with this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

(6) In the case of a conviction by virtue of paragraph (b) of subsection (5) of this section, the officer or other person shall further be personally liable to the holder of any such document as is referred to in that paragraph for the amount specified in the document unless that amount is duly paid by the society.

(7) In this section ‘charity’—

(a) in relation to a society whose registered office is situated in England or Wales, has the same meaning as in the Charities Act 1993;

(b) in relation to a society whose registered office is situated in Scotland, means a body established for charitable purposes only (that expression having the same meaning as in the Income Tax Acts);

(c) in relation to a society whose registered office is situated in one of the Channel Islands, means a society established for charitable purposes only (‘charitable purposes’ having the meaning given by the law of the Island in question).

(8) In this section ‘conveyance’ means any document for the creation, transfer, variation or extinction of an interest in land.

(9) In subsection (5)(c) of this section the references to execution include—

(a) purported execution; and

(b) the doing of any act which (though not by itself execution) combined with other acts constitutes execution or purported execution.’

S-3 Capacity of society and power of committee to bind it

3 Capacity of society and power of committee to bind it

3 Capacity of society and power of committee to bind it

After section 7 of the 1965 Act insert—

Capacity of society and power of committee to bind it

‘Capacity of society and power of committee to bind it

S-7A

7A

7A Capacity of society not limited by its rules

(1) The validity of an act done by a registered society shall not be called into question on the ground of lack of capacity by reason of anything in the society's registered rules.

(2) A member of a registered society may bring proceedings to restrain the doing of an act which but for subsection (1) of this section would be beyond the...

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