THE Friends of the Victoria Hall are to push ahead with a new legal challenge to the sell-off of Ealing’s Victoria Hall by the council.  

A Charity Tribunal hearing has now been scheduled to take place between December 2021 and June 2022. 

Roger Green, Chair of FoVH, said: ‘We’ve tried repeatedly to engage with the Charity Commission about these issues and why the council’s proposals should be refused, but to no avail.

“It’s a shame it’s come to this, especially at a time when there are much better things such large sums of money could be spent on.’  

The Victoria Hall, the Princes Hall and a number of other rooms in Ealing’s Grade II-listed town hall belong to a charitable trust whose beneficiaries are the people of Ealing.

For this reason, the council needed the permission of the Charity Commission to alter the terms of the trust in order to dispose of its property as part of a deal with hotel developer Mastcraft. 

FoVH decided to take the expensive step to go before the tribunal following the Charity Commission’s decision in March to allow Ealing’s deal with Mastcraft to go ahead.  

Mr Green explained: “We’re challenging the Charity Commission as they’re supposed to represent the beneficiaries of charities and charitable trusts, like this one, and not the interests of powerful local politicians and commercial organisations.

“By approving this shoddy deal, they have let the people of Ealing down.’ 

FoVH is taking legal advice from Bates Wells Braithwaite, City solicitors with a strong background in charity law.  

Mr Green added: ‘High-quality legal advice is expensive, and we’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who has contributed to the £70,000 we’ve had to raise so far. 

“It’s not over yet, so contributions are still welcome on our crowdfunding page.”