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Captain Tom Foundation stops donations as further controversy hits charity

This news post is 9 months old

Council takes retrospective action

Donations have been halted by the Captain Tom Foundation after the troubled charity was ordered to demolish a building paid for by public donations.

Central Bedfordshire council said a retrospective planning application on land owned by Captain Tom’s daughter had been refused and an enforcement notice issued requiring the demolition of the “now-unauthorised building” containing a spa pool.

Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, Colin, applied in 2021 for permission to build a Captain Tom Foundation Building in the grounds of their home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

It was approved to be used partly in connection with the Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives.

A subsequent retrospective application in 2022, for a larger C-shaped building containing a spa pool, was refused by the planning authority.

In supporting documents, it was described as “a new building for use by the occupiers” of the home of the Ingram-Moores. In a design and access and heritage statement, it was referred to as The Captain Tom Building.

The foundation is currently facing a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission over concerns about the charity's management and independence from the late veteran's family.

A council spokesperson said: "An enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the now-unauthorised building was issued and this is now subject to an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate."

Capt Sir Tom, who was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, died in 2021 aged 100.

The Army veteran was taken into the nation's hearts when he walked 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden at the start of the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

His efforts raised nearly £39m for NHS Charities Together which is a seperate entity and not connected to the Captain Tom Foundation.

A statement on the foundation's site said: "At this moment in time, the sole focus of The Captain Tom Foundation is to ensure that it cooperates fully with the ongoing Statutory Inquiry by the Charity Commission.

"As a result, The Captain Tom Foundation is not presently actively seeking any funding from donors.

"Accordingly, we have also taken the decision to close all payment channels whilst the Statutory Inquiry remains open."

The charity said it would be in a "better position" to "make a decision in relation to its future" once it had received the findings of the inquiry.