In this column in the Autumn issue, it was argued that as the celebratory year of 2019 - the quater centenary of the Alleyn Foundation approaches, the distribution of income from the Dulwich Estate to its beneficiaries is completely at odds with the apparent wish of the Founder, Edward Alleyn.

It was suggested that the Trustees of the Dulwich Estate should carefully examine the present unfair distribution of income and for the eleemosynary branch of the Foundation to have a greater share of the Estate’s wealth in order to expand in the field of care for the aged at a time when the need for this is greater than ever.

This argument has created considerable interest and the Estate’s Trustees letter of response will be found on page 9. The letter points out that the trustees are bound by the current scheme and while some individual members might be in sympathy with the current imbalance, they are powerless as a body to act..

This may well have been the same Catch 22 situation their predecessors found themselves in, in say 1995, or in any of the amended Schemes back to 1882. Therefore it was likely that it was opinion outside of the Board which brought the attention of the Charity Commission to the question of reform.

The Dulwich Society considers that there is sufficient interest in a proposal to reform the current distribution of income from the Dulwich Estate in a way that reflects the original wish of the Founder and the current needs of society.

Accordingly, it has arranged a Debate on the proposal on Tuesday 16th January 2018 at St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village at 8.15pm The Debate will be conducted along the lines of the Oxford Union debates with two speakers each, for and against the proposal, with an opportunity for speakers from the floor to add their views. At the end of the debate there will be a vote. If there is a majority in favour of the proposal, then the Dulwich Society will approach the Charity Commission to request that it considers reform to the present Scheme.

Jane Onslow, a retired lawyer and former Chair of the Trustees of the Dulwich Estate and organiser of the St Barnabas Older People’s group has kindly agreed to chair the debate. Sir David Beamish, formerly Clerk of the Parliaments has kindly agreed to be the Administrator, responsible for the order of contributions from the floor and the management of the vote. Steph Harland, CEO of Age Concern, will speak for the proposal and confirmation is awaited from the other speakers.

Because of the limits on the capacity of the hall, the debate will be ticketed. Tickets will be free but should be applied for in advance, either through Eventbrite (to apply search “Dulwich Society” on www.eventbrite.co.uk.) or by obtaining a ticket from The Art Stationers, 31 Dulwich Village SE21 7BN. Any remaining tickets will be available at the door

Debate on the proposal to reform the distribution of income of the Dulwich Estate - Tuesday 16th January 2018 St Barnabas Parish Hall, Dulwich Village 8.15pm

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The Dulwich Society - Registered under the Charities Act 1960, Number 234192

The Society’s aims and objectives are to foster and safeguard the amenities of Dulwich, both in the interests of its residents and the wider local community of which it is a part, and to increase awareness of the varied character that makes the area so special.

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