Former chair calls for legal advice on Storas Uibhist rule change

Storas Uibhist should demonstrate to members they have sought and obtained legal advice on changes to their Articles of Association, former chairman John MacMillan has said this week.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 10:48 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 12:21 pm
Ballot papers are due to be sent out from next Monday in advance of the agm

The Storas board has told members that the Articles of Association have been changed in a way which, they subsequently confirmed, would mean the current chair, Mary Schmoller, avoiding the need to stand for re-election at the forthcoming annual general meeting.

Darren Taylor, Storas’s chief executive, confirmed last week that “the Articles of Association state any changes should be approved by members” but claimed the course of action adopted by the current directors is justified in order to avoid the expense of holding an Extraordinary General Meeting to seek approval.

The manoeuvre has already been challenged by a former director, Stephen MacAulay, who said that requiring the membership’s consent to what he regarded as a “substantially flawed” change to the organisation’s governing rules “is absolutely fundamental to the principles of a community company”

Now, John MacMillan – who served as director, vice-chair and chairman of Storas - said: “On the face of it, it is simply not possible for the Storas board to change the rules which, by their own admission, requires membership approval and then proceed on the basis of assuming that approval has been given.

“If they have taken legal advice which shows that this approach is in order, then so be it. However, if it is not legally correct then everything that flows from it – including the election of directors – will be flawed and open to subsequent challenge and financial risk.

“It is not enough for the current directors or their chief executive to assert that they are entitled to do what they are doing. It is entirely reasonable to ask them to produce the legal advice on which their actions are based”.

Meanwhile, four candidates have put themselves forward for election to fill the place available on the board under the new rules. They are Norman MacAskill who is seeking re-election, along with Agnes Dehu, Gilbert MacInnes and Kevin Morrison.

Statements from candidates can be found on the web-site of Am Paipear. Ballot papers are due to be sent out in advance of the agm by which tim e it is hoped th e validity of the whole proc ess will have been resolved.