Welsh recycling charity announces closure amid ongoing investigations

Cylch, the Welsh Community Recycling Network, has announced it will wind up its operations next month following financial difficulties and an impending investigation by the Charity Commission.

The Cardiff-based charity has faced problems since a number of allegations were made against it last year. This led to the Welsh Government, the main funder of the charity, undertaking an internal audit into concerns linked to the loss of charity funds and conflicts of interest.

Last December Cylch founder Mal Williams stepped down from his role as chief executive and was replaced by Richard Thomas as acting chief executive. It is thought one area of conflict related to Williams’ position as chair of Plastics Sorting.

A statement issued by the directors and trustees of Cylch detailed the reasons behind its decision, which will see all staff being made redundant as from September. In the meantime, the organisation has initiated its own internal inquiry.

The statement read: “It is very important that Cylch members, our sponsors and the wider public understand that the investigations into Cylch do not include any matters that are criminal in nature, any misappropriation of funds or inappropriate personal gain from Cylch’s activities or any of the companies or projects associated with Cylch.”

It continued: “The report of Cylch’s annual accounts for 2011-12 was published in May 2013 and highlighted some important issues, including regarding Cylch’s ability to continue as a going concern. In July 2013, the Charity Commission notified Cylch’s trustees that it is to open an investigation into the organisation.”

Following these events, the trustees felt that the organisation could not continue in its current form and expressed “deep regret” over the decision taken.

“Since Cylch was formed more than 15 years ago, it has been served loyally by many staff and volunteers. The trustees wish to thank all those who have worked for Cylch in the past and in particular to pass on our gratitude and best wishes to the members of staff who will finish in September,” the statement added.

No further comment will be made by Cylch trustees until the conclusion of the Charity Commission investigation.

Maxine Perella

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