Councillor calls for Kiltwalk investigation

The Kiltwalk has raised over �2.4 million for charitable children's causes in Scotland in the last three years
The Kiltwalk has raised over �2.4 million for charitable children's causes in Scotland in the last three years
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A Fife councillor has called for Kiltwalk to be investigated after accounts revealed just half of its proceeds were going to good causes.

The move by Cllr Ally Hunter comes after four charities, including Aberlour Childcare Trust, pulled out as official partners of the hugely popular sponsored walks.

Accounts filed for 2013 show Kiltwalk drew an income of £1.6m, of which £780,000 was spent on running costs.

Cllr Hunter, who founded Kiltwalk in 2010 as former chairman of the Tartan Army Children’s Charity (TACC), branded the cost “appalling.”

He said: “If Kiltwalkers are happy to raise £10, knowing £5 will go to charity then I’m happy for them and they are to be commended for taking part.

“But there’s something fundmentally wrong in that organisation if event costs are 50 per cent of their takings.”

“If you have high-paid executives on annual salaries of £60-70,000 you expect on the back of that for them to be performing well.

“At Moonwalk, a comparable event, 80 per cent of proceeds go to charity. Fifty per cent is ridiculous.”

In recent weeks CLIC Sargent, Cash for Kids, Aberlour and Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Friends Foundation withdrew as official partners.

An Aberlour spokesman said: “We did share concerns about the levels of income being distributed to charitable causes, and these concerns were raised with the Kiltwalk at the time of our decision to withdraw from the partnership.”

there’s something fundmentally wrong in that organisation if event costs are 50 per cent of their takings

Cllr Ally Hunter

In response, Kiltwalk said costs had been inflated by a re-structuring of the organisation due to the event’s rapid growth from just 800 walkers in 2011 to 12,000 last year.

A spokesman added: “All our charity partners enter into an agreement as to how many walkers the charity would provide for The Kiltwalk. Unfortunately, the failure to meet targets by some of the charities was reflected in the grant they ended up receiving.”

Charities regulator OSCR said: “In general, it’s worth noting the charity sector is very diverse and some charities will cost more to run than others. Where we do identify an apparent cause for concern, we will contact charities and consider appropriate action.”

The spokesman added: “We have changed our funding model for 2015, which means 17 charities will benefit from our six events – considerably more than our six partners across five events last year. We hope this new model will allow the money raised by The Kiltwalk to be spread more evenly.”

Although criticism has been levelled at Kiltwalk, there is no set figure or percentage of how much a charity can spend from its income on running costs.