13 March 2002
A statement BY lord cadogan on the Local Government Act 2000
Lord Cadogan, President of the Board of General Purposes, in a statement referred to the Local Government Act 2000, particularly for those in the Craft who are elected members of local authorities, health, fire and similar committees of such - but not employees.
The President said they were all affected by the provisions of the Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order 2001, made under the Act, which came into force on 27 November 2001. The list of such authorities is set out in the Order, and there is a seperate Order that contains a similar code of conduct for parish councillors. Under the code, any such elected or co-opted member must register with the authority's monitoring office his (or her) membership of, or position of general control or management in, any charity or body directed to charitable purposes.
Lord Cadodan said the Board had obtained an Opinion from Miss Helen Mountfield, one of the Counsel in the successful action of Grand Lodge against the Ministry of Defence last year.
He added: 'She has confirmed that all members of Grand Lodge, i.e., Grand Officers, Installed Masters and current Wardens of Lodges must, as members of the Grand Charity, declare their membership of the Grand Charity to their monitoring officer.
'Likewise, brethen who are patrons of the Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys and/or members of the New Masonic Samaritan Fund, will have to declare that they are either members of, or are directed to their management.
'The code will cover anyone who is a member of any national or local charity, and it is not restricted specifically to Masonic charities.' Lord Cadogan added: 'The Board was concerned that it might be argued that all Masons are members of a body directed to charitable purposes.
'Those of our members who are bound by the code need not declare that they are Freemasons, even though they are obliged to declare their position - if any - in the management or membership of a Masonic, or indeed other charity.
'This may have repercussions on proposals that the Council of the Grand Charity have in mind to widen the membership of the Grand Charity to all Freemasons.'