Club chairman speaks out after council debate

SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

MAY I, through your columns make a couple of points from your report "Councillors grilled over stance on social club row”.

Langholm Social Club's trustees are lodging a defence against a writ sent by Legion Scotland
R Norris
Langholm Social Club's trustees are lodging a defence against a writ sent by Legion Scotland

For the record, having been permitted to address those present, it was evident they understood and supported the club's stance.

Concerns about the legality of penning their support was challenged because the club was not seeking financial or legal help so no obvious reason existed as to why they should not do so.

Sadly, we have been informed that, having taken legal advice, they have been prevented from doing so, despite the wholehearted voices of support at the meeting. They have been informed they cannot support one side against another.

I draw no conclusions at this precise time but am disappointed that a locally-recognised body cannot offer their collective support to a local group against a national group.

Secondly, we trustees very much take exception to the comments reported by Kevin Gray, chief executive officer, Legion Scotland, where he is quoted “We have presented a number of different options which we believe are reasonable, in good faith and would achieve the outcome we all want, to ensure the club’s continued use by the former members and wider community”.

This statement was questioned by our legal team and we were informed by Legion Scotland that the use of the wording was ‘unfortunate’.

Legion Scotland made two visits to the social club early in 2016 to try to resolve the matter. Subsequent written correspondence in two letters asked the trustees to vacate the premises and hand over the keys.

The current offer 'on the table’ is for the trustees to acknowledge that ownership lies with Legion Scotland. Any finances remaining after repairs to the roof and boiler are to be handed over to Legion Scotland as a contribution towards their legal costs in this matter.

Legion Scotland will then negotiate a lease, terms to be agreed, to the social club for continued use of the building. Needless to say, the terms of this offer are unacceptable.

Without any working capital the club would effectively have to close, notwithstanding that the ‘owners’ could sell the premises at any time or terminate the lease.

On June 6 the trustees received a 12-page court summons writ), in which Legion Scotland have applied to the court seeking the premises, property and accounts.

The trustees will lodge a defence and continue to do the best they can as far as reasonably practicable.

While Mr Gray may not want this issue to be discussed in the press, I consider we owe it to our members and the community to ensure we take all steps necessary to reflect the obstinate stance taken by Legion Scotland.

If you can help or wish to become involved, please contact any of the committee.

David Patterson

Chairman

Langholm Social Club

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 12:15PM
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