Under-threat social club backed by MSP


LANGHOLM social club, which is under threat of closure as a result of legal action being taken by Legion Scotland, is being supported by an MSP.

Langholm Social Club is being supported by Joan McAlpine, South of Scotland MSP
Rachel Norris
Langholm Social Club is being supported by Joan McAlpine, South of Scotland MSP

Joan McAlpine, South of Scotland MSP, wrote to Kevin Gray, the chief executive of Legion Scotland, to express her concern about the threat to what was a thriving club.

She has asked the organisation to withdraw the writs against the club's trustees until further negotiation has taken place.

She said: "I understand Legion Scotland is seeking possession of the property, from which the club operates.

"Forcing the club to close and cease operations would have a negative and widespread impact on the community, hence the level of my concern.

"The club is run by retired servicemen, your former members. It is cherished by my constituents and vital to so much social activity - hosting celebrations like birthday parties, quiz nights, live music, carpet bowling, Scottish dancing, accordion and fiddle club and bingo."

She understood that the social club and Langholm branch of Legion Scotland ran side by side under a single committee structure until 2007 when the branch became a charity and formed their own committee.

The club was required to run separately from the branch because they could not be charities because of the sale of excisable liquor.

Social clubs were a separate business and run solely by the club trustees who were wholly responsible for its operations with no liability levied towards the branch, area HQ and national HQ. Despite this, the social club continued to support the aims of Legion Scotland as well as other events in the community.

Ms McAlpine said: "I'm advised the Land Registry says the property belongs to the club's trustees and copies of all title deeds, constitutions and by-laws for premises were forwarded to Legion headquarters in 2008 and these copies should now be retained in Haig House.

"The club is self-supporting, pays the staff and bills and was refurbishing the premises. It's always been liable for the building's upkeep and responsible for paying staff and utility bills.

"I would be delighted to host talks should you be amenable to withdraw the legal writs and negotiate with your former members."

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 11:20AM
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