December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 18, 2013
Norwich members of the Royal British Legion have given their overwhelming backing for plans to form a charitable trust to save their Jubilee Hall.
The Aylsham Road club is threatened with closure in the new year because Legion bosses have decided keeping it open would pose an “unacceptable risk” to charitable funds.
More than 50 people attended a public meeting at the Jubilee Hall last night to hear details of businessman Martin Wyatt’s plans to lease the club from the Legion, through a charitable trust.
Norwich North MP Chloe Smith attended the meeting and was handed a petition of over 600 signatures asking for the Jubilee Hall to be saved. Miss Smith has secured a parliamentary debate about the work of the Legion in Norwich at Westminster Hall at 4pm next Wednesday and is also due to meet with the charity’s director general.
She said: “I’m here tonight to throw my weight fully behind the proposal put to you.
“Our main aim is to get people to say yes to Martin’s generous offer for this branch and this community.”
Miss Smith also appealed for campaigners to remember the good work of the Legion, particularly ahead of 100-year memorial events for the start of the first world war in 2014.
Acting branch chairman Mark Read gave an emotional speech about the efforts to save the club and said there are already 562 bookings scheduled up to September 2014, if the club is saved.
A vote in support of the charitable trust plans was held, with almost everyone in attendance showing their support.
Mr Wyatt said negotiations over rent could be the sticking point, but emphasised: “We do not want the hall to close.”