Charity accused of ‘vested interests’ in running of village hall

Jubilee Hall in Loddon. Picture: Google.

Jubilee Hall in Loddon. Picture: Google. - Credit: Archant

Concerns about the management of a sports hall have sparked an emergency meeting after villagers made a string of allegations.

Loddon Parish Council has called an urgent meeting for the trustees of the charity which runs Jubilee Hall in Loddon for next week after members of the public packed out a room to air their concerns.

A parish council meeting in Loddon last month heard allegations that members of the hall's management committee have "vested interests" and are no longer running it for the community's benefit.

Members of the public alleged that there were "irregularities" in staff employment and the management of contracts, according to the minutes of the meeting.

They also claimed that some of the trustees and management committee appeared to give free use of the hall and facilities to their friends and family and the building needed to be repaired.

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They raised concerns about the impact on the football club of the hall's facilities being closed.

Members then debated if the parish council should take over management of the hall and if the case should be referred to watchdog, the Charity Commission.

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The minutes read: "Councillors expressed grave concern about the issues raised and noted it was a matter of urgency because of the loss of income, the impact on the Football Club and the general lack of availability of the facility to the community."

The council agreed to set up a group to investigate allegations made by the public and to hold an urgent meeting with the charity.

Chair of the parish council June Strickland said: "The parish council is concerned by the issues raised about management of the Jubilee Hall.

"It has called a meeting of the trustees and will be reporting back to the next meeting of the parish council scheduled for December 12."

In response the charity said that nobody was available for comment.

Its latest accounts for 2018 show it made a loss of £8,000 last year but still had £141,762 in funds.

The hall is used for a range of sports as well as community events and private parties.

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