Calne club’s lease ends after rent unpaid
3:00pm Thursday 24th April 2014 in By Anne Moore
Calne Town Council has terminated a lease given to Calne Recreation Club at The Pavilion on Anchor Road after losing out on unpaid rent since November 2012.
The club, which is on land owned by the town council, has been sent a legal letter by the authority’s policy and resources committee.
Town clerk Linda Roberts said the decision to end the lease had been difficult.
She said the council tried to support the club, giving it a rent reduction for 2011 to 2012, but now it owed just under £9,000.
She said: “It isn’t easy for a town council to be heavy handed but it’s a town council asset. It is unfair on the tax payers of Calne to continue to support financially what should not be a loss-making organisation.”
She said the council sympathised with the club’s financial difficulties but equally it had a duty to tax payers.
The club, run by a board of directors, is members-only and costs £7 to join.
It has a lounge, a function hall for hire, a pool table, jukebox, and skittle alley, and is the home of Calne RFC and Calne Bowls Club.
In May 2013 Calne Town Council sent the club a letter asking if it would like to continue with its rent reduction, but received no reply.
Mrs Roberts said: “It’s a shame because if they were straight with us perhaps we could work together, but they don’t want to correspond with us even though we have tried really hard. The town council doesn’t believe the rent to be onerous. I’m sure the town council would have considered a reduction for longer if they had provided information we asked for.”
She said the council would honour any bookings the club had made and promised sporting clubs would not be adversely affected.
Town councillor David Conway, who is chairman of the youth team at Calne RFC, said: “We’re members of the club, we use the facilities, but it’s not our rent issue. It’s a difficult one because unfortunately if you don’t pay your rent eventually action has to be taken, but it’s sad it has come to that.”
Despite several attempts, no-one from the club replied to the Gazette’s requests for a comment from its directors.
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