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Legal row erupts between community centre and its social club

PUBLISHED: 09:19 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:19 09 July 2020

A typical Saturday night at Caister Social Club before lockdown was announced. Moya Pateman, who has worked behind the bar for years, said what 'makes the club so special' is that members who don't know each other 'soon will' after attending one of their many weekly and annual events. Photo: Moya Pateman

A typical Saturday night at Caister Social Club before lockdown was announced. Moya Pateman, who has worked behind the bar for years, said what 'makes the club so special' is that members who don't know each other 'soon will' after attending one of their many weekly and annual events. Photo: Moya Pateman

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A legal claim has been brought against a social club by the community centre which hosts it following claims the former is “insolvent” and must disband.

Caister Community Centre, on Beach Road, Caister, has become the site of a new legal row between the centre and its trading subsidary - the Caister Social Club.  Picture: James Bass PhotographyCaister Community Centre, on Beach Road, Caister, has become the site of a new legal row between the centre and its trading subsidary - the Caister Social Club. Picture: James Bass Photography

Caister-on-Sea Community Association (CCA) was established 32 years ago by villagers who wanted to repurpose a local infant’s school for community use.

Caister Social Club was formed shortly after as a way of generating income, operating as a separate entity.

But following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the CCA has declared the social club “insolvent”.

Now, a legal claim has been brought by the CCA against the club - ordering them to vacate the premises and pay outstanding fees.

The site of the Caister Social Club at the main bar area at Caister Community Centre on Beach Road. The Social Club have been ordered to vacate the premises or face civil prosecution. Picture: James Bass PhotographyThe site of the Caister Social Club at the main bar area at Caister Community Centre on Beach Road. The Social Club have been ordered to vacate the premises or face civil prosecution. Picture: James Bass Photography

In a statement released by the CCA on Facebook, it claimed the pandemic has presented it with a predicted drop in income, and that the nature of the social club meant future attendance would likely decline.

It said: “The CCA can’t justify propping up a company whose purpose is for income generation, when it’s not predicted to generate any income.”

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But chairman of Caister Social Club, Ray Banwell, “wholeheartedly disputes” the statements made by the CCA and said its claims of insolvency were not true.

A summer barbeque held at Caister Social Club. Photo: Moya PatemanA summer barbeque held at Caister Social Club. Photo: Moya Pateman

He said: “There’s no denying the pandemic has hit the club, but we’re keen to re-open and bring back members to help kickstart trade.

“We are a thriving local club and a key part of the community.”

Mr Banwell said there was a split among members of the CCA, with some even launching a Crowdfunder to raise money for the social club’s appeal.

The Crowdfunder has reached nearly £3,000 in the space of a week.

Caister-on-Sea Social Club gathering for their Christmas event. Photo: Moya PatemanCaister-on-Sea Social Club gathering for their Christmas event. Photo: Moya Pateman

CCA was approached for comment, but redirected us to the Charity Commission.

A spokeswoman for the commission said: “We can confirm that the Caister Community Association has reported a serious incident to us, relating to the charity’s relationship with the social club, and a dispute among trustees about the future of the club.

“We have provided advice to the trustees on trading, and on managing disputes. It is now for them to resolve the matter.”

According to Mr Banwell, as far as the social club is concerned, the “resolution” is taking place this Friday at a special general meeting, requested by members, to discuss the issue and to elect new trustee members that will make up the number shortfall in the current committee.


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