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THE Good Neighbours Club, which meets at the retirement home, Rowley Place, has decided to disband following disagreements with their landlord, Selwood Housing.
The news comes after a number of resignations from the club’s committee, including the club’s facilitator Nick Galpin, and chair Tanya Ward.
On behalf of the club, club secretary, Jon Crook, said, “Following the announcement by Nick Galpin, the club’s facilitator, that he wished to stand down from his role at the end of August, partly for health reasons but mainly because of his frustration with the club’s landlords Selwood Housing, and a similar statement from the chair, a meeting was urgently arranged (at Selwood’s request) between club representatives and representatives of Selwood Housing to discuss the frustrations being felt by the club’s organisers.
“At this meeting Selwood admitted that they were fully aware of the frustrations and the causes behind them, but that whilst steps are likely to be taken in the future which would help, they were unable to offer any solutions that could improve the situation in the short term.
“As a result, a meeting of the club’s committee was held on Friday 26th July at which the chair and all other members of the committee indicated they wished to stand down following this meeting.
“It was with deep regret therefore that the committee unanimously agreed to recommend to the members at their next together on Wednesday 31st July that the club is disbanded on 30th August. It was also agreed to recommend that a sum of £288, be set aside to cover lottery entries until the end of the calendar year and that the remaining funds at 30th August, be shared equally by the current membership.”
In response a Selwood Housing spokesperson told Melksham News, “Selwood Housing has provided a free meeting space for the Good Neighbours Club for a number of years, through the use of the communal area at Rowley Place. As a social landlord, we are responsible for managing the Rowley Place building.
“The Good Neighbours Club is an independent group and the majority of members are not Selwood Housing residents. We are not responsible for the running of the club. However, when we were made aware of concerns about the booking and use of the communal area, we did make some adjustments to support all parties. This included speaking with each of our Rowley Place residents, setting up a booking system and installing CCTV to monitor communal area use.
“The decision to disband the Good Neighbours Club has been taken by the club itself, not by Selwood Housing. As a housing association we are already looking at how we best manage the use of our communal spaces across all of our sheltered housing properties, which will include meeting hire. This work will take time, as part of a wider investment we are making into sheltered housing.”