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Lunch clubs under scrutiny at Bishop's Waltham Parish Council meeting
THE future of a care group in Bishop’s Waltham was the subject of debate at a recent parish council meeting.
The town’s lunch clubs, which are held at the Jubilee Hall and cater for the elderly, were awarded two grants of £1,000 each – one for the Thursday club, and one for the Monday club.
But whilst councillors voted unanimously to award the cash, some questioned the efficiency of a structure which sees three different clubs – on a Monday, a Tuesday, and a Wednesday – but each with separate accounts.
In May, councillors awarded the Tuesday lunch club a grant of £1,000 after Cllr Robert Shields warned the group’s accounts showed it “wouldn’t last a year”, and Mary Freemantle, a volunteer cook at the club, said the group had been forced to cut its hours in order to reduce rental costs.
But parish chair, Judy Marsh, said at Tuesday’s meeting the council could not afford to offer the club more favourable rates of hall hire than it already enjoyed.
The club, in its various forms, has been running for almost 40 years.
Cllr Barry Nicholson said: “We do have some responsibility to help these lunch clubs keep going because I know how valuable it was for my mother.
“But I would suggest the grants are awarded for both clubs on the proviso that they look at a review by an independent body with a view to making savings, otherwise the spirit in which we’re making these grants would have to be looked at again.”
Cllr Terry Wilson said: “We have three different clubs with three different ways of doing things and it’s time we got it sorted.”
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