Wednesday, March 3, 2010

To the membership of Blakeborough Social and Sports Club from the Blakeborough and Albion Bowling Club Committee

The following is on behalf of a friend of mine, a gentleman of the highest integrity.

Dear members,

On Friday afternoon 26th February a meeting took place between the members of the club (who still pretend they are the lawful committee) and a few of the bowling club members to try to resolve the present absurd situation which is damaging our club. Taylor and Allott still refuse to hand over the keys to the club and committee room to the new lawful committee despite having been responsible for the terrible mess the club is in and being replaced on 17th December.

You are no doubt already aware that there is a fraud investigation ongoing.

On Tuesday 9th February the District Judge at the County Court told Taylor and Allott that if the matter proceeded to a full trial they could find themselves (and not the club) personally liable for our costs, which he would expect to exceed £10,000. Our solicitors have now asked the court at Halifax to transfer the matter to the Chancery Division in Leeds, as we expect complex matters of trust law to be involved, which will no doubt increase legal expenses.

The Bowling Club membership wishes to separate from the Bradford Rd club. We have named Taylor and Allott in our court action to bring this about. We believe Taylor and Allott will lose when the case is heard by the Chancery Court for the following reasons:

The club rules require strict compliance to be lawful but the accounts are a shambles and audited accounts are long overdue. Loans have been taken out without telling all the membership. A charging order was made by Oxford County Court and registered by the creditor against the club’s deeds on 6th January 2010. There is a mountain of debt and the management of our club is incompetent. This is called “Breach of Trust” Anybody reading through the rule book will find that much of it has been completely ignored.

Some committee members are alleged to have been taking payments for work despite this being forbidden in the rules.

Even small bills are not being paid. The club owes many thousands of pounds and is insolvent and is arguably trading unlawfully.

We believe the former committee are incompetent and the club has no chance of sorting out the finances without professional guidance. We believe no-one in their right mind will lend to such a committee.

The meeting on 17th December elected a new committee and new trustees who have been unable to take possession of the club due to the refusal of the former committee and officers to hand over the keys and control. This may well mean that if, as seems likely, the court rules that the 17th December meeting was correctly convened, all the people who have held on to the club will be held liable for the losses incurred by the club since that date.

We believe that Taylor and Allott and co are not the lawful committee and therefore they cannot call for a vote without first petitioning the secretary with at least 20% of members calling for it. In any event their behaviour up to now makes it impossible for us to believe they can be trusted to conduct a fair ballot or election. Contrary to what they have been saying, the meeting they propose to hold will not resolve the matter: only a validly convened meeting properly held and attended will do so.

The Bowls Club land is protected by covenants on the deeds preventing development but the former committee told the bowlers that they are going to sell the bowling green for housing. That is the reason for our determination to fight to rid the club of these incompetent people.

Bowling club members who have tried to object to these silly plans have been written to (if scrawled hand printed “notes” can be called that) telling them they have been expelled or suspended without any of the proper procedures being observed. These notes are to be the subject of separate legal action.

One member who tried to distribute some information about the situation in the Bradford Rd club was assaulted and ejected from the club and abused in a most shameful way by Taylor and Allott and others on 10th January. Clearly the club cannot continue with 2 factions where such hostility is encouraged at committee level.

That is why the bowlers wish to split from the Bradford Rd club and have put forward a proposal for achieving this. This proposal may have to be decided by the courts in the fullness of time if we are unable to resolve the matter in a sensible and productive way without incurring needless legal expense.


Andy Speechley on behalf of the committee of Blakeborough and Albion Bowling Club March 2nd 2010

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