Bournemouth EchoVictory of Corfe Mullen residents as gym is to stay (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Victory of Corfe Mullen residents as gym is to stay

Bournemouth Echo: VICTORIOUS: Campaigners in Corfe Mullen VICTORIOUS: Campaigners in Corfe Mullen

EAST Dorset villagers are celebrating after learning they will keep their gym.

Around 40 Corfe Mullen locals took to the streets in protest at the closure of their Virgin Active gym after learning days before that the doors were to permanently shut.

But although Richard Branson hasn’t changed his mind, the efforts of villagers won’t go unrewarded.

Councillor Sarah Burns, who has led the charge, said: “At an East Dorset council meeting on Thursday, it was agreed that the gym should become a community asset.

“This is a new power given by the government that means the gym will be protected.

“The owners won’t be able to sell it as anything other than a gym. The exception would be if it was to become a dementia care home, but if that happens, we will be given six months to buy the site ourselves.”

Parish councillors have already backed the scheme.

“It’s just the most fantastic news,” said Cllr Burns.

“It’s more than we could have hoped for. The gym is very important to the people who live here.”

An instructor at the facility caused an internet storm after writing an open letter to tycoon Branson as plans to close the gym were revealed.

The local woman, who has asked to remain anonymous after her comments sparked a deluge of complaints to the brand, took to her computer to pen a lengthy complaint to business mogul Branson.

She began her diatribe with the words “shame on you”.

The letter continues: “I feel compelled to write to you and ask you if you realise what a grave mistake you have made.

“For many years, I have said that walking into East Dorset says everything about the Virgin logo – happy-go-lucky but hardworking staff (in every corner of the building), an amazing atmosphere full of positivity and support that sets the mood which drives members to be the best they can.”

The letter then went viral, and has since been re-posted on Facebook hundreds of times.

Comments (17)

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11:15am Mon 3 Feb 14

60plus says...

Good on the residents hope they continue to use it.
Good on the residents hope they continue to use it. 60plus
  • Score: 7

12:37pm Mon 3 Feb 14

sooooz says...

shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely. sooooz
  • Score: -15

12:40pm Mon 3 Feb 14

lioneart23 says...

Funny place CORFE MULLEN
Funny place CORFE MULLEN lioneart23
  • Score: -2

1:54pm Mon 3 Feb 14

snnsb14 says...

sooooz wrote:
shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months.
Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave..
I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months.

I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?
[quote][p][bold]sooooz[/bold] wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.[/p][/quote]You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months. Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave.. I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months. I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately? snnsb14
  • Score: 12

2:21pm Mon 3 Feb 14

lioneart23 says...

Is the photo all one family
Is the photo all one family lioneart23
  • Score: 4

3:39pm Mon 3 Feb 14

kreig0908 says...

What does this mean for its planned closure?

Can Virgin still close the gym before finding a new buyer?

I was also under the impression they merely rented the site? Does this therefore not mean we will just have a vacant building until a new gym operator can be founded?

This whole thing has been handled terribly by Virgin for users of both Dorset gyms. No body is happy about the way this has been handled.
What does this mean for its planned closure? Can Virgin still close the gym before finding a new buyer? I was also under the impression they merely rented the site? Does this therefore not mean we will just have a vacant building until a new gym operator can be founded? This whole thing has been handled terribly by Virgin for users of both Dorset gyms. No body is happy about the way this has been handled. kreig0908
  • Score: 1

5:48pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Jules_46 says...

snnsb14 wrote:
sooooz wrote:
shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months.
Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave..
I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months.

I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?
I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount
[quote][p][bold]snnsb14[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sooooz[/bold] wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.[/p][/quote]You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months. Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave.. I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months. I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?[/p][/quote]I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount Jules_46
  • Score: 1

6:06pm Mon 3 Feb 14

old duffa says...

village asset
nimby lot
knock it down and build some houses affordable of course to keep everyone happy
village asset nimby lot knock it down and build some houses affordable of course to keep everyone happy old duffa
  • Score: -1

6:21pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Stereotyped says...

sooooz wrote:
shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
Oh what little do you know. So it would be fair to suddenly say to East Dorset members "oh your gym is going to be no more, sorry good bye" or "You must now pay X amount to go to the other Virgin gym down the road"? That would be fair would it?

Secondly, East Dorset members are not going to be paying their current rate "indefinitely" it is only for 12 months...

Thirdly, as soon as this became public knowledge, East Dorset stopped taking members on, to prevent more of this "unfair fee" you speak of, instead it had to decline these avid gym members from joining up there.

Fourthly, you chose to pay the higher rate down at Dorset instead of the lower rate for East Dorset...status symbol I'd say.

Lastly... look forward to seeing you around soon.
[quote][p][bold]sooooz[/bold] wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.[/p][/quote]Oh what little do you know. So it would be fair to suddenly say to East Dorset members "oh your gym is going to be no more, sorry good bye" or "You must now pay X amount to go to the other Virgin gym down the road"? That would be fair would it? Secondly, East Dorset members are not going to be paying their current rate "indefinitely" it is only for 12 months... Thirdly, as soon as this became public knowledge, East Dorset stopped taking members on, to prevent more of this "unfair fee" you speak of, instead it had to decline these avid gym members from joining up there. Fourthly, you chose to pay the higher rate down at Dorset instead of the lower rate for East Dorset...status symbol I'd say. Lastly... look forward to seeing you around soon. Stereotyped
  • Score: 5

6:23pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Stereotyped says...

Also...you might be glad to know that what I have heard is happening, the rates you guys currently pay are to start coming down...until we meet in the middle.

So, if it wasn't for this, you would continue to pay your higher rates.

If this is true, you should be grateful as we are going to be saving you money.
Also...you might be glad to know that what I have heard is happening, the rates you guys currently pay are to start coming down...until we meet in the middle. So, if it wasn't for this, you would continue to pay your higher rates. If this is true, you should be grateful as we are going to be saving you money. Stereotyped
  • Score: -1

7:03pm Mon 3 Feb 14

sooooz says...

we need somebody from virgin to comment here. it seems like they are tellling the different groups of members different things. A*** vs elbow ?
we need somebody from virgin to comment here. it seems like they are tellling the different groups of members different things. A*** vs elbow ? sooooz
  • Score: 2

7:04pm Mon 3 Feb 14

Thomason46 says...

Most corfe Mullen members would much prefer to stay at their "inferior" but much friendlier club. I have heard of east dorset members being verbally abused by cabot lane members .... this is totally unacceptable!! Any gripes should be taken up with virgin management at their head office and not taken out on other members or hard working frontline virgin staff at either club. I for one will be so sad to see this gym close.
Most corfe Mullen members would much prefer to stay at their "inferior" but much friendlier club. I have heard of east dorset members being verbally abused by cabot lane members .... this is totally unacceptable!! Any gripes should be taken up with virgin management at their head office and not taken out on other members or hard working frontline virgin staff at either club. I for one will be so sad to see this gym close. Thomason46
  • Score: 2

7:52pm Mon 3 Feb 14

true-one says...

what a shame for all the members dear councillors.........
.not once have you mentioned all the staff who have lost their jobs.
what a shame for all the members dear councillors......... .not once have you mentioned all the staff who have lost their jobs. true-one
  • Score: 5

12:45pm Tue 4 Feb 14

kreig0908 says...

Jules_46 wrote:
snnsb14 wrote:
sooooz wrote:
shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months.
Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave..
I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months.

I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?
I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount
I have spoken with Head Office about this as I am sure many other members of Cabot lane have. I was told that they are definitely only getting the reduced rate for 12 months, after that period there pricing will be brought in line with Cabot lane.

Great example of bad customer service by virgin, biggest gripe has to be the lack of communication. All this information is rumors, as a member of Cabot lane all we have actually been told is we are getting a refurb.
[quote][p][bold]Jules_46[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]snnsb14[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sooooz[/bold] wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.[/p][/quote]You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months. Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave.. I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months. I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?[/p][/quote]I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount[/p][/quote]I have spoken with Head Office about this as I am sure many other members of Cabot lane have. I was told that they are definitely only getting the reduced rate for 12 months, after that period there pricing will be brought in line with Cabot lane. Great example of bad customer service by virgin, biggest gripe has to be the lack of communication. All this information is rumors, as a member of Cabot lane all we have actually been told is we are getting a refurb. kreig0908
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Stereotyped says...

kreig0908 wrote:
Jules_46 wrote:
snnsb14 wrote:
sooooz wrote:
shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months.
Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave..
I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months.

I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?
I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount
I have spoken with Head Office about this as I am sure many other members of Cabot lane have. I was told that they are definitely only getting the reduced rate for 12 months, after that period there pricing will be brought in line with Cabot lane.

Great example of bad customer service by virgin, biggest gripe has to be the lack of communication. All this information is rumors, as a member of Cabot lane all we have actually been told is we are getting a refurb.
End of the day, it is 'not fair' on either clubs... East Dorset members having their facility taken away isn't what we would call fair, so we have been offered a transfer... Dorset members see this as unfair, but there is a thing in life called compromise. All we (Dorset) have been told is that our gym is closing, you can go here for a while to soften the blow, like it or lump it.

Agree, the communication has been very poor but Dorset members (Cabot Lane) can't take it out on East Dorset (Corfe Mullen) members, as it is not something which we have done ourselves...it's been something forced on both parties.
[quote][p][bold]kreig0908[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jules_46[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]snnsb14[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sooooz[/bold] wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.[/p][/quote]You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months. Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave.. I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months. I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?[/p][/quote]I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount[/p][/quote]I have spoken with Head Office about this as I am sure many other members of Cabot lane have. I was told that they are definitely only getting the reduced rate for 12 months, after that period there pricing will be brought in line with Cabot lane. Great example of bad customer service by virgin, biggest gripe has to be the lack of communication. All this information is rumors, as a member of Cabot lane all we have actually been told is we are getting a refurb.[/p][/quote]End of the day, it is 'not fair' on either clubs... East Dorset members having their facility taken away isn't what we would call fair, so we have been offered a transfer... Dorset members see this as unfair, but there is a thing in life called compromise. All we (Dorset) have been told is that our gym is closing, you can go here for a while to soften the blow, like it or lump it. Agree, the communication has been very poor but Dorset members (Cabot Lane) can't take it out on East Dorset (Corfe Mullen) members, as it is not something which we have done ourselves...it's been something forced on both parties. Stereotyped
  • Score: 3

10:17pm Tue 4 Feb 14

Chris@Bmouth says...

kreig0908 wrote:
Jules_46 wrote:
snnsb14 wrote:
sooooz wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.
You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months. Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave.. I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months. I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?
I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount
I have spoken with Head Office about this as I am sure many other members of Cabot lane have. I was told that they are definitely only getting the reduced rate for 12 months, after that period there pricing will be brought in line with Cabot lane. Great example of bad customer service by virgin, biggest gripe has to be the lack of communication. All this information is rumors, as a member of Cabot lane all we have actually been told is we are getting a refurb.
You lot must be some of the biggest mugs on this planet. Just because they claim to have a set price/period doesn't mean you can't haggle on them.
[quote][p][bold]kreig0908[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jules_46[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]snnsb14[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sooooz[/bold] wrote: shame on mr branson for the way his company is treating members of his club in Cabot Lane too. Allowing members to move from Corfe Mullen to Cabot Lane which has far superior facilities at their existing membership fees indefinitely is not fair! Existing members at cabot lane pay twice the corfe mullen fees. If it was a case of tranfer at the lower rate until renewal date but then pay the higher rate, that would be fair but not to let them pay the lower rate indefinitely.[/p][/quote]You should get your facts straight the rate is only fixed for 12 months. Most of us were quite happy with the 'inferior facilities ' at our club because it least we felt comfortable there. If we had wanted your facilities we would have joined there in the first place.. However we were presented with the current situation,we didn't ask for our club to close and Virgin active realised that if they asked us to pay higher rates immediately then most of us would just leave.. I do agree however that it is unfair that you pay more than us (although it isn't twice as much ). perhaps your rates should have been reduced for 12 months. I have no idea what this current news means. Who owns club and will it continue to function immediately?[/p][/quote]I am a member at Cabot Lane and attended a meeting with Management last Thursday in which they confirmed it was not just 12 months and were unable to say the exact plans but it will go up a small amount[/p][/quote]I have spoken with Head Office about this as I am sure many other members of Cabot lane have. I was told that they are definitely only getting the reduced rate for 12 months, after that period there pricing will be brought in line with Cabot lane. Great example of bad customer service by virgin, biggest gripe has to be the lack of communication. All this information is rumors, as a member of Cabot lane all we have actually been told is we are getting a refurb.[/p][/quote]You lot must be some of the biggest mugs on this planet. Just because they claim to have a set price/period doesn't mean you can't haggle on them. Chris@Bmouth
  • Score: -3

8:06pm Thu 6 Feb 14

true-one says...

oh for godsake members. there are plenty of gyms around. if you were losing money in business would you then keep it going for a few moaning members...........ge
t a grip!
oh for godsake members. there are plenty of gyms around. if you were losing money in business would you then keep it going for a few moaning members...........ge t a grip! true-one
  • Score: -4

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