Royal British Legion forced to close over £70k dispute

Bournemouth Echo: UNFORTUNATE: The Royal British Legion Club on Ashley Road UNFORTUNATE: The Royal British Legion Club on Ashley Road

A ROYAL British Legion Club which was ordered to pay a former employee £70,000 for unfair dismissal has closed.

The Legion building on Ashley Road, Boscombe, has been put on the market more than three years after it was ordered to pay the compensation to a former bar steward.

Michelle Hayter, partner and head of dispute resolution at Frettens solicitors in Christchurch, said her client had taken possession of the property with a “heavy heart”.

“My client gave her life and soul to the club, worked there for many years, was awarded the money and gave them the opportunity to try and pay the award that was decided against them and unfortunately they couldn’t raise any funds,” she said.

“It got to the stage where really we had to take the property so she could get some of her money back.

“She needs to enforce the judgement in some way and the only way to enforce it was to take this asset.”

The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay those who have a charge on the property and any remaining money will go back to the club.

Insolvency firm the Mark Liddle Partnership had attempted to put together a rescue package that would involve selling the building and leasing it back.

But an attempt to get the necessary 75 per cent of members to back the idea failed when only 30 people turned up to a meeting.

Mr Liddle said: “It has closed. The former employee was able to take possession of the property.”

Club chairman Dennis Gillard said: “Unfortunately we have closed. The committee are still keeping the members’ wishes in mind.”

He said there was still a “small chance” the club could re-open with a new identity, in which case previous members would be welcome back.

Comments (17)

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2:24pm Sun 16 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

Whilst we are in no position to comment or place judgement upon the detailed rights and wrongs in this case, I am quite sure the Servicemen and women who first formed the British Legion back in the 1920's for the most honourable of reasons would be less than delighted with the final outcome here.

And I wonder how much of these property sale proceeds are also going to the lawyers - surely all this was so avoidable? Still next time we buy a poppy........
Whilst we are in no position to comment or place judgement upon the detailed rights and wrongs in this case, I am quite sure the Servicemen and women who first formed the British Legion back in the 1920's for the most honourable of reasons would be less than delighted with the final outcome here. And I wonder how much of these property sale proceeds are also going to the lawyers - surely all this was so avoidable? Still next time we buy a poppy........ muscliffman

2:46pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Talkingheadera says...

This is so typical unfortunately and well known within the industry that similar cases occur when committee members don't know the law and ride roughshod over staff.
Instead of taking advice in the first place they think they know best.
I know of 3 cases of tribunals awarding large sums to sacked employees of similar social clubs.
Most committee members are clueless in business and are in it for the ego trip of 'being a committee member'. Like anyone cares!
They often get ripped off by suppliers and don't care as long as the club is staying afloat and they can still have their cheap pint.
Poorly maintained clubs and no investment lead to the inevitable.
This is so typical unfortunately and well known within the industry that similar cases occur when committee members don't know the law and ride roughshod over staff. Instead of taking advice in the first place they think they know best. I know of 3 cases of tribunals awarding large sums to sacked employees of similar social clubs. Most committee members are clueless in business and are in it for the ego trip of 'being a committee member'. Like anyone cares! They often get ripped off by suppliers and don't care as long as the club is staying afloat and they can still have their cheap pint. Poorly maintained clubs and no investment lead to the inevitable. Talkingheadera

3:04pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Lucy28 says...

It's a shame that the ones who will suffer are the ones who put their hearts and souls into fighting for this country
It's a shame that the ones who will suffer are the ones who put their hearts and souls into fighting for this country Lucy28

3:11pm Sun 16 Feb 14

username is already in use says...

Greed
Greed username is already in use

5:00pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Old Colonial says...

Talkingheadera wrote:
This is so typical unfortunately and well known within the industry that similar cases occur when committee members don't know the law and ride roughshod over staff.
Instead of taking advice in the first place they think they know best.
I know of 3 cases of tribunals awarding large sums to sacked employees of similar social clubs.
Most committee members are clueless in business and are in it for the ego trip of 'being a committee member'. Like anyone cares!
They often get ripped off by suppliers and don't care as long as the club is staying afloat and they can still have their cheap pint.
Poorly maintained clubs and no investment lead to the inevitable.
That just about sums it up. Selfish incompetence. Unfortunately a similar breed get elected to local authorities as councillors
[quote][p][bold]Talkingheadera[/bold] wrote: This is so typical unfortunately and well known within the industry that similar cases occur when committee members don't know the law and ride roughshod over staff. Instead of taking advice in the first place they think they know best. I know of 3 cases of tribunals awarding large sums to sacked employees of similar social clubs. Most committee members are clueless in business and are in it for the ego trip of 'being a committee member'. Like anyone cares! They often get ripped off by suppliers and don't care as long as the club is staying afloat and they can still have their cheap pint. Poorly maintained clubs and no investment lead to the inevitable.[/p][/quote]That just about sums it up. Selfish incompetence. Unfortunately a similar breed get elected to local authorities as councillors Old Colonial

5:27pm Sun 16 Feb 14

jinglebell says...

Lucy28 wrote:
It's a shame that the ones who will suffer are the ones who put their hearts and souls into fighting for this country
Agree, my dad is always furious to see a worker treated badly.
[quote][p][bold]Lucy28[/bold] wrote: It's a shame that the ones who will suffer are the ones who put their hearts and souls into fighting for this country[/p][/quote]Agree, my dad is always furious to see a worker treated badly. jinglebell

5:50pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Hessenford says...

muscliffman wrote:
Whilst we are in no position to comment or place judgement upon the detailed rights and wrongs in this case, I am quite sure the Servicemen and women who first formed the British Legion back in the 1920's for the most honourable of reasons would be less than delighted with the final outcome here.

And I wonder how much of these property sale proceeds are also going to the lawyers - surely all this was so avoidable? Still next time we buy a poppy........
This was avoidable if the British Legion hadn't run rough shod over one of its employees so the blame lies firmly in the management of the British Legion.
[quote][p][bold]muscliffman[/bold] wrote: Whilst we are in no position to comment or place judgement upon the detailed rights and wrongs in this case, I am quite sure the Servicemen and women who first formed the British Legion back in the 1920's for the most honourable of reasons would be less than delighted with the final outcome here. And I wonder how much of these property sale proceeds are also going to the lawyers - surely all this was so avoidable? Still next time we buy a poppy........[/p][/quote]This was avoidable if the British Legion hadn't run rough shod over one of its employees so the blame lies firmly in the management of the British Legion. Hessenford

5:57pm Sun 16 Feb 14

itsneverblackorwhite says...

Sadly the writing has been on the wall for British Legions up and down the country for many years, my father used to take me as young man to our local legion and it was always busy, these days it is only busy when a function is on. There membership is sadly dying and with the reduction of force numbers there is simply less potential members to replace those who fought in the older wars. With costs rising and membership dropping and many committees refusals to allow non-forces people in then I can see a time in my lifetime when many more clubs will close.
Sadly the writing has been on the wall for British Legions up and down the country for many years, my father used to take me as young man to our local legion and it was always busy, these days it is only busy when a function is on. There membership is sadly dying and with the reduction of force numbers there is simply less potential members to replace those who fought in the older wars. With costs rising and membership dropping and many committees refusals to allow non-forces people in then I can see a time in my lifetime when many more clubs will close. itsneverblackorwhite

6:02pm Sun 16 Feb 14

billm says...

jinglebell wrote:
Lucy28 wrote:
It's a shame that the ones who will suffer are the ones who put their hearts and souls into fighting for this country
Agree, my dad is always furious to see a worker treated badly.
In this particular case the employee may well have been sacked unjustly, but the worker isn't always the innocent party. Unless the employer sticks rigidly to the rules in every case they have no chance. When in business I once instantly dismissed someone who had been 'helping themselves'. They then claimed for unfair dismissal. It cost me even more.
[quote][p][bold]jinglebell[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lucy28[/bold] wrote: It's a shame that the ones who will suffer are the ones who put their hearts and souls into fighting for this country[/p][/quote]Agree, my dad is always furious to see a worker treated badly.[/p][/quote]In this particular case the employee may well have been sacked unjustly, but the worker isn't always the innocent party. Unless the employer sticks rigidly to the rules in every case they have no chance. When in business I once instantly dismissed someone who had been 'helping themselves'. They then claimed for unfair dismissal. It cost me even more. billm

6:39pm Sun 16 Feb 14

Turtlebay says...

Having worked as a bar steward in another British Legion I can assure you that the " Servicemen and women who first formed the British Legion back in the 1920's for the most honourable of reasons " wouldn't recognise the clubs now. They are full of beer slurping, rude, rule breaking, foul mouthed individuals, most of whom have never served The Queen in any of her Services. I was sacked for refusing to serve someone who was so drunk he couldn't stand up! That sacking was against the law too. Can I have £70,000 please King's Park British Legion?
Having worked as a bar steward in another British Legion I can assure you that the " Servicemen and women who first formed the British Legion back in the 1920's for the most honourable of reasons " wouldn't recognise the clubs now. They are full of beer slurping, rude, rule breaking, foul mouthed individuals, most of whom have never served The Queen in any of her Services. I was sacked for refusing to serve someone who was so drunk he couldn't stand up! That sacking was against the law too. Can I have £70,000 please King's Park British Legion? Turtlebay

1:29am Mon 17 Feb 14

MrPitiful says...

Blimey - do folk still drink in these places these days?

The one in the pic looks like a prison.
Blimey - do folk still drink in these places these days? The one in the pic looks like a prison. MrPitiful

7:59am Mon 17 Feb 14

Letcommonsenseprevail says...

What is the world coming to?
What is the world coming to? Letcommonsenseprevail

9:20am Mon 17 Feb 14

TheDistrict says...

Is it time to turn back the clocks and the RBL only allow Serving and Ex Serving Men and Women to join the RBL. The way they are run today, is one of the factors as to why Service Men and Women do not join the RBL, and as those who are members cross the bar, the numbers of actual Serving and EX Serving members dwindle. There is loads of Con Clubs, Liberal Clubs, Labour Clubs, Working Mens Clubs that non service personel can join.

Secondly, a relative of mine, an Ex Serviceman was denied membership at an RBL Club in Dorset. Not by the RBL but those running it at that time. Probably non service people. The majority using the club consisted mostly of non resident visitors.
Is it time to turn back the clocks and the RBL only allow Serving and Ex Serving Men and Women to join the RBL. The way they are run today, is one of the factors as to why Service Men and Women do not join the RBL, and as those who are members cross the bar, the numbers of actual Serving and EX Serving members dwindle. There is loads of Con Clubs, Liberal Clubs, Labour Clubs, Working Mens Clubs that non service personel can join. Secondly, a relative of mine, an Ex Serviceman was denied membership at an RBL Club in Dorset. Not by the RBL but those running it at that time. Probably non service people. The majority using the club consisted mostly of non resident visitors. TheDistrict

9:48am Mon 17 Feb 14

rotcoddam says...

Surely the point here is that there is no real interest in or demand for this club anyway. When a plan was available which would have enabled it to continue only 30 members where interested in turning up to the meeting. So the majority of members don,t give a monkeys anyway
Surely the point here is that there is no real interest in or demand for this club anyway. When a plan was available which would have enabled it to continue only 30 members where interested in turning up to the meeting. So the majority of members don,t give a monkeys anyway rotcoddam

12:30pm Mon 17 Feb 14

pete woodley says...

TheDistrict wrote:
Is it time to turn back the clocks and the RBL only allow Serving and Ex Serving Men and Women to join the RBL. The way they are run today, is one of the factors as to why Service Men and Women do not join the RBL, and as those who are members cross the bar, the numbers of actual Serving and EX Serving members dwindle. There is loads of Con Clubs, Liberal Clubs, Labour Clubs, Working Mens Clubs that non service personel can join.

Secondly, a relative of mine, an Ex Serviceman was denied membership at an RBL Club in Dorset. Not by the RBL but those running it at that time. Probably non service people. The majority using the club consisted mostly of non resident visitors.
The exservice club at north rd parkstone,was owned by the legion,but run by a lot of non service people who resented the RBL.Unfortunately there are not enough ex service to keep a club going.One night wnen i was there a mouthy non serviceman selling raffle tickets,said to my wife and myself,we are going to update this club and get rid of the old RBL fogies,not knowing
i was a RBL committee member.This was many years ago,but i have been told its got worse.Perhaps the exservice organisations should get together.
[quote][p][bold]TheDistrict[/bold] wrote: Is it time to turn back the clocks and the RBL only allow Serving and Ex Serving Men and Women to join the RBL. The way they are run today, is one of the factors as to why Service Men and Women do not join the RBL, and as those who are members cross the bar, the numbers of actual Serving and EX Serving members dwindle. There is loads of Con Clubs, Liberal Clubs, Labour Clubs, Working Mens Clubs that non service personel can join. Secondly, a relative of mine, an Ex Serviceman was denied membership at an RBL Club in Dorset. Not by the RBL but those running it at that time. Probably non service people. The majority using the club consisted mostly of non resident visitors.[/p][/quote]The exservice club at north rd parkstone,was owned by the legion,but run by a lot of non service people who resented the RBL.Unfortunately there are not enough ex service to keep a club going.One night wnen i was there a mouthy non serviceman selling raffle tickets,said to my wife and myself,we are going to update this club and get rid of the old RBL fogies,not knowing i was a RBL committee member.This was many years ago,but i have been told its got worse.Perhaps the exservice organisations should get together. pete woodley

1:17pm Mon 17 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

I am all for employers not being able to get away with unfair dismissal, but how on earth can such a massive payout be justified?
I am all for employers not being able to get away with unfair dismissal, but how on earth can such a massive payout be justified? speedy231278

8:40pm Mon 17 Feb 14

O'Reilly says...

Old Colonial wrote:
Talkingheadera wrote:
This is so typical unfortunately and well known within the industry that similar cases occur when committee members don't know the law and ride roughshod over staff.
Instead of taking advice in the first place they think they know best.
I know of 3 cases of tribunals awarding large sums to sacked employees of similar social clubs.
Most committee members are clueless in business and are in it for the ego trip of 'being a committee member'. Like anyone cares!
They often get ripped off by suppliers and don't care as long as the club is staying afloat and they can still have their cheap pint.
Poorly maintained clubs and no investment lead to the inevitable.
That just about sums it up. Selfish incompetence. Unfortunately a similar breed get elected to local authorities as councillors
Maybe the whole plan was to bankrupt the Club. Machiavellian movements by the handshake club to avail certain people of a nice little site for............whate
ver. Maybe a Tesco Extra....
[quote][p][bold]Old Colonial[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Talkingheadera[/bold] wrote: This is so typical unfortunately and well known within the industry that similar cases occur when committee members don't know the law and ride roughshod over staff. Instead of taking advice in the first place they think they know best. I know of 3 cases of tribunals awarding large sums to sacked employees of similar social clubs. Most committee members are clueless in business and are in it for the ego trip of 'being a committee member'. Like anyone cares! They often get ripped off by suppliers and don't care as long as the club is staying afloat and they can still have their cheap pint. Poorly maintained clubs and no investment lead to the inevitable.[/p][/quote]That just about sums it up. Selfish incompetence. Unfortunately a similar breed get elected to local authorities as councillors[/p][/quote]Maybe the whole plan was to bankrupt the Club. Machiavellian movements by the handshake club to avail certain people of a nice little site for............whate ver. Maybe a Tesco Extra.... O'Reilly

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