Members' Ballot March 2019

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING ESSENTIAL INFORMATION BEFORE CASTING YOUR VOTE

A Special members’ Meeting was held in Northwold Village Hall on Thursday 7th March 2019 to receive the Management Committee’s options on the way forward in respect of the purchase of the Crown Inn for the community and to decide which options should be included in a ballot of all members.

Background Considerations

  • There has been no further progress with the vendors regarding agreement on a purchase price.
  • The vendors have now vacated the property and the pub is now closed.
  • The purchase timescale for the purchase of community pubs is expected to be 2 to 5 years.
  • The current financial position is;
    - Bank account: £105,000
    - Mortgage offer: £70,000
    - Loss of loan/grant: £100,000 (Current scheme has closed)

A new funding stream will be available in May/June 2019 for which we intend to apply. The fund providers are positive regarding any application as we had already secured agreement.

We have a need to reduce our loan commitment.

We were informed at 4:30pm on 7th March that the pub was under offer. We took the view that, even if this were true, it did not alter our position.


Management Committee Options
The committee have three possible options to put forward:

Option A: Abandon the project, wind up the Society, and return monies to members.

The project was initiated in June 2017.

Purchase price agreed in August 2018 but following a roof, electrical and plumbing survey and lack of essential information from the vendors, our offer was reduced and rejected.

The project has been running for 21 months which is still short in the management committe's opinion.

Under our rules, a majority vote for this option would necessitate a further ballot of members on this single issue.

The committee’s position is that it is too early to abandon the project and it remains optimistic that the project will succeed.

Option B: Continue to raise funds and discuss a possible compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) with the Borough Council

Successful raising of more funds would reduce our loan commitment

A successful CPO would probably result in a lower purchase price and achieve the aim of saving and developing the Crown for the community.

The Society would be liable for reasonable legal costs incurred by the Borough Council and the vendors.

The vendors can challenge the justification for a CPO and the purchase price.

The timescale for achieving a CPO is unknown.

Although a CPO may appear to be attractive, there are potentially serious financial and timescale issues.

If, following discussions with the Borough Council the Management Committee decided to proceed with a CPO, a further ballot of all members on this single issue would take place.

Option C: Continue to raise funds and work to agree a purchase price with the vendors

Successful raising of more funds would reduce our loan commitment.

A successful purchase of the pub would achieve the aim of saving and developing the Crown for the community.

The length of the project to date is below the expected time taken for community purchase.

Unlike a CPO, the Management Committee would be in control of the process.

The Management Committee remains optimistic that agreement with the vendors can be achieved.

The following resolution was passed overwhelmingly by members at the meeting;
The ballot which goes out to all members will include all three options as identified in item 3 (of the meeting agenda).


Management recommendation:
MEMBERS ARE RECOMMENDED TO VOTE FOR OPTION C:- Continue to raise funds and work to agree a purchase price with the vendors.

Members will have received their ballots either by email or post. Please contact us at [email protected] if you have not received yours.

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