Mark Hunter campaigns against closure of Cheadle Hulme Royal British Legion branch

June 26, 2009 3:53 PM
British Legion

Mark is campaigning against the closure of the Cheadle Hulme Branch of the RBL

Local MP Mark Hunter MP has pledged to fight against the closure of the Royal British Legion club in Cheadle Hulme.

Mr Hunter was contacted by local club members after they were informed that New Legion Clubs (the commercial arm of the Royal British Legion) are proposing to sell the club in Turves Road, Cheadle Hulme. The club currently claims to have over 500 members, an increase of over 100 from the previous year.

Mr Hunter pledged to support the campaign against the proposed closure of the of the Royal British Legion club in Cheadle Hulme, wrote to the National Chairman of the Royal British Legion (Peter Cleminson) and met with regional Legion officials to argue the case against the Club closure. This week Mr Hunter attended a special meeting at the local club, where approximately a hundred members met to question to Royal British Legion County officials about the proposed closure.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Hunter said, "The proposal to close the branch has been made by Royal British Legion trustees very quickly, without any consultation of local members. The Cheadle Hulme club is much valued in the community, with many residents including many veterans relying on the active and vibrant club for social activities, friendships and support. Last year the club contributed £37,000 to the Poppy Day appeal and is a venue for local meetings, parties and even wedding receptions.

"When the club first became part of the New Legion Club programme, the members were promised first refusal to buy it back if the club was to be closed, however now the Royal British Legion have decided to sell all 9 of their clubs across the country as a 'job lot'. This would be a total breach of faith with club members who are loyal members of the Royal British Legion and have worked hard to raise money for the charity to support veterans and ex-service men - all the more necessary with the influx of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The decision to close was made unilaterally by the Board of Trustees of the Legion based in London - who probably don't even know where Cheadle Hulme is and certainly have never visited the club. They don't understand that the branch in Cheadle Hulme is a vital part of our community and the proposal to sell it off would have a disastrous effect on the lives of many local residents. I have pledged to campaign against the closure and will continue to do so."

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