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Controversial plan to axe Pendle's luncheon clubs put on hold
8:00am Sunday 30th September 2012 in News
CONTROVERSIAL plans to axe luncheon clubs and council shops in Pendle have been put on hold following public consternation.
An urgent review has been pledged for luncheon clubs after plans were revealed to close the nine existing services, to make a saving of £52,000.
Town hall officials had also recommended providing a fighting fund of £5,000 to assist groups in making alternative provisions.
But councillors have now drawn up 11th hour proposals to safeguard as many clubs as possible after the original moves were widely condemned.
Coun Tony Greaves will head a working group which will consider whether each can now be run by either a parish council or a community or voluntary group.
The closure of the clubs has still been agreed in principle but will not take place before each one has been visited and assessed to see if someone else can take over their management.
Coun Greaves told a full council meeting that historically Pendle, unlike other authorities, had provided luncheon clubs, even though it was not a statutory duty.
Demand for the clubs was not the same as in the heyday of meetings at the Lower Colne Muni or Silverman Hall or Civic Hall in Nelson, he added.
"If they are going to continue then there should be a social function as well as providing food," said Coun Greaves.
Unpopular plans to close council shops in Earby, Brierfield, Barnoldswick and Colne, after the implentation of a system called Allpay, to handle council tax, rent and business rate payments.
Under the scheme residents can use Post Offices and any shops with Paypoint facilities to pay such bills, with only the cash office at Number One Market Street in Nelson remaining.
But while Allpay will happen, plans to close the shops, making a saving of £145,000 will be deferred pending a review by council leader Coun Joe Cooney, who will tour the locations before a further report is presented to the borough's executive.
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