Club faces closure over rent hikes

By Harriet Ernstsons Thursday 27 February 2014 Updated: 28/02 09:23

A CLUB with members in their 80s and 90s faces closure after more than six decades.

The Mayflower Over 60s Club, which meets at Tanyard Close Community Hall in Alvechurch, was paying £6.15 an hour before March 2013. In April last year that rent was increased to £10 and this April they face a further increase to £15 - in total a rise of 144 per cent.

Treasurer Terry Walsh said the club, which runs for two hours every Tuesday afternoon, was 'sinking fast' under the weight of the rent demands from site owners Bromsgrove District Housing Trust, adding they did not have a great deal of money in their funds and the weekly meeting was the most entertainment some of the members received.

"Where will our members go if our group has to close? We are all too advanced in years to go nightclubbing in Birmingham's Broad Street on a Saturday evening and thus prefer our entertainment to be a smidge more refined.

"At the best of times, it is not pleasant to be advanced in years and thus we appreciate being treated with a little respect and those in charge of BDHT should be reminded that once they get beyond the age of retirement, this Mayflower may not be around to rescue them from the stormy waters they stirred up!"

BDHT managing director Mark Robertson said: "As a not-for-profit organisation our costs are completely transparent and we strive to keep our room hire rates as low as possible.

"We do recognise that in terms of a percentage this increase seems large, but £15 is a reasonable rate for room hire in the area and we need to meet our own running costs and the price rises we are facing ourselves.

"Unfortunately we are unable to subsidise any room hire rates as the knock-on effect would mean passing costs onto our own tenants which would be unfair."

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