‘Row’ pensioner group handed town hall ban

Central Library - BLACKPOOL / view''EXTERIOR SHOT
Central Library - BLACKPOOL / view''EXTERIOR SHOT
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A group of pensioners have been barred from using council buildings after a row erupted between its members.

Blackpool Council has confirmed it is no longer allowing the Senior Voice Forum to hold meetings at the resort’s Central Library, or any other council-owned property.

It comes after The Gazette reported yesterday how bosses of the forum have called in police to keep the peace at the next meeting, after a row boiled over about remarks made in a previous meeting.

Coun Christine Wright, champion for older people and cabinet member for culture and heritage, said: “Blackpool Council has for some time provided the Senior Voice Forum with free access to meeting rooms at Central Library for its open meetings.

“I have been made aware that on a number of occasions these meetings have not been truly ‘open’ to Blackpool residents to attend.

“Indeed, on some occasions the library security staff has been called to intercede.”

The council has said that matters arising after separate factions of the forum cancelled and rearranged meetings, causing confusion for library bosses, the decision was taken to ask the Forum to take meetings elsewhere.

Coun Wright added: “More recently there has been confusion for staff with members cancelling and rearranging meetings when apparently they have not had the authority to do so.

“Therefore, no further bookings will be taken for Senior Voice Forum or any breakaway group at Central Library or any other Council-owned property.”

The council is now developing an Older People’s Summit and has said members of the Senior Voice Forum would be welcome to attend it.

The Senior Voice Forum will now be meeting at St John’s Church, in Cedar Square, Blackpool, at 1pm on Monday.