Aberdeen Council to take £110,000 off the British Legion

#1
For a little over 60 years the British Legion have run the parking in an area of Aberdeen called Golden Square. This nets around £110,000+ a year that went to helping ex servicemen in Aberdeen and surrounding areas. This is by far the biggest monetary income for the Aberdeen Branch.

As part of the councils cost cutting exercise, the council has decided that they now want that revenue, have kicked the Legion out and are now going to run the parking themselves. To add insult to injury, the fees will now come in line with the rest of Aberdeen and triple over night.
 
#4
Tiz the same Council that has commissioned a statue of a Gordon Highlander to sit outside their office, for £125,000 pounds!

Same council that has to find millions to raise an existing park, just off of the main street, to street level for no other reason than a local businessman has offerred to pay half. It does not need to be done, but the council are willing to pay half???

Two sides, yes, but the council are renowened for wadting money and then demanding extra from the good citizens of Aberdeen.
 
#5
I live just outside Aberdeen and the City Council havent got a pot to pee in, jobs are going and cuts are going to be severe. In a situation where Schools are jostling for position to be the ones not closing their doors what can they expect ??

Anyway the British Legion has stopped being an Ex Servicemans Club in many places. My local branch allowed an influx of members consisting of local chavs seeking cheap booze. I handed my card in when a gobby group of them mocked the death of a serviceman and I was threatened with expulsion for daring to grip them verbally about it.
 
#8
Tiz the same Council that has commissioned a statue of a Gordon Highlander to sit outside their office, for £125,000 pounds!

Same council that has to find millions to raise an existing park, just off of the main street, to street level for no other reason than a local businessman has offerred to pay half. It does not need to be done, but the council are willing to pay half???

Two sides, yes, but the council are renowened for wadting money and then demanding extra from the good citizens of Aberdeen.

You need to get your head around the idea that ex squaddies are not a protected species mate, and you need to do this fast. Do you honestly think that Joe Soap in Aberdeen gives a monkeys? If he does, he certainly won't when he's faced with the cuts that are coming his way. It's a dog eat dog world mate, it's not nice, but that's how it is and in the not too distant future I reckon that all charities are going to take a hit, as people just won't have the money to give. Charity begins at home as they say. As for the commissioning of the statue, are you complaining about this? You sound like you are upset by it. Perhaps you should make your feelings known by either writing to the local press, the Regt'l Association of the Gordon Highlanders or indeed, the Council themselves.
 
#10
You need to get your head around the idea that ex squaddies are not a protected species mate, and you need to do this fast. Do you honestly think that Joe Soap in Aberdeen gives a monkeys? If he does, he certainly won't when he's faced with the cuts that are coming his way. It's a dog eat dog world mate, it's not nice, but that's how it is and in the not too distant future I reckon that all charities are going to take a hit, as people just won't have the money to give. Charity begins at home as they say. As for the commissioning of the statue, are you complaining about this? You sound like you are upset by it. Perhaps you should make your feelings known by either writing to the local press, the Regt'l Association of the Gordon Highlanders or indeed, the Council themselves.
I am more than aware of the status of ex-squaddies in the publics mind, being on the local SSAFA committee and spending a great deal of my spare time at local events collecting on behalf of them, ...and the public is very supportive in this area.

As for the statue, my point is that how can a council commission £125,000 worth of statue, use the cities "common good" fund to pay for it, and then say they are desperate for money. Being an ex Gordon myself I think the statue is a great idea, but the money should be raised for it (donated, events held etc etc.), not taken from the cities coffers.
 
#11
As for the statue, my point is that how can a council commission £125,000 worth of statue, use the cities "common good" fund to pay for it, and then say they are desperate for money. Being an ex Gordon myself I think the statue is a great idea, but the money should be raised for it (donated, events held etc etc.), not taken from the cities coffers.
Then you should put this down in writing, and serve it upon the Council. Have you taken the issue of funding up with your Regt'l Association yet? You may find some of the responses a bit hostile, but I'm sure that you're principled enough to stand your ground. 'By Dand' and all that.
 
#13
It's the same in other areas.
The club side of the RBL (who run the bars and social side) are run by local committee supposedly in line with the charter set down by the Branch of the RBL (the part most of us are members of).

Sadly in the last few years there have been insufficient persons from military backgrounds volunteering to serve on club committees. Certainly very few of the right calibre. Subsequently locals get elected to these positions and in the interests of revenue allow everyone and their dog in.

Some years ago I served as an officer on a County Committee in a part of London. On one occasion we had to move into a club and reclaim the premises (enforce closure) as a local Irish drinking club had took it over and there was a suspicion they were about to take control ( to misuse) of the Branches (Charity Money) Accounts. A close shave indeed.
 
#15
Given the extraordinary success of Help4Heroes the RBL needs to re-consider its strategy and role, especially its clubs.

They no doubt met a demand when many (most) of the population had served, but if comments here are correct and they are being ignored by past and present members of HM Forces and/or being taken over by others in search of cheap booze then clearly they should be closed forthwith.

The RBL does its reputation no favours sponsoring them.
 
#16
[/QUOTE]

Anyway the British Legion has stopped being an Ex Servicemans Club in many places. My local branch allowed an influx of members consisting of local chavs seeking cheap booze. .[/QUOTE]

Thats exactly what happened in Redditch, the ex-service blokes drifted away, and now the club has closed down.
 
#17
I am not an RBL member but I understand that everyone is now welcome to join the Legion, regardless of whether or not you have a Service background. Hardly surprising given the demographics.

No doubt there is a lot of truth in some of the earlier comments, but I have to say that on the few occasions I have been in Legion club premises in recent years, those I met were ex-service. Certainly the local Committee members were ex-service, as are the national officials.

Good luck for your local Remembrance Sunday and much else if you follow one of the more pompous comments above and close all these clubs "forthwith". Also, the local Clubs are as I understand it independent companies which in many cases own their own buildings. There would be no basis for TRBL or RBL Scotland disowning them as long as they continue to operate within the rules.
 
#18
Lived in Aberdeen city centre until August this year. Got to say Aberdeen Council have to be the most spectacularly incompetent bunch of moneywasters I've ever come across. In debt to their eyes and I'm nearly that was the case before the recession? can anyone help me out on that? (I arrived there 4 years ago in a haze of drunkeness)

But having said that I think they were probably right to take the car park back, it is prime parking space as close to the shopping streets as you can get and these are desperate times indeed.
 
#19
It can be a little complicated when it comes to property ownership... Many Legion branches were formed in the 1920's and purchased premises by way of the receipts from public subscriptions. The rules established in leasehold law evolved over the years meant that the clubs which had been formed as mini PLC's had to stand on their own feet (they could not be subsidized from donations given to the Legion for its charitable work). Leasehold law said a a fair market rent had to be levied on buildings used as club premises that were held in the name of the charity.
That rent provided the funds necessary over the years to fund the activities of the Branch. Putting on a Remembrance event comes with a cost such as fees for a bugler or band, the hire of PA equipment and food and refreshments back in the legion. Over the years this is how these sorts of things were funded. Any excesses were periodically donated to the Legions care homes or the Poppy Appeal as per Branch Committee decisions and of course the Royal Charter of the Legion.

Some years ago when the clubs were doing very well some purchased the properties from the Branches with the funds going direct to RBL head office to be held in the property fund for that Branch. These clubs as per a lease term were obliged to provide meeting rooms and storage facilities for Branch and Poppy Appeal work free of charge.

In many cases due to dwindling membership levels clubs became unviable, the Branch has to enforce its obligation to levy rent as per the law forcing the clubs into closure. Of course those clubs that took the step of buying the leasehold are in a better position and have been able to take out loans using the lease as security.
I presided over a situation a few years ago where we had to close a club (the one where I was a member at) simply because it could not meet its rental obligations. The property was on the third floor of an office block where (the branch) paid a peppercorn rent to the owner of 10 Guineas a year. The rental obligation of the club to the branch was around £7,000 a year.

In this case the leasehold was sold for >£350,000 and that sum sits in trust should that branch ever need to secure another premised. That is unlikely to happen as there simply is not the ex service manpower available in the district to achieve it.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
I gave up useing my local RBL club just because of the fact that it is now the hang out for all the chav ******* who are banned in all the local pubs, and you can't get to the bar without some cnut trying to get you to buy them a pint, I don't think there is one ex-squaddy in the place most days
 

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