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Welfare buy-out hopes
0:00am Fri Oct 23, 2009
 
A bid has been made to buy the derelict Ollerton and Bevercotes Miners’ Welfare building and playing fields.
Ollerton and Boughton Town Council hopes to secure three sports fields — at the welfare and on Walesby Lane — for the long-term use of residents.

It will not reveal the amount it hopes to pay, but the Mayor of Ollerton, Mr Jason Ferguson, said it was enough to pay off the welfare’s debts.

The welfare is in the hands of the receivers after the charitable trust that ran it went into liquidation.

The council believes that under the trust’s constitution, the administrator has a duty to accept a bid from a group with similar aims, rather than looking for the highest bid from a potential developer.

Mr Ferguson fears the building, which has been subject to vandalism and arson attacks, cannot be saved and understands firms have been bidding to demolish it.

Ollerton and Boughton District Sports’ Forum was set up last week with the aim of safeguarding and improving sports facilities in Ollerton and Boughton.

Mr Ferguson was named chairman.

He said: “There is some concern that the fields could end up in the hands of a developer.

“What the forum will do is work together to lobby for better facilities.”

Representatives of the town’s Saturday, Sunday and junior football teams, the cricket and rugby clubs, bowls and rounders players, Dukeries College, the town council, and Newark and Sherwood District Council’s leisure department attended the forum’s first meeting.

It is hoped the forum could open the door to significant grant funding for the development of sporting facilities.

Sherwood MP Paddy Tipping, also at the meeting, said: “In my belief it is manifestly wrong for the administrator to look for the best price when this forum would look to continue the charitable aims of the former trustees.

“The essential thing is to protect the sports field and, over a period of time, to enhance that.”

The deputy mayor of Ollerton and Boughton, Mrs Irene Miller, was elected minutes secretary, Mr Antony Thompson, representing football, was elected vice-chairman, and Mr Fred Ford, representing rugby, was elected treasurer.

The forum will meet monthly at the town hall. The next meeting is at 7.30pm on November 12.

Ollerton and Boughton county councillor Mrs Stella Smedley gave £1,000 to the forum from her electoral fund.

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