A repository for information about the Unionist Club programme.
Bruton Unionist Club was founded in 1913 as a local political and social club. Its purpose and functions are set out in its rules, last substantially amended in 1969. The freehold to the building and its land belong to the Club. For much of the 20th Century the Club thrived. Latterly it has faced diminishing membership and financial insecurity.
In late 2016 the Unionist Club Committee initiated discussions with members of the Town Council about its future. These discussions were placed on a more formal footing in August 2017. At this point the thinking was that the Club would transfer the freehold of its site to the Town Council, and that a charity would be set up to run a community centre on the site. Subsequently, an Extra-ordinary General Meeting of the Club on 1 June 2018 resolved that:
The Members have agreed in principle for a Charity to be set which would take over the freehold of the building and site of the Bruton Unionist Club and following a community consultation at the end of stage 2 of the process there would be another meeting to discuss where and how the process would progress.
The Community Consultation took place from January to March 2019.
The Town Council has drawn up a Programme Plan setting out the steps that the Club and the Council would need to take to ensure that the hall and its site becomes a centre for all Bruton’s residents for the foreseeable future. This is the most recent (31 July 2018) version of the Plan.
The Plan sets out how the work should be done, but does not discuss whether or not it should go ahead (this is covered in the Business Case).
The Stage Two Business Case
The Stage Two Business Case sets out the arguments for and against moving to Stage Two of the Plan. It recommends going ahead. You can read the Business Case document here.
The Community Consultation
The Council obtained a National Lottery Awards for All grant to fund a Community Consultation, and then ran a competitive tendering process to select external consultants to do the work. CounterCulture LLP were selected, and undertook the consultation from January to March 2019. They produced three documents as the outcome of their work:
- The Executive Summary gives a short overview of their conclusions and recommendations;
- The Business Plan Report is a more detailed report with recommendations;
- The Evidence Report gives details of the information found during the consultation.
There is more background information about the tender process, and what the Council asked the consultants to do on the Procurement page.