A Silverdale youth group has won an 18 month battle for a seat on a village committee.
The long running dispute between the Silverdale Village Institute and the representative of Silverdale Youth Group reached a head after legal advice was taken by the Institute’s board.
A solicitor’s letter seen by the Lancaster Guardian states that Silverdale Youth Group has the legal right to a seat on the board.
Charity regulator The Charity Commission for England and Wales also advised the Institute committee that it must follow its own governing document and allow a representative of Silverdale Youth Group a place on the board.
Kelvin Mashiter, chair of Silverdale Village Institute, declined to comment.
Tim Stothert, from Silverdale Youth Group, said he was now able to start lobbying for more activities and events for young people on the field adjacent to the institute, in Spring Bank.
He said: “I’m going to be at every single meeting as the representative of Silverdale Youth Group and will start lobbying for a tennis court, Multi Use Games Area and events on the field.
“I want to put into motion what’s written in the Institute’s covenant, which is to provide a place for the whole community to use.
It’s taken 18 months to get this far, and at times I’ve just felt like chucking it in and giving up, but the kids in the village keep saying to me ‘what are you doing about tennis courts?’, ‘what are you doing about the skate park?’, so it’s been very frustrating.
“The committee are just not doing anything with the field or that hall for the benefit of the community and I want to change that.”
Mr Stothert said that he had previously been banned from meetings, but wasn’t given a reason why.
Terry Bond, chair of Silverdale Parish Council, said: “The Institute needs to look at how they use the place to maximise its potential, get more income and put together a plan on where they want to be in the next five to 10 years.
“Last year, the parish council bought some of those moveable goal posts and put them on the institute field, the committee wasn’t happy about it, but summer would have been over by the time we got permission so we did it anyway and they’re still there now.
“We want to encourage use of the field, and the committee need to look at how to maximise this. It would be great if next month’s AGM encouraged some new blood and younger people along.”
The institute is due to hold its AGM on April 17 at 7pm.