Dad tells of fears around Gosport Scout group’s future

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FEARS have been raised about the future of a Scout group in Gosport by a worried parent.

Mark Carr, whose three teenage children have all been through the 16th Gosport Scouts Group, said he feared for the organisation’s prospects.

He claimed the leaseholder of the Scouts’ base, off St Nicholas’ Avenue, is putting an unprecedented level of financial pressure on the charitable organisation.

But landlord the Rowner Residents’ Company said it was only acting in accordance with its duties as a landlord.

In a recent letter to the Scout group, parents were told that RRC would be conducting monthly inspections of the site. If it found it was not up to scratch, it would charge the Scouts £250 to pay for private cleaners.

Mr Carr, of Beryton Road, Gosport, said he believed that the leaseholder was trying to force the group out of the building that has been its home for almost 16 years.

Mr Carr, a former volunteer at the Scout group, claimed: ‘They’re making it so difficult for us as a group to keep running.’

The club runs on three nights a week and has almost 40 children in its ranks, made up of Beavers, Cubs and Scouts.

In recent months, the group has been forced to provide regular appraisals of all the actions it has been taking to maintain the building, Mr Carr said.

He said: ‘I am scared that unless this group gets some sort of help, there are going to be lots of 
very disappointed kids.’

The base was a former workman’s hut. Later it was consecrated by St Mary’s Church before becoming a day nursery. It was transformed into the Scout base about 16 years ago.

Rowner Residents’ Company Ltd said: ‘The Rowner Residents’ Company is the landlord of the Scout hut.

‘The 16th Gosport Scouts occupy the Scout hut under a licence from Rowner Residents’ Company for an annual fee of £78.

‘The licence to occupy places full responsibility for the repair and maintenance of the Scout hut on the 16th Gosport Scouts.

‘We are a responsible landlord and, following a visual survey of the exterior of the building which 
raised concerns, have been working closely with the Scouts to ensure that they repair and maintain the hut so that it is safe and complies with Health & Safety legislation.’