Children plan demonstration at Silverdale Village Institute

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

CHILDREN will demonstrate tomorrow (Thursday) to highlight concerns over how Silverdale Village Institute is run.

Up to 30 youngsters who feel they are being ignored by the institute’s committee are expec-ted to turn out with placards and banners at the charity’s annual meeting.

It comes after trustees blocked plans to install a skatepark on the field adjacent to the institute, in Spring Bank, last year.

A poster, distributed by institute chairman Kelvin Mashiter, which said photo ID and proof of residency would be required to enter the meeting, has also caused discontent in the village.

Tim Stothert, a trustee of Silverdale Youth Group, said the institute was being run as a ‘private club’ and its members were fearful of change.

“The old guard don’t want to see any change but if we don’t have any kids or families in Silverdale the village will die.

“There are people wanting change but there are those who just want peace and quiet.

“The trustees are so frightened of having a vote against them that they are applying illegal entry qualifications to what is an open annual meeting.”

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Mr Stothert, who lives in Silverdale, was upset that it was called in half-term when potentially many families could be on holiday.

“We are trying to get as many people who sympathise with us as possible to attend the meeting to vote and give their opinions on the way the institute is being run.”

Silverdale Parish Council chairman Terry Bond agreed that the trustees had a ‘certain reluctance’ to cater for the younger generation.

He also raised concerns over the fact the public could not attend a charity’s annual meeting.

“It makes you think they have got something to hide and goes against the integrity of the institute,” he said.

“There’s a feeling that it is about time the younger generation are represented on the committee.”

The institute trustees are made up of six elected members and ten representatives from local organisations.

Mr Mashiter was unavailable to comment today.

The meetings starts at 7pm.

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