Tue, 23 Jun 2020
COMMUNITY service The Lambourn Junction has been forced to vacate its Memorial Hall home to allow Lambourn Parish Council to return to work.
The council voted in a closed meeting on June 3 to eject the Junction, citing the safety of its workers and the need to prioritise the backlog of paperwork.
In a letter to the Junction, council chairman Michael Billange-Jones said: “The service provided by The Lambourn Junction team has clearly been needed within the parish and the parish council appreciates the time and effort that you and the local team of volunteers have put into it.
“However, the resumption of parish council activities and the much-needed work on the backlog of outstanding accounts and other paperwork must now become our priority.
“Sadly, after looking at several alternatives, there is no way to resume the parish council office duties and maintain The Lambourn Junction activity in the same hall.
“So it is with reluctance that we must ask you to please work on your exit plan from the Memorial Hall.
“We request that you vacate the hall by Friday 19th June so the site can be sanitised and ready for the return of parish council staff.”
Faced with being homeless, the village’s Royal British Legion stepped in to offer a home to the Junction, allowing its 12 members to continue to provide 150 households with vital food and groceries.
From Monday, the Junction will continue to operate from the Legion (11am to 1pm, Monday to Saturday).
The Lambourn Junction lead coordinator Anna Field said: “We are so thankful to the Royal British Legion Club.
“Their positive, welcoming approach and community spirit brought tears to my eyes.
“We really thought the Lambourn Parish Council’s decision would be the end of our support to the 150 households in the Lambourn Valley who use The Lambourn Junction.”
The Junction has been a vital community asset since lockdown restrictions were enforced at the end of March.
The service receives an average of six to eight referrals every day on a helpline number, more than six private messages on social media and on average eight to 11 people visiting in person needing food parcels.
The service was visited by Newbury MP Laura Farris on June 5, who awarded the project her Community Champions Award.
To contact The Lambourn Junction, either visit the Royal British Legion on Upper Lambourn Road or call the Lambourn Volunteer Helpline on (01488) 505050.