AN UNDER-FIRE town charity has become insolvent and faces liquidation unless its creditors agree to an arrangement to receive the money they are owed.
Manor Residents’ Association will be represented in Hartlepool County Court tomorrow as it applies for a suspension to a bailiff warrant while a Company Voluntary Arrangement is finalised.
Tomorrow’s court case comes after the Kilmarnock Road-based charity failed to pay former employee Lynda Gooding the £8,805 she was awarded at an employment tribunal earlier this year.
The Mail reported last week how the charity was facing the bailiffs after Mrs Gooding, 56, paid £100 at county court to enforce the payment after the charity didn’t cough up ahead of the deadline.
However Mrs Gooding has now received a letter alerting her of a county court hearing, taking place tomorrow, which states the charity is asking the court to make an order to suspend the bailiff warrant “while CVA is being finalised”.
Mrs Gooding and three other employees and former employees at the charity who won recent employment tribunal cases will now have to agree to the arrangement or the charity will face voluntary liquidation.
Mrs Gooding told the Mail: “We are just going to find ourselves in a no-win situation through no fault of our own.
“I have always said the last thing I want to happen is for the charity to close but we have no idea what we are going to be offered in the arrangement.”
The charity has appointed insolvency practitioners Absolute Recovery Limited.
They will work out an arrangement of how much debt the charity can pay and a payment schedule to Mrs Gooding and the three other employees and former employees who also won employment tribunal cases against Manor Residents’ Association.
However all of the charity’s creditors will have to agree for the organisation to continue trading.
The creditors will be invited to a meeting to vote on the arrangement and those who are owed at least 75 per cent of the debt must approve.
If so, the organisation can start trading again but if the charity doesn’t get a 75 per cent vote from creditors it could face voluntary liquidation.
Those who are owed money will also be able to apply to wind up Manor Residents’ Association if the charity doesn’t meet the agreed payment schedule.
Manor Residents’ Association now owes a total of more than £20,000 to former members of staff, Mrs Gooding, Sharon Henderson and Sue Harriman and Carl Williams, who is still employed by the charity.
All four took legal action against the charity and won their respective employment tribunals at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.
Mrs Gooding, who lives in Forfar Road, in the town, with husband Kenny, 58, worked 37 hours a week as a cleaner for just £5.40 an hour, under the national minimum wage of £6.19 per hour, and for the last seven weeks in her job received her wages either late or not at all.
All four who won the cases are yet to receive any money but the deadline for payment in the cases of Miss Henderson, Mr Williams and Mrs Harriman has not yet passed.
The charity’s manager Angie Wilcox was unavailable to comment yesterday.
Miss Wilcox resigned as a councillor in July following the first two employment tribunals.