Former Manor Residents workers still waiting for tribunal money

Carl Williams, Sharon Henderson,Susan Harriman and Lynda Gooding.
Carl Williams, Sharon Henderson,Susan Harriman and Lynda Gooding.

FOUR workers who won court battles against a troubled charity have yet to receive a penny of their payouts.

It’s now more than seven months since Lynda Gooding won her case against Manor Residents’ Association with an employment judge ordering the charity to pay almost £9,000 to the former cleaner.

Lynda’s former colleagues Sharon Henderson, Carl Williams and Sue Harriman also won their own court battles, taking the total payout to more than £20,000.

Despite being ordered to pay up by a judge, the charity is yet to hand over any cash and the disgruntled workers have vowed to continue their fight to get what they are owed.

It’s one year this week since Mrs Gooding, 56, launched the legal proceedings and she told the Mail how it’s been the most stressful time of her life as she explores every avenue to force the charity to cough up.

And now she has taken the case to Downing Street in a desperate plea to change the laws so the employers can be brought back into court.

Mrs Gooding received a reply to her email from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service apologising for the difficulties she has faced in enforcing the judgement, but was told she would have to approach the local MP in a bid to lobby the issue in Parliament and seek for a change in law.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright says he is yet to hear from Mrs Gooding and will “await correspondence”.

Mrs Gooding, who lives in Forfar Road with husband Kenny, 58, said: “To be perfectly honest it just seems to me that going through a tribunal is a waste of time.

“It’s never been about the money, it’s been about showing Manor Residents’ Association for what it is, but equally if a judge orders an organisation to pay out then I don’t understand how that can basically be ignored.”

Mrs Gooding and the three other tribunal winners all find themselves strapped for cash in the build up to Christmas.

Only Mrs Harriman has been able to find a job since the tribunals.

Manor Residents’ Association, based in Kilmarnock Road in the town and managed by former councillor Angie Wilcox, continues to claim the matter is being dealt with by a “third party” – but refused to disclose to the Mail who that third party is.

A spokesman for Absolute Recovery Ltd confirmed to the Mail that Manor Community Resource Centre Ltd was put into liquidation on August 28 this year following the four tribunal cases, but the insolvency firm says it hasn’t had any further instructions in relation to the charity arm of Manor Residents’ Association.

Mrs Gooding even paid £100 out of her own pocket to issue a bailiffs’ warrant in a bid to force the charity’s hand.

The charity attempted to stave off the bailiffs by submitting an application to suspend the warrant, but nobody from the organisation turned up at the court and it took the judge just 30 seconds to strike off the application.

The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, has since opened an inquiry into Manor Residents’ Association after concerns were raised about the way it is being run.

That followed the arrests of Mrs Wilcox and her 26-year-old daughter Sarah Stead on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and false accounting after Cleveland Police’s Economic Crime Unit launched an investigation into complaints of financial irregularities at the charity.

Both were released on bail.