Judge takes just 30 seconds to throw out court bid by trouble-hit Hartlepool charity

Manor Residents Association Community Resource Centre, Kilmarnock Road
Manor Residents Association Community Resource Centre, Kilmarnock Road

A TROUBLE-HIT charity’s bid to stave off bailiffs has failed and it will now have its assets stripped to repay its creditors.

Manor Residents’ Association submitted an application to Hartlepool County Court to suspend a bailiffs’ warrant while a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) was finalised.

But after nobody turned up to represent the charity in court yesterday, the judge took just 30 seconds to strike off the application and the warrant will now be sent back to bailiffs.

It means under-fire Manor Residents’ Association will have its assets repossessed to pay a number of creditors, including current and former employees who have won a string of employment 
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tribunals against the charity since April.

The charity paid £80 for yesterday’s case to apply for the suspension to the warrant but District Judge Robertson said he didn’t know why nobody from Manor Residents’ Association attended.

The charity’s manager Angie Wilcox later told the Mail she was advised that she didn’t have to attend the case.

Former Manor Residents’ Association cleaner Lynda Gooding is still waiting for almost £9,000 the charity was ordered to pay to her by a tribunal judge more than four months ago.

Mrs Gooding was the first of four current and former employees of the charity to launch legal proceedings.

The charity lost all four employment tribunals totalling more than £20,000 but is yet to pay out for any of them.

The Mail reported earlier this week how the Kilmarnock Road-based charity is finalising a CVA, which means an insolvency practitioner will attempt to work out an arrangement of how much debt the charity can pay and a payment schedule to all of the charity’s creditors.

But the charity will face liquidation if the creditors who are owed at least 75 per cent don’t approve.

Mrs Gooding, 56, who worked for the charity for less than national minimum wage, said: “The last thing I want is for the charity to close but they are giving us no choice.”

Mrs Gooding, who lives with her husband Kenny, 58, in Forfar Road, added: “It’s just one thing after another, first I win the tribunal, then I have to pay to enforce the payment at county court and now I’m back at county court again for this.

“It’s more than four months since the tribunal yet I haven’t had a penny.”

In yesterday’s hearing, District Judge Robertson said: “There has been an application to hold off the bailiffs but I am going to strike that out and return the warrant to the bailiffs.

“They have applied to hold the bailiffs so I don’t know why they are not here today.”

Manor Residents’ Association now owes Mrs Gooding a total of £8,856.

The charity was also ordered to pay Carl Williams £3,738, Sharon Henderson £6,000 and Sue Harriman £3,706 at employment tribunals since April.