One of the city’s longest surviving working men’s club has been fined more than £4,000 after a court heard it had failed to file its annual accounts for more than three years.
Rowland Road WMC was handed the financial punishment by magistrates after being found guilty of offences under the Friendly Societies Act 1974.
The 102-year-old-club, based in Beeston, Leeds, failed to send anyone to represent them for the hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.
Benjamin Evans, prosecuting on behalf of the Financial Conduct Authority, said: “To put it bluntly, the working men’s club has failed to file accounts for July 31 2011, July 31 2012 and July 2013.”
Mr Evans told the court that the club had also failed to provide accounts for years prior to those dates but legislation limited charges to the last three years.
Mr Evans added: “The defendant is the club and not any one individual.
“Despite requests being made by the Financial Conduct Authority on numerous occasions to provide the accounts as per their legislative obligation, they have failed to do it.”
Magistrates found the club guilty of three breaches of the act and fined the club £3,000, plus £1,300 costs and a surcharge of £100. The amount must be paid within 28 days.
After being contacted by the YEP, club secretary Jo Firth said: “This is the first I’ve heard of it.
“I won’t know anything about it until we receive the letters.
“This is obviously a lot of money to be paying out isn’t it? As I’m sure you can imagine, clubs are not doing very well at the moment.”
The club celebrated its centenary two years ago and is one of the city’s longest surviving working men’s clubs. At the time of the celebrations, president Stephen Firth told the YEP: “It’s great to get to this milestone.
“There’s not many clubs that make it to 100 years, so we must be doing something right.”
There were 56 members when the club first opened on July 19, 1911.