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Unruly pensioners see Wolverhampton group suspended

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

It was a strong group that campaigned for the rights of pensioners, taking issues to council bosses and even the Houses of Parliament.

But disputes within the Wolverhampton Pensioners Convention has resulted in it being suspended by its umbrella West Midlands organisation.

A report on complaints made over the body that went before the national organisation revealed allegations that meetings are not kept under control and ‘they descend into chaos’.

They were discussed by representatives from West Midlands Pensioners Convention (WMPC) and the Wolverhampton branch in a bid to resolve the issues back in August.

But despite the efforts to resolve matters, the WMPC made a decision to suspend the group on the basis it was not fulfilling its democratic and fiscal responsibilities.

WMPC secretary Bob Mitchell said: “The basis of the suspension is the group was not showing its democratic or fiscal responsibility.

“We want them to take a full and active part in the WMPC, but we can’t have currently when they are not operating properly.

“When it is able to there will be no problem in lifting the suspension. Any member is still a member of the WPC and can vote on issues.”

In a statement, the WMPC said: “It is regrettable that the West Midlands Pensioners’ Convention have found it necessary to suspend the Wolverhampton Pensioners Convention, one of the more active branches affiliated to the West Midlands Pensioners’ Convention.

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“There is an appeal process and the branch can formally request that WMPC reconsider the suspension of the branch. To date, no notification of an appeal against suspension has been received by West Midlands Pensioners’ Convention.

“Our overriding concern is that we have an effective, open and accountable branch of the Pensioners’ Convention in Wolverhampton that is campaigning for and involving pensioners across a great regional city and surrounding conurbation.”

The WMPC said the branch should be focusing on the social care ‘crisis’.

Acting secretary for the group, Barry Hodgson, who has been a member for around 10 years, said it was ‘crunch time’ for the group.

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He said: “We will be discussing the situation at our committee meeting later this month – it really is crunch time. There is a possibility we may disband and reform again.”

He added: “I am quite distressed about the state of our branch, but at peace with the West Midlands branch.

“This has been our own making.”

The Wolverhampton branch, in a bid to increase the number of its members, introduced free membership in February.

It currently has around 35 members.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
Investigations Editor - @alexross_star

Investigations Editor at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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