October 16, 1987 INDEX
Ratepayers' group still counting the cost

A CALL on members to help out Chingford Chamber of Commerce chairman Gordon Hughes with any costs from the rates fight, was made last Wednesday.

The Ratepayers' Action Group has to foot the bill for its own court costs and those of victorious Waltham Forest Council-- an estimated total of £100,000.

A further £8,000-£10,000 is needed to meet that target.

Colin Thornhill, speaking at the Chamber's quarterly meeting, said it was perhaps little known that Mr Hughes, along with other committee members, was personally responsible for meeting any shortfall,

When the initial public meeting was called by the Chamber earlier this year to fight the 62 per cent rate rise, Mr Hughes, who chaired it, became inextricably committed, Mr Thornhill continued.

He and 10 others who formed the action group were each personally responsible for considerable sums should there be outstanding monies at the end of the day.

Mr Thornhill, while expressing the Chamber's gratitude, asked members to indemnify Mr Hughes should that situation arise.

"We cannot do anything else," he added.

While thanking the Chamber, Mr Hughes replied: "I went into the action knowing I would be personally liable. The problem is we don't know what final figure we are talking about."

Earlier, Mr Hughes said the battle had been lost in the courts, but fund raising would continue, as would constant monitoring of council activities and spending.

About £106,000 had been raised during the group's lifetime and had there not been large donations from two local firms, the appeal would not have been possible.

There were further financial guarantees, said Mr Hughes, adding that it might be a year before council costs would be known.

A final word of assurance came from Chamber founder Frank Holder. He told Mr Hughes: "We have no doubts we shall look after you if you are in any trouble."

Waltham Forest Guardian October 16, 1987.