Monday, September 26, 2022

Health watchdog made homeless as company goes bust

A LEADING Thurrock health watchdog was unceremoniously thrown out of its offices on Friday after its parent company went bust.

Thurrock LINK has been lauded over the last few years for its work in defending the rights of the vulnerable in the borough.

But according to reports, they were frog-marched out of their offices in the Queensgate centre, Grays on friday afternoon.

Infact, when YT went to their offices, it was like the Marie Celeste with the door wide open and computers and other materials all on open display.

A YT reporter then alerted a nearby police officer to secure the premises.

But on further investigation it appears that there has been concerns for some time over the parent company’s financial health. The parent company was, the Council for Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisation (CEMVO).

They had been running for over ten years.Last year they received a large contract to finance the work of Link.

However, according to a source, Link were concerned that there was a large large underspend to the tune of tens of thousands.

With so many pressing needs in the borough, Link became concerned. They became even more concerned when their internet bill wasn’t paid and even more so when wages did not come through.

A large meeting was held among health care professionals and matters were passed to Thurrock Council.

A source said: “With every penny being so tight and voluntary groups pleading for money, the council were advised that they should be careful giving money to a company that looked as if they were in trouble.”

YT understands that government grants to CEMVO and thus, LINK are distributed through the council.

The council has responded to a number of questions.

A spokesperson said: “Thurrock LINk have not been evicted.

“Potential issues with Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations Ltd (CEMVO) were first raised late in 2011 and the council acted upon them, meeting with senior executives (in an unannounced visit) and receiving certain assurances. Evidence to back these up was also requested.

“Wages were paid, although once last year they were late. January’s pay was on time.

“Thurrock LINk is not homeless. CEMVO informed the council on 27 January that they had appointed liquidators but because the council had already prepared for this eventuality there is an agreement with CVS that the organisation can operate out of the Beehive.

“The LINk had underspent in previous years and that trend appeared to be continuing when the council last held a contract meeting on 29 November.

“Thurrock LINk, already noted as one of the most progressive in the country, and Thurrock Council, can work together and plan proactively to overcome potential difficulties.

“Any organisation or charity can run into difficulty especially in these austere times. Thurrock’s voluntary sector have been of significant support to the LINk during this challenging period to ensure the continuation of its function within Thurrock.”

A spokesperson for Thurrock LINK was unavailable for comment.

CEMVO’s offices in Stratford are closed, the website and phones are down.

1 COMMENT

  1. cemvo have been on the fiddle for ages, glad they finally rumbled, but shame Thurrock won’t get back the money they creamed off

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