The Chatswood Girl Guides have described Willoughby Council as “stingy” over a rent hike at their hall.
For over 40 years the Chatswood Girl Guides have had an understanding with council for the use of the hall, however a recent contract negotiation has left them feeling shafted.
“Girl Guides have had a dedicated hall in Anglo Park since 1975 and we have always had a peppercorn deal with council which worked quite well,” guide leader Martha Raupp told the North Shore Times.
That contract came to an end in 2016. Under the new deal, council is charging $525 a year in rent and the group will also be responsible for the cost of all utilities, which comes at an excess cost of $300 per quarter.
“The change in rent will put the guides under threat because we don’t operate with a surplus and we pay a lot in insurance and we spend all our money on activities for the girls.
“It just seems really stingy to me,” she said.
Original article from North Shore Times Open Edition
From NST reader’s comments:
Not a good look for the Chatswood Girl Guides in the latest edition (North Shore Times, Feb. 22). Five young girls with arms crossed, sour-faced and backed by their leader in their complaint that Willoughby Council is victimising them with a rental hike. Is this what we teach our children now? Is this what being a Girl Guide is about? Being a victim? Annual rent of $525 plus utilities of $300 a quarter might mean a few extra fundraisers so the group can enjoy a permanent home. So what! Teach the girls to be responsible, self-sufficient and resilient. Teach them that there are no free lunches in life. Contributing to community facilities that they are using is a privilege not a punishment.
Robyn Mah, Lane Cove
Regarding the Guides – note that the Chatswood Scouts in Kooba Ave have been paying that amount for the past 3 years. Previously we were also at a peppercorn rent.
Council initially wanted us to pay $1,100 (ie. double the $550) but reduced it after concern was raised. We weren’t as loud as the Guides on this.