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updated 28/9/01

Hamer case thrown out

AS WE go to press, OUR DOGS can confirm that the case brought by former Blackpool Chairman Mr Mark Hamer against Blackpool Secretary Mr Jack Bennett has collapsed. A district judge in Blackpool has ordered that the case against Mr Bennett be struck out in its entirety with all costs awarded against Mr Hamer. Apparently Mr Hamer has stated that he will not be appealing against the decision.

Readers will recall that Mr Hamer resigned as Chairman of Blackpool last year and also did not restand as a committee member. At the last AGM of the Society in November 2000, five other committee members also resigned. Following a satisfactory meeting at the Kennel Club with principal members of Blackpool Committee, the Kennel Club approved Championship status for the 2001 show. This went ahead with an increased entry and proved to be very successful and popular with exhibitors, showing that the 'new' committee was perfectly capable of running a Championship dog show. The Kennel Club has subsequently given approval for the shows' status up until the 2004 show.

Mr Hamer had claimed that the secretary had made incorrect expenses claims in recent years, although throughout most of that period, Mr Hamer himself had been Chairman of the Society and had not raised any query throughout. Blackpool's finances have already been shown to be healthy enough to purchase their own showground for a fee believed to be in the region of 200,000. The current committee also improved the showground with further investment for the 2001 show.

A statement is to be issued by mr Bennet's solicitor later this week, but this decision clearly vindicates Mr Bennett and raises many questions about the validity and motives behind the accusations which did not have the backing of the committee and had little or no support from the members of the Society.