THE Romsey branch of the British Legion has been saved.

More than 10 people put themselves forward to help form a committee and save the branch which had been at risk of closure after 97 years.

At least five committee members, including a secretary and a chairman, were needed by January 11 as no-one had stepped forward after former committee members had retired.

Cllr Peter Hurst, said there had not been a committee meeting since January 2018 as “there wasn’t any committee work to do”.

But now he has confirmed a new committee has been formed and the future of the branch has been secured.

Cllr Hurst, who has been elected chairman, said: “People came forward. We have a new treasurer, secretary and vice-chairman.I’m relieved that we can now start getting back into action, put the British Legion back in the Romsey community and develop a more active membership.”

The first meeting of the new committee will take place today and members will work out a programme of events.

“We need to start thinking what sort of programme we want. We are trying to see what other successful branches do,” councillor Hurst said.

A lack of communication was blamed as one of the reasons which led to the threats of closure.

Cllr Hurst added: “We are starting fresh and we need to find out what branches do, and we really need to improve the communication with the members.

“We need to have a website and produce a newsletter to go out telling members what the branch is doing, and we need to get their email addresses up to date.”

He also confirmed that members would help organise events for Remembrance Day in November.

As previously reported, 900 members are currently registered but only one of them took part in the Remembrance parade in the town centre last year.

Branch members will continue to meet at the British Legion Club in Love Lane, Romsey.